I arrive at the summit of Mount Wilson at 5.30am, with monthly woman's problems... but I was not going to let that stop me picking up my race number for the endurance run of 50km . It is slightly chilly and the view at 5,650 feet is hidden by an ocean of clouds it feels like I am on top of the world.
There was aid stations about every 5 miles on the course and the heat was to be a factor adding steep uphills and single track descents I was in for quite a day. ( It certainly beat sitting at home suffering from hormone imbalances!!)
I made the first water station in an hour it had been a mixture of rolling terrain and 2 mile single track downhill, despite my red brooks cascadia trail shoes my fear would not allow me to let go and run the single track in fear of becoming a human canon ball, so many runners passed me I really thought I was in deep doo doo!!
I refueled and began another 4 miles of downhill, at this point I began talking to myself that what goes down must go up, and that I could get through the downhill section and not to fall... It was getting really hot and temperatures that day were in the 100s!
At 10 miles I filled my Fuel belt pack. with icy cold hammer Heed and took a few endurolytes. then a gift from the gods... A nice 3 mile uphill fire road. This was an awesome sight as you could see runners already nearing the top on a series of switch backs. It was too steep to run but I jogged a 100 steps and power walked alternating passing a few runners and making up the time I lost on the downhill. It was really dry and the soil was loose almost like sand. I really had to focus on balance.
The whole run took me 7 hours and 12 minutes, I have this love hate relationship with the trails, I really like the challenge the canyons throw at me and respect the distance, but the pain and suffering I put myself through I always tell my self Why am I doing this to myself. Then after taking a fall at mile 21 and doing a great Superman impersonation, getting a mouth full of dirt and having my Polar Monitor screaming at me 164 heart rate , the finish line approaches and all that is forgotten just what a great day I had running in the canyons. Being able to get Hammer Heed at the aid stations and taking plenty of endurolytes to help prevent cramping and muscle spasms. The aching glut es soaked in Kool N Fit spray no longer bothering me, ... Oh and the best part the final 5 miles of the run.
The Kenyon Devore trail.... this was 5 miles and went from 3,050 feet finishing at the summit of Mount Wilson at 5,650 feet. No more downhills to worry about just a single track of uphill no more aid stations to give out help and encouragement. Amazing enough out of all the runners that started there is no one around I feel I am all alone in the canyons... I think of bears, snakes, mountain lions, I finally catch a glimpse of a runner and soon pass that person I am fed on seeing another human being and pretend i am a prison warden rounding in escaped prisoners!! soon am passing other runners/ prisoners who passed me on that first downhill which now seems lite years away!!
I help another runner who needs water and I continue my uphill quest. I pass carefully over a wet patch holding onto the rope which someone thoughtfully put up. I am nearing the top and there it finally is .... people, cars civilization I made the finish .. second place 40 to 49. Forgotten is the pain of the downhills just the jubilation of the finish and when is the next trail run....
I want to thank AVON of Puerto Rico who donate dollars to Breast Cancer with every mile I race , as well as Hawaiian Tropic Suncare. I could not do this race with out Hammer Nutrition, Brooks running shoes, Rudy Project glasses, Polar USA, Fuelbelt, Kool n Fit, Coach Tony from triconnections and Al my husband for getting me to the starting line at 5.30am!!