Tuesday, 5 August 2008
As per my last post, i ended up running 90 minutes of the course (well actually not on the course trails) with race director Ken Gregorivich (who i had met at Western States ealier) and his black Belgian Shepherd "Bud", enjoying great views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. Had a great run on the trails but not starting until nearly Midday found it could be pretty warm out there. At least it gave me the confidence i could run. Throughout the afternoon various aid stations dropped by to pick up things needed for the next days race (about a double garage worth - certainly saw racing from the other side).
Woke at 5 and had my usual lazy preparation (other than bread and jam instead of Vita Brits - i'll need to get used to that for Trans Gaule), still a little stiff in the neck but otherwise raring to go.
Went to the start at Lake Chabot where the start/finish line was ocupying a picnic area and got my number, then the age old question - what to wear ??. Still pretty cool but i decided put my Sydney Striders Singlet on (may as well look like a foreigner) and spent much time tossing up whether i'd also take my gloves and "Moeben" Sleeves. Eventually decided to go minimal as after all i was already carrying one extra thing i normally wouldn't (the mandatory water bottle). Very cool early on and with fog drifting in i was struggling to get warm so took it very easily. Probably did the first 10 miles without looking at my water bottle only cursing it) but finally the fog lifted and a beautiful day awaited. From then on there was probably more downhill than uphill and i was beginning to get into it.
As far as i can work out no one passed me the last half and i passed many so ultimately a good way to finish. 18th in 4:49:39, far behind the winner in 3:44 but still with other 100 runners behind me. I'm sure some part of me was already calculating how much i could take off next year (assuming a Badwater start and similar length stay).
After was essentially like any Aussie Ultra, a barbie and heaps of food and good conversation with other runners, a really good day. Also caught up with Carol La Plant (almost an Aussie with Glasshouse 100 and C2K finishes), who was also running and her husband Phil who was doing a great job as cook on the barbie.
Have spent the day driving back to LA, only wish i still had the flight to Paris tommorrow, i guess the only upside of the 4 day delay being that on Thursday i'll get to see Shari and The Rhythm Addicts (www.bluesrockmusic.com) perform one last time before heading off.