Sassy (20k), Jessica (30k) and Sammy(30k), huddling in the car for warmth prior to the start. PCTR events are great because non-ultra friends can still join in the fun. Offering trail runners several distance options in their races have made PCTR a popular choice and combined with the laid back atmosphere and the warm welcoming community of trail running has made them a favorite with more of their races selling out now.
Spamsiwan set for the 20k. Despite being a vegetarian, our first conversations as friends centered around "Spam" - thus the name I call her by. I also call her the Iron Knitter and the Iron Baker because she is as passionate about her knitting and baking as she is about her training. You can check her blog here.
Proud of the ladies, the gang hanging out at the finish. Except for Noreen and Jess (training for her first Ironman), all these guys have completed the Ironman triathlon distance. This year Spamsiwan is headed to Ironman Brazil at the end of April and Jess is planning on Ironman Coeur d'Alene in Idaho in June. Photo courtesy of Sammy.
Alright who's the short dude?! Finally me and the boys. Jon K (10th), Will Gotthardt (6th) and myself (11th) at the finish line. Jon and I were still catching our breath, Will on the other hand was relaxed and cool having finished 20+ minutes before us. Regulars at the PCTR scene especially Will who volunteers for the events when he's not racing - great runner, valuable community member. Photo courtesy of Sammy.
My camera was acting up so I had to ditch it at the start, thus the start and finish photos only. It turned out for the best anyway, I doubt I would have gotten under 5 hours had I been taking pictures. Except for my friend John B. (not pictured anywhere) It was me and the ladies again, the men of our gang were busy doing I don't know what. Hanging with the sistas yet again and I don't mind.
I am off to Florida today to visit the family. If I don't visit them now I won't be able to see them until the fall because of the race schedule. Might as well be now but not looking forward to hot, humid and FLAT Orlando, Florida. I can get used to the heat and the humidity but I'll never enjoy the flatness.
Before I go, the race report I promised on my last post:
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Race day found me feeling great and confident. I knew the course well, these are my training grounds after all. I've raced many times here, from the 50k to the 100-miler. I knew where I could push and where I could pull back to recover. I knew the terrain, from single track to fireroad. I was also in a great mood, came with a bunch of friends and giddy about the first race of the season.
The first 30k went like a blur, I was surprised to be back at the start line already and about to embark for the remaining 20k. The first hour I held back, slowly increased intensity in the second hour and went all out after that - as fast as I could muster. The last 20k was definitely harder but no less enjoyable. I ran the end of the 30k a bit too hard and was feeling it but I knew the rest of the field was feeling it too. I started catching up to some of the fast, hard looking guys and it was a psychological boost - I knew I was moving up the field. The last 10k I was chasing after Jon K. A healthy Jon would have already finished the race but he had just come back from illness and was not 100%. Chasing after him kept me firing on all cylinders and he's partially responsible for my sub-5 hour finish, him and the guy who was chasing me.
Nutrition, hydration all went like clockwork. I was quick at the aid stations, choked down my gels prior to arriving and only stopping long enough to get my H2O bottles topped off - something I picked up from Olga. Chatted with other runners but kept the conversations brief unless they were moving at my pace. All in all a well managed run on my part. I couldn't have asked for more.
Next up Mt. Diablo 50-miler. This one promises to be the exact opposite. Long, slow and arduous with 13,300 ft. of total elevation gain, same for the elevation loss. The uphills will be tough, the down hills will tenderize the quads. A good training race for the 100-mile runners.
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