|The start/finish line with Canyonlands in the back ground. |
|Home for the night!|
|The hint of sunrise on the lake near the start finish. |
|Everyone was taking photos of the amazing sunrise!|
|Hard to see how steep the climb is from this angle - but the runners ahead of me are well above me!|
|One of the classic views of the day. CanyonLands - lit up by the early morning sun.|
|The 50k dropped down to Red Ledges, then climbed back up|
At the second aid station, I refilled with some water. No snacks needed - I was still well stocked. Then back into the woods for the loop back to the aid station. I would occasionally see glimpses of color ahead of me - another runner on the course. But mostly, the air was filled with the sounds of nature. Aspens rustling in the wind, ravens crowing. I was lucky enough to find one really cool raven feather and two awesome turkey feathers on the section! Yes, I stuck them in my hair for the rest of the race. I'm a sucker for really cool feathers and have been known to stop more then once for a nice one mid-race. We climbed for whet felt like forever, then finally started going downhill. With Silverheels coming up, I was more cautious on the downhill then in the past. Nice and controlled, nice and steady. I knew that would lose some time, but didn't really care. I also knew that what went down, had to go back up. On the first trip to the aid station, I'd looked down into the ravine below the trail and seen the blue ribbons fluttering along the trail far below us! It was as much a climb as I thought it would be!
|High point of the course!|
At the summit, I had another women right on my heels. Guess it was time for racing and for taking a few chances! Once again, I ran out of liquid before the aid station. This time, I was a little more efficient, but the volunteer accidentally gave me HEED instead of water. I couldn't figure out why my hands were sticky after trying to wash them until I tasted it more carefully. Whoops... At least it was the last aid station and a relatively short distance to the finish. Just one more major climb to go. The lady behind me left the aid station a few minutes after I did and was slowly making up ground on that climb. I knew I would have really be smooth on the plunge down the mountain to get any gap for the final push on the roads. Eyes on the trail. No more staring at the views! Even so, I didn't really let myself get crazy. Bigger fish to fry in two weeks! Once off the trails an onto the road, I took a quick glance behind me. No sight of her coming down the double track. There was about three miles left. Time to switch to road runner and really open it up. I did see some 7s on my watch in those last three miles!