It’s taking a while for me to fully appreciate, but slowly sinking into my brain is the concept that ultra racing is pretty hard. I’ve always felt that one of my great strengths lies in a lack of trepidation about taking on any distance or race, as I don’t hesitate to throw myself in the mix and give it a shot. The downside of this method comes about 60% into a race when things start getting rocky and reality comes flying at me with an elbow from the top rope. But, over the last couple years of racing I’ve been learning how to take the hit.
I came into The Canyons 100k off a great training block and joined a field of many other golden ticket-seeking hopefuls with similar skill levels. It was feeling like it could be anyone’s race without relying on missed turns or allergic reactions to take out a front-runner. After the first 50k, the climbing legs had done their thing and I came through the half right on plan in 6th place around 10-15 minutes off the lead. Here’s where I hoped the leaders would fade a bit and I would surge. Instead the heat surged and a Seattle spring had left me unprepared for the California sun. I made it to the turnaround at Rucky Chucky mainly via sponge baths at every aid station. I was getting caught by a few runners at that point, which provided enough motivation to get my legs back under me and tough it out through the final quarter, during which I managed to get back my 6th place spot. It wasn’t the best race, but it’s always nice to finish on and upswing and running instead of dragging myself in just to avoid a DNF. Chalk this one up as experience earned and a stepping-stone towards something better.