|The view from the very top of our first big hike up.... a couple thousand feet.|
I decided to run.
I know that my races take a large toll on my family. They require some finagling of pet sitting, kid wrangling, lodging, driving, and waiting -- that's on my husband's end of things. I truly appreciate my family's willingness to come along and be my support system. I'm sure it's not easy. But, it affords us the chance to see some really truly magnificent sights.
I can say without any doubts -- the capitol reef ultra has been one of the most rewarding races I have run to date. I did not think that anything could surpass the Monument Valley 50 miler.. but I gotta say, this one takes the cake.. er.. the honey stinger waffle .. because DANG ........ yeh.. awesomeness.
|climbing up to the top of the Aquarius Plateau, the highest plateau in North America|
|Our kinda crazy, but cool room|
|why can't I ever just get a normal photo with my children?|
|Our awesome race director, Matt, making some last minute things happen. Matt rules!|
|A very smug Nacho is ready to get this party started|
|Our race staging area. PRETTY SWEET!|
|Abe Gunn -- 13 year old ultra runner|
The bus stops and we unload. We're at around 8,500 ft or so and I know from looking at the course map that we reach over 11,000 ft by mile 6 or 7. I really do feel panicky. I have never run at that high of altitude. I heard that a bunch of 100 milers got sick from altitude and had to drop. Crap. OK. Well, there's no turning back now.
I had some familiar faces with me. A bunch of Kanab's finest were in town running, too! I had friends running the half marathon -- Mandy, Josh, Megan, Jana, and Alan.
The race started and I hung w/ Sam and Mike. Sam is running the Grand to Grand Ultra with me in September. And Mike ran the G2G last year. I felt solid with these guys. Once we started moving, talking and taking in the scenery, I felt so much better. We started to gain elevation almost immediately. We would spend nearly 90% of the race in the forest. Fine by me! It was lovely :)
|ominous forest trail with looming clouds overhead. Nothing to worry about. Nope!|
|Sure was pretty running through this aspen grove|
|Mike and Sam -- 2 of Kanab's finest!|
|After the toughest, steepest climb. High a top the Aquarius Plateau|
|Running with G2G veteran Mike McTeer was a treat. I learned so much from this guy!!|
|One of many awesome lakes.|
|Climbed down through this creek. REALLY fun and pretty.|
|Treated to a giant waterfall.|
|I think at this moment I'm thinking "SERIOUSLY.. we gotta hike down this? COME ON."|
|love these blue bells!|
|Me and Abe somewhere around mile 24, ready to get this done.|
With about 1 mile to go, I saw the race director Matt running towards me (to meet up with his son, Abe) and he told me I was in 4th place. I was happy about that, but I kicked up the pace and could see the third place female down the road. Something in me said GO GET THIS and I think I was going about 7.5 min. mile and was on the hunt. I caught up and blew by -- snagging third place with about quarter mile to spare. MAN! That was seriously awesome.
|Snagged my second tomahawk :) third place finisher! whooot|