One of the best, most amazing, fun and fabulous races I have ever ran! Rode up with Karen, Smooth and Becca and then met Teena and Lowell before the start. Hung out in the lobby of the Hotel staying warm until the final 2 min count down. We were off to a wonderful start! Teena of course took off, the rest of us were just there to mosey along and enjoy it :)
Wandered around Park City for 26 fun filled miles of chatting, harassing, picture posing, and over-enthusiastic cheering of all those we passed. Had a great time picking up extra gu's etc. at aid-stations and we all just stuck together and had a wonderful time. I think if you added up all the time we spent just stopped at the aid-stations you could take off about 15+ minutes from our time. Honestly, I would guess the AP (of running mind you) was around a 9:30.
It's kind of funny how despite all the fun and 'talk' going through your head we all seem to just drop dead silent and just want to be done around mile 22-23. We all just got quiet and simply enjoyed one another's footfalls and breathing. THEN the finish line becomes the chatty room again. Full of celebration, fun and eating! Finally getting to talk to and get names of the people you've leap-frogged for MILES and get a few more pictures.
Some highlights for me:
*taking the caffeine gu at mile 13 - holy moly that put a nice kick in my step and some fun comments in my brain :) Okay...I never shut up, but all the extra energy was coming out of my mouth instead of coming out of my legs! Now I know to keep one of those in my pocket at SGM so I can let it come out of my legs!!!
*The top of the Deer Valley loop - seriously you should have a short party there. The end of the MILES of uphill, so my party was chasing down Larry driving away. I sprinted as fast as I could to catch/keep up with the car, he said it was about 10mph - oh yeah!!
*Empire street - oh that hill? was that a hill? I didn't even notice :) RAN up it. Took it by the horns, threw it down, sliced it up and ate it for breakfast. Heck yeah baby! Everyone else was looking around wondering who the crazy woman was that had enough energy at that point to do a hill sprint up that nasty thing. LOVED it!! When I hit the top and could see the nice downhill stretch I spotted a pair of flag shorts and got to chat with the ol' Slickster! Good times baby!
*Jumping for a picture at mile 18.5ish aid station. We'd lost Lowell by then, but all 4 girls posed for Larry and jumped in the picture! Again, everyone around us was looking at us like we were crazy for having enough energy and mind to stop and take a jumping picture that late in the race!
*95% - yes, the last 10K I promised Karen (no more lies!) it really was all downhill, a few parkway rollers of course, but REALLY 95% downhill. Every time we'd come to one of those rollers Karen would curse "Raaacheelll!!!" Then I'd yell back 95% I'm sticking by my 95%!!
*The last mile. About .2 ish after the mile marker for 25 I looked back (I'd gotten a bit ahead of Smooth) and noticed that she was safely in the company of Karen and I wanted to see if I had a good pace mile left in these ol' legs at the end of a grueling marathon. I turned it up and finished with an 8:38 split, which with the bit that I was going slower I'm going to guess was at my 8:15ish goal MP. I was really able to hit the gas after a guy with a sprinkler on the trail near the finish hosed me down! He got my 'favorite person' award for the day. I was going strong and when I hit the mile marker 13 for the half I put it in gear. My final split for the last .1 split was an AP of 5:51....wow, I didn't think my garmin would work going that fast :) I love a strong fast finish and being able to feel like I have it left in my legs!!!
*The company. I seriously loved this race more than all rest for so many things it gave to me through the wonderful people that accompanied me on the run. At one point Smooth said I could leave her. I denied the request and told her I'd be poking my eyeballs out with a knitting needle if I wasn't there running with her! I needed an escape this weekend after the rotten week I'd had and I got it - more than I probably deserved. Thanks all my wonderful peeps for putting up with my antics, whining, caffeine high and craziness. It was WONDERFUL!!!
After the race we did lunch at Cafe Rio with families, our pre-race group and EricO. It was simply delightful. The only warm, quiet, uninterrupted meal I'd gotten to eat all week!
My only complaint is that my feet hurt. I've never had my feet hurt before and I'm blaming it on all the trail/gravel running. I have pampered feet and they aren't used to such pounding abuse. I came home and stuck them in an ice bath! They are feeling better today, and I feel I'm ready to run tomorrow. We'll see what the feet/legs have to say about that when I take off in the morning :)