On Friday afternoon the fun car with Neil, Andy and myself set off for Kelowna to participate in the Sorched Sole Ultras. Neil and I were signed up for the 50km event and Andy the 50 miler. The journey went well with a stop for Frapuccino's for the boys and a Latte for me. We arrived in Kelowna around 6pm, found the hotel and headed out for dinner downtown. It was a beautiful summer evening in Kelowna and we found an excellent outdoor patio on a roof top with a fabulous view. Dinner was good and what a treat for us - dining over looking Okanagan Lake!Back to the hotel and lights out by 9pm. Alarm went at 4AM and we were on our way to the start by 5AM. The sun was up and feeling warm already - high of 25 degrees forecasted. Andy left with the 50 mile pack at 6AM and we started at 7AM. The route headed straight up hill and climbed for most of the first 25km. We came out into Myra Canyon and ran the trestle bridges for 10km. We were on this exact same stretch last year so I was glad that we were familiar with this section. I came upon 3 runners on this section and passed them all! Back onto the rough trails and after a couple of kms we both realized that we had not seen a course marker for awhile. We pull out a map and try to figure it out. I think we missed a turn further back, Neil thinks we should carry on down the unmarked trail. Oh my...we are feeling lost! We make the decision to go back up the 2km we have just come down, we wasted time looking at the map, going back and we come upon one of the runners I had passed. She too is noticing no markers and feels unsure of our location. At that moment Andy appears and he is on his final decent of his 50 mile event and reassures us yes we are on the route, it just isn't marked! Down we continue and then Neil and I realize Andy is winning the 50 mile event!! Awesome!! Although I had really hoped we would have been done before him considering we were doing the 50km distance and he had an hour start on us. Near the finish we come upon Reg from Chilliwack. Reg is hurting and walking now. I almost catch him but with me on his butt he started running again! He finished less than a minute ahead. Once we were done we were looking for Andy to congratulate him. No Andy at the finish line. No Andy at the car. No Andy in the toilet. Oh no...the guy who was in 2nd place appears to have won. 20 minutes later Andy appears he made a wrong turn a couple of km's from the finish and lost his first place standing. I felt his pain! Getting lost is a bad scenario when it happens but when you are winning it must really hurt! I was so impressed with Andy's response to the scenario...it is what it is, I can't do anything about it now! He was gracious to the winner, although he knows he can take him :)! That is the great thing about Ultra running. Every outing is character building. We can never take anything for granted out there. Stuff happens...some times when we least expect it. Great training for life!
Well today was the last long run (6:49...pleased with my time!) prior to West Highland Way. Of course my mind is full of concerns...can I do it? Are we ready? Should we have done more? Should we have done less? The new medication for the asthma, is it working? Etc...Etc...All part of the mental preparation!