I picked up Beth at 5:30am...put on our super sweet 70's shades we purchased for $4 the night before- and we were on our way to compete in a race that is thought of to be: super competitive, a real trail-runner's race and a bloody battle. The race was capped at 400 runners because of the size of the trail. I learned this to be a good thing as the first 30 min or so up the W's (beginning zigzags of the trail- often the hardest part of the race) was super tight! After more walking than I had hoped...i finally made it up to Barr Camp around 1 hr 45 min. I decided that I needed to take advantage of this next part of the race-use the legs that are familiar to the quick turnover and try and bust it on the downhill! About 10 minutes from the finish I was cruising along a switchback with the brown, wood railing on my left...A guy and girl (who i think was injured by the look of her limp-walk) were walking down the center of a thin section of the trail. They looked back and heard/saw that I was coming at them fast. They both moved over to the right and tried to creep up the side of the dirt to give me room. Right as I passed the girl, she slid down the side where she had pulled off and bumped right into me as I sped by her...knocking me smack into the railing. My shoulder banged against the railing and slid...throwing me off balance. I didn't fall down but it scared me half to death...and made my already pumping heart rate speed up even faster! Arg! The girl yelled she was sorry about 3 times as I collected myself and took off yet again.
53 minutes after turning around at Barr Camp...and 2hrs 40 minutes after the gun went off at the Cog, I found myself crossing the finish line at the top of Hydro Street...finally! Ironically- after hoping to finish in time to get a t-shirt, I ended up finishing first in my age group (20-24). My age group is definitely the least competitive...but it was encouraging, and makes me even more inspired and motivated to improve for next year! My Mom and Ken were there at the finish...it was so great to see their faces after such a tough race! I raced and celebrated after with a bunch of amazing customers/people from the store...made the event that much more fun!
Today I am more sore and stiff then I can remember being since college- holy crap.