This race couldn't come soon enough. I was so excited about it but the previous two weeks had been so stressful that I desperately needed an outlet. I awoke at 2:30 am so I could get ready and travel up to the race. The further north we drove the harder it began to rain which made me a bit nervous. By the time we got to the the start it had stopped raining and people were everywhere. I was ready.
I took the first few miles easy. It was less crowded than I remember. I wasn't in the big sub-24 group but in front of the main pack. It was nice. I found myself alone heading up most of the first climb. As the trail became steeper, the snow which had fallen began to stick. It was beautiful. Once we got to the ridges above tree line we were in the midst of the clouds with a fresh skiff of snow. We must of ran through at least 10 miles of snow! I felt like I was holding back but I got to Francis Peak m19 early. I backed off the next few miles and got into cruise control. It felt great. Early in the race there is this sense of optimism at the task of tackling 100 miles which makes those miles go by easily and enjoyably. Soon the temps started to rise but I don't think it ever got much above 70 degrees. I entered Big Mtn m40 feeling great. It was great to see my crew and get refreshed. Jeremy took some video of me which is posted at the bottom. You can see how fresh I look entering Big Mtn.
video footage over this section. Unfortunately this was where I hit rock bottom. I felt so sluggish heading up Bear Pass. Plus it was shockingly cold already. I pushed through my second low point and got to Upper Big Water m62 late and a little nervous.
I was very pleased with my race. I PR'd on a very difficult course by running a smart and hard race. My crew was awesome, all the volunteers were superb, and the race was well organized. My planning was effective and training sufficient. No regrets and very happy with my race!
Here's the sales pitch....YES I ran in the Altra Lone Peaks the entire way. I was planning on swapping shoes at Brighton but they exceeded my expectations and I ran the entire race in 1 pair! They were literally amazing. I'm involved with the company so I'm a bit biased but the fact that I was going to swap at Brighton but didn't says a lot. Truly the most comfortably and versatile trail shoe on the market...ok, soon to be on the market. This was a huge test for the shoes and they passed on every level!