YABRR: Running the Rose 2018 Edition
Updated: Dec 14, 2018
AKA: Boat Burning 101
As usual, thanks are the first thing on my mind, and often the hardest to do, since there are so many folks to thank. The DDR All-Star support crew, always there, always smiling, always taking care of whatever needs to be done. Yup, I could have finished without Nikki, Marcela, Matt (The Baconator), Lea, Michael, Drew, Aimee, Megan, Lesley and who knows who else I missed, but it wouldn't have been as easy or as fun. The runners on the trail, it's amazing how many runners I saw out there who kept me going, the rest of the aid station workers who I don't know, and of course Robert for bringing 108k of pain to Tyler. As always, Shellene for putting up with my insanity, both in running, and in life.
The day started out as usual, up early, catching a ride to the race start with Robin and then hanging out 'til the start with Agustin. I wasn't sure exactly what my legs were going to do, since I had run Bandera 3 weeks ago, but figured if Agustin was going to do it, I might as well (ok, and the fact that this race was in one of my favorite parks and had a kick ass buckle helped). When the gun went off, I hit the first hill hard, mainly to shake my legs loose, and then settled in as the big dogs went by. My entire plan was to run the first 11 miles under two hours, so I could watch Jeff start the 22 miler - always a pleasure to watch him fly a climb. I barely made it, but it was worth it. From there, it was just a case of keeping it smooth in changing conditions. The rain kept teasing me, twice I had to put on my rain gear for about 5 minutes each, but it never really dumped hard for long. All in all, almost perfect running conditions if you like slightly damp trails and humidity (which I do). The course was a dumbbell (fitting, I guess) with a few miles of two way traffic, lots of friends out running, so I was able to see smiling (or not) faces.
At the half way point I looked over at the monitor and saw I was in 5th place. The way I was feeling I figured I could hold that, if I just kept moving, so I decided to try for it. At the start of the final lap, I switched over to a clean/dry shirt and my running vest, through in my headlamp and headed out. At the Old Road aid station they told me that the next closest runner was 30 minutes behind last time through there. That meant I had to keep it up, and watch for a runner behind me. During this section I passed Agustin and his pacer Nikki at speed (quote: "We're about to become roadkill). When I got close to the finish I lit the last match I had in my legs, and sprinted for all I was worth (think Sloth), crossing the line at 13:59:38, 1.5 hours behind the winner - in fourth place. 11 minutes later the runner I had passed during both of our start/finish aid station stops crossed, he had been chasing me the entire lap.
I really felt that I left it all out on the trail, a very deceptively evil trail. Now the question is, how quickly can I rebuild at least one boat?