1 - Really wish I'd been wearing gloves for first 2hrs - hands super cold and fingers immobile despite weird flapping around motions in the air, fist clenches etc (to, I think, a certain amount of amusement of the group of men I was running with).
2 - You don't sweat very much 18km into a coolish run that starts at 6.00am. So if you think you have a really damp back this in fact means that your hydration bladder is leaking. It is not sweat. You will soon have wet shorts and wet compression sleeves too. And no drink left in your hydration bladder. Fortunately if you come into an aid station yelling out 'Does anyone has a spare bottle?' Larissa will save you so you at least can carry fluids for rest of race.
3 - If Brett calls out from ahead on the trail 'do you think this is the right way?' about 35km in, you really should think a little more before replying 'yeah, yeah, it is'. Cause it wasn't. But it was only a minor (and slightly longer) detour, and it was trail rather than the proper route which was tarmac, so it was kinda nicer anyway. And it did mean we at least paused around the 40km mark when signage was unclear - and went the correct way that time - yippee! Us ultra runners are quick learners.
4 - If you are not side by side with Kami Semick (a la 2011) or with Kami on your tail a race is really much more relaxing. This is not to say Kami is an unrelaxing person, simply that she is a very strong runner who can make other runners who want to try win feel a little pressured. It's a compliment, honest.
5 - If you relax and have fun and just enjoy the sunshine, American River 50 miler (especially once the tarmac first half is done) is a beautiful course. Some relatively shady sections, some dry and dusty (and snow free - whoopee!) trails, some stunning views of the American River (which I was very tempted to jump in when I saw the cool whooshing rapids below but thought best not to as I had no lifejacket or raft, and I think that the river was flowing away from the finish line and back to the start anyway, so that would have slowed my finish time down considerably).
6 - Every runner should enjoy the sunshine responsibly. Especially us freckle-faced Scottish/ Canadian Ultra runners. You may therefore smell like a coconut all day (Hawaain tropic factor 60), but I think there are worse things to smell of than a coconut. Especially if you are an ultra runner.
7 - I will always cheer for my 'trailee team mates but if I do pass both Sean and Erik in the final sections then I am really not keen that they pass me back. Great sharing the trail with my Montrail Team mates - nice racing guys! - and I always like to do us Montrail ladies proud.
8 - If Rod Bien tells you that he has not been 'chicked' since 2008 when you pass him about 2 miles from the finish (on an uphill, what was that about?!) then you are likely only 'chicking' him because he is chatting away and you have long lost the ability to run, breathe and talk at the same time (maybe men are better at multi tasking than women after all?)
9 - Post race massages really are most awesome. And it is also much fun to hang around in the sun munching on a veggie burger, chatting with friends old and new, and thanking RD Julie as well as Greg (Soderlund of WS100 renown) and Stan Jensen for their support and smiling faces on the trail. Very nice new friends like Andy even give you a ride back to Sacramento (thank you so much!)
10 - The 6.30am flight to get home may have seemed like a good idea when you booked it. Not so much when you realize that you will be getting earlier that day after the race than the day of the race. Oh the sleep-deprived-sun-filled life of an ultra runner.
Photos from Ultra Runner Podcast
|Mr. Meissner, another Montrail shirt in a speedy blur|
|Erik - local Montraileeee. Zippin' to the finish|
|With Dan, who was running his first 50 miler. Good trail company :)|
|Top 3 ladies. Both 2nd & 3rd rocking their first 50 milers. Congrats!|