Friday, November 4, 2011

Carkeek 12 hour

I couldn't resist signing up for the Carkeek 12 hour on Sat. Oct. 29th. I needed to end the season on a high note and what could be better than running for 12 hours on a 2 mile loop course with 420 feet of elevation per lap. I knew this would be my third longest race of the year. I also realized it takes 12 hours to drive from Seattle to Bozeman Montana or to Portland and back twice. The night before the race I had an anxiety dream where I showed up to the race late, having learned from my dream, race day I found myself driving like a Duke brother to get to the race start where I barely had time to pin on a number and turn my headlamp on before we took off at 6 am. Brock led the first loop and I stuck with him, we had such a nice time talking he snuck in another two loops with me. Once Brock left it started to get light out and I met up with Shawna Tompkins who was only going to run for 6 hours and we blazed around and around for 10 or so laps together recapping races and people we know. I knew I'd gone out too fast with Brock and stayed too fast with Shawna, then Kevin Douglas joined us and we stayed too fast. Eventually I pulled ahead of the others and that was the last I saw of them on the course. My aidstation wagon was properly equipped with chocolate croissants and a bagel sandwich along with salt pills and fizzy drink packets and water. I stopped at the car about every other loop until around loop 16 when it turned into every loop. Jim Norton joined me for a while, Allen Skytta came to cheer on team Fleetfeet represented by me, Jess Mullen and Sara Malcolm. My lovely wife and son came to visit and bring me more food and an Ipod. Other ultra friends came and went throughout the day. I kept going round and round, up and down. The day was perfect, sunny, cool, no rain. I passed some people about 20 times. I saw my neighbor and her dog. I went up the same f'n stairs over and over. Eventually the day grew long and the loops had stacked up. The previous course record was held by Brock; 32 loops. By 5 pm it was obvious I was on pace to break his record. I stepped it up and powered on to lap 33, I still had 15 minutes left so I put in 2 small loops each half a mile because as Brock put it, "Adding those small loops on will really suck for the next person trying to break your record." I rolled into the finish exhausted at 5:58pm with 33.5 loops, about 65 miles and 14,000 feet of elevation. I had run, I had fun, I won and set the CR. All goals accomplished. Teammate Jess won the Women's race. I got my candy, some prizes, and a big ol' plastic pumpkin and headed home. I was beat, I drove like a drunk the 3 miles home. I parked my car in front of my house and when I woke up I was still in my car with the engine running and someone had parked in front of me. I have no idea how long I had been asnooze. I turned the car off, got my gear and headed in. A perfect capper for an awesome race season. Now to recover. I plan on pacing for the Seattle Marathon, growing my toenails back and watching my name being picked at all the lotteries: Western States, Hardrock and Wasatch.

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