Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cowboy in another life?

Le Grizz 50 miler, Hungry Horse MT, Oct 13, 2012

31st year of this race, a very popular Western States 100 qualifier because it is "easy" (36 miles gravel road, 14 miles paved, 2000 ft rolling vertical) and scenic. Yet it is a small race with many veterans, like Larry C. with whom I ran the first 100k of Pigtails. He ran it 23 times, twice finishing under 7 hours (men's record 5:34, women's record 6:37). I'll admit I have crazy thoughts of trying for WS100, and god forbid I actually get in one day (1/11 chance in lottery after qualifying with a sub-11h 50 miler). But for now it's more fuel for the addiction, 50 mile being my new fav distance.

Flew into Kalispell and drove 14 miles to Hungry Horse. Felt so peaceful in Montana, the same peace I felt flying into Spokane and driving north to eastern BC.

Now the routine, pick up rental car. Stop at grocery to buy food for race. Check in at Mini Golden Inns motel. Start swigging. Get up ridiculously early (in this case 4 a.m. mountain time) to make sure Body Glide is properly applied before getting on the shuttle to the race start.

Then the bus driver got lost, over 2.5 hours to get to the start. In addition to the usual Maniacs, I saw Keith S. who was at VT100, one of those guys who did the Badwater- Grand Slam combo, didn't recognize him without the pink tutu. Also heard a couple runners from iRunFar were there this year.

Francine had warned me the weather would be crappy, but did I listen?
At least Francine's husband is wearing the right gear to crew.

Rain Rain Rain. Gun start at the back of the pack.

There are few manned rest stops on this course, so everybody had their crew car constantly leap-frogging you on the course. Very hard to find a private place to pee.

It's a long road ahead, and you're pretty much on your own. Like life but a lot easier and more pleasant.

I hear it's got amazing views when not so rainy/ foggy, but it was pretty amazing anyway.

A race volunteer offered to take my photo, even before he realized I was carrying my own camera. Doggie lost interest when he realized I wasn't carrying any beef jerky.

It would clear a little, then rain some more, then a rainbow....

The hard part was hitting hard pavement at 14 miles left to go, knowing that a sub-9 was still possible, but I had to average 10:30 pace to get there...

and that there was a steep scramble to the finish.

8:55:08, that's a PR for me. Handmade wooden finisher's plaque and PBR? life doesn't get better. 

My drop bag (and post race clothes) were soaking wet so I was too cold to brave the massage. Fortunately I met a fellow runner from Seattle who offered me a ride back. He had done the 200 at Pigtails and even finished PLAIN. I must've done good, rarely finish in the company of such fast runners.

Got back to Seatown at 6:30 AM, breakfast at Speedway Cafe with Ocean, then a blessed day to sleep. and swig and blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment