Today the ultra-BADs and the just plain BADs were out in force. The weather had broken just in time, a few days ago, so we were treated to fog/overcast skies for the first three hours, and even at its peak the temperature probably never exceeded 85. It was a fine day for a race.
Gary Wang came up from Santa Barbara to take 26th overall, 2nd in his age group with a nice plaque, in a time of 4:59. Your humble reporter had the race of his life to finish in 5:09, 39th overall and 30 minutes faster than last year. Lauren Lechner, in her first ever ultra, started conservatively but started to go for it at mile 15 or so, and then had the pleasure and stimulation of running the last 12 miles with her training partner, Karen Wells. Lauren finished in 6:09, which was pretty darned impressive for someone who just started running trails when she moved to the Bay Area a few months ago. Our last two members, the always up Tracey Chmielewski (in the Bay Area repenting for missing DRSWC III) and Dave Combs, both experienced some problems which caused them to finish somewhat later. Hinkmond also came to run Tracey in for the last 12 miles. All in all one large mess o'deads! And a fine time was had by all.
Just a quick word on my race. Since I'm not a "real" ultrarunner, I don't believe in this "walk the uphills" stuff, so I started out running everything, and picking up considerable placings on every uphill as a result. I was doing some walking by mile 20, but tried to keep it to a minimum. Throughout the whole race I was not passed once on an uphill. Alas, I *was* passed by six people in the last mile and a half as I struggled to the finish with cramping legs, but c'est la vie.
I tried a new eating strategy which worked *very* well and kept me energetic throughout the entire race - 1 GU every half an hour, on the dot. Because GU goes down so easily (as long as you suppress your gag reflex :-) ), this works well for me - I could never do this with PowerBars or any solid food, which I tend to eat more sporadically and not as reliably. The GU I can eat during good patches or bad, uphills or down. It did mean I had to pass up all the cookies, M&Ms, and other goodies at the aid stations - oh well. If it hadn't been for cramping legs (quite an if!) I would have easily finished 10-15 minutes faster, thanks to the constant energy input.
For me, it's on to the Pt. Reyes 50K in three weeks. Just a runnin' fool.
Carpe great races for a change!
Steve "Dr. GUI" Patt
Relevant song heard on the drive over:
"Hurts so good, ooh baby yes it hurts so good" "Sometime [your legs] don't feel like they should" "They hurt so good."