It was a great run yesterday. The weather was cold, but there wasn't any wind so it was rather pleasant. In fact, the gentle snow made it rather picturesque. The race was very laid back. Starting time depended on, well, when you wanted to start and you were responsible for tracking your own time. Finisher awards were passed out ahead of time from a cardboard box on a nearby park bench. They were tins of cookies--can't complain about that! The only aid station consisted of a card table halfway through the out and back. No one crewed it, but it was well stocked and the potato chips really hit the spot during the second loop.
The route involved a couple of significant hills appropriate for walking. The majority of the run was either along a rail trail or through some tree-lined, country-ish suburban roads. We saw several multi-million dollar homes including, according to someone I was running with, one owned by a high up Flagstar bank executive. Funny, they own my house too. The other people on the run were very friendly and had the pleasure of running and chatting with Eric, Trixie, Brian, and Mauro much of the time. Trixie made the lottery for the Western States 100 mile this year--cool. In true competitive fashion, we all stopped whenever anyone needed to tie their shoelace or slipped on the ice.
My one adventure involved saving a very cold short-haired terrier who almost got hit by a couple cars. Deftly avoiding being urinated on by the anxious canine, I picked him up and took him to the nearest house. He had a collar, but no tags. The women who answered the door was a little nervous about bringing a stray dog into a house with some small children, but was sympathetic to my explanation that I was in the middle of a race and might have trouble carrying the little guy for the next four miles. So finally she took him inside with the plan to call animal control. He was shivering pretty badly at that point so I'm glad he found a warm place for the time being.
Many runners, including the group I was with, decided to call it quits after one loop (25k) so I turned on the old mp3 player and got caught up on the latest Scott Sigler novel. The rail trail sections were partially packed down, but you still had to trudge through some pretty deep snow so it was slow going. Still, I felt pretty solid the entire run. With a steady supply of Gatoraide, energy bars, and the occasional Starbucks Espresso double-shot (a new favorite of mine), I never "hit the wall." I did feel a little nauseous about 2/3 of the way through, but that was quickly fixed with a salt tablet and a few handfuls of potato chips. My final time was 6:01:48.
Thanks again to Dan and everyone else who put the run on. I look forward to running it next year.