JonRoig.com | Posted: 2008-04-27 14:26:08 | 6543 hits | View in Hi-Fi Mode
"Uh... I was promised there would be rocks on the trail... "
Total insanity... that's how I'd describe the Zane Grey. The advance reports mentioned rocks, trees across the trail, creek crossings... and boy, they were right. Now, to be fair, the race does bill itself as "America's Toughest 50 Miler."
As far as I'm concerned, it delivered...
Now... before plunging into this at 5:00 am on Saturday morning, I'd asked myself, "What is it, exactly, that makes a race like this so much more difficult than other races of this distance?"
It's the friggin' rocks. They never end. At no point on the trail can you just relax, really, and take in the beauty of Northern Arizona. The trail itself is in pretty rough shape, and you really had to keep your wits about you the whole time. Aid stations are up to 11 miles apart over rough and confusing groud. Navigation was an issue and got lost for a moment at the beginning of the race, but ultimately I did ok on that front, mostly by hitching in behind folks who looked like they knew what they were doing.
Not a race for beginners, but just really, really fun. I met all kinds of cool folks, saw all kinds of random people I've seen around the running scene. One of the cool things about a race of this distance is how you can really hang with another runner for hours and just kinda chat about the world and whatnot -- without their help, I wouldn't have had a clue how to pace myself on a course like that.
There are a surprising number of people who do Badwater... and all kinds of other crazy races.
Dinner the night before was rad. I got to hang out with a whole bunch of super athlete women down from Colorado, including the 5 time winner of Hardrock, Betsy Kalmeyer... caught a glimpse of Anton Krupicka, that dude was the talk of the race. He's just a beast, speed-wise.
I'd love to see how he handled all that technical running. I mean... according to someone at the finish line, he did it in 8:02... which is just really fast.
My ankles really took some serious punishment -- my left one is still a bit swollen... and the blisters, they're remarkable. (Remind me to do something about the relative looseness of my shoes.) I'm covered with tiny little cuts from all the random grass and bushes and whatever that I plunged through. Took one minor fall... not serious, but enough to wake me up.
So... yeah! Finished well under the cutoff in 13:something... (I wasn't really paying that close of attention at that point.) Official results will be out shortly... hopefully with splits.
Most of the run felt really good and consistent, again, mostly due to the help of some awesome folks who let me tag along. That was a diabolically evil last 10k. I just kinda walked it in as quickly as I could, pretty much wincing and whining the whole time. I started to get that puky feeling I get sometimes... I'm not sure if I just neglected nutrition a little too much or what, but something went awry there.
Today... one day later... I feel like I've been run the ringer a bit, but I'm up and around, feeling ok. (...And off to lunch in the Roffler household for recovery...)
Update: According to the official results, I finished in 13:55:05... which seems a little weird, given that I says I finished at the same second as someone else. I didn't see anyone out there at all for the last hour or so, so I'm not sure what to make of it... but really, it's all good.
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