My favorite picture from the weekend, Masha and I at the Hyak aid station, mile 52.
I'm trying to write a race report... hard, it was so f*ing awesome,
words are not enough.
Facebook message to a good friend Keli Kelemen.
Over a week later and a part of me is still out there in the Cascades. Like a great trip, I left a part of myself behind and it is not in a great hurry to come home. The post race excitement has already died down and I'm supposed to be focused on Masha's race this weekend at Pine to Palm 100 in Ashland, Oregon — her first attempt at the distance. However I'm still thinking about CC100, my mind filled with all kinds of good emotions, memories and inspiration from the race. I want to go back. I want to give it another go. Most of all I want to shape myself into a better runner to do better. Great right?! Why do I keep running 100's, it's because they still can make me feel this way!
I had run the race before, in 2005, but I was so new then. Wide eyed and green in all ways ultra. It worked to my advantage then because I didn't know any better. They say it's better when your body doesn't see physical impact before it is about to happen, you don't tense up, prepare for the blow, and sustain more damage as a result. A loose, unprepared body goes with the flow. That is what happened in 2005. Ten years later my experience just made me more anxious and tense. However with experience also came the knowledge that I was in a truly special place, great in the things that inspire me to run. I could appreciate more now the uniqueness of the event and what made it special.
It was impressive, beautiful, awe-inspiring, and hard. The course boasted 21,000 ft of climbing, it was mostly single track through tall pine trees and majestic ridges, filled with amazing views of other mountains and lakes, and the technical rocky course was on another level in the summer storm that swept through Saturday night into Sunday.
I finished 28:46:48, looking better than I felt. Needed a beat down from the wife because I was bemoaning missed time goals rather than fully appreciating being in one piece at yet another finish line. When I was single I got away with that behavior way too often. Thank you Masha. Huge thanks as well to Janet for crewing. I tell you, without those two... And much love to the community of runners, crew, pacers and volunteers of the Cascade Crest Classic. You made it happen for all the starters, not just the finishers.