The morning started with the gang meeting at the YMCA to carpool to the run. Rob, Jenny, Michelle, Cat, Steve, and me all piled our gear into Cat's Expedition. The Expedition is named Sulley from the TV show Dr. Quinn. At 6:00 AM the adventure began. Abi & Jane rode separately. This was Abi and Cat's first experience with ultra running.
We had the opportunity to meet Meghan and Trevor who were in Portland to visit Trevor's Parents and drove up for the run. Trevor's parents also ran the 17 mile course. Meghan works for the Parks Service in Yellowstone and lives in Wyoming. She is training for her first 100 miler the first weekend in February, Rocky Raccoon in TX. They both ran three loops for 25 miles.
Long story short, Rob, Steve, and I went out fairly fast on the first 17 miles and slowed significantly on the second. The third loop was probably the toughest due the mud. I think over 100 people ran the 17 mile option and they really ground up the trail on the first loop. We were ahead of the masses on the first loop and the trail was in fairly decent shape. I struggled during the third loop and wondered if I could even finish the fourth. My lower back was hurting and slopping through the mud was really wearing on my legs. Steve got the award for falling down in the mud. I got a couple of pictures of the aftermath. He said "At least it was a soft landing".
The fourth loop went much better for me. The trail was much better than the third loop and I fueled better with a sandwich, soup, and gu's. I ended up finishing in 7:49:05. I had stayed with Rob and Steve up to mile 29 but as we headed down I found my legs and was able to keep a steady pace to the end. After finishing I grabbed a got cup of tea, dumped my pack and water bottles and headed back out to meet Steve and Rob. I got about 3/4 of a mile out and met them and ran to the finish with them.
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Weird injury: My calves both feel like they have a bad sunburn. I ran with shorts on and the mud caked my legs and formed little dingle-berries on the hairs. I don't know if I was getting pinched by the cracks in the mud layer on my legs or if the hair getting pulled is the cause of the pain but I have a bunch of little micro cuts all over the backs of my calves. Ouch!
It was good to see a bunch of my ultra running buddies at the run!
Thanks for reading!