Sunday, March 20, 2011

2nd Ultra in a Week - Chuckanut 50km!

Just before the start.

Some roots and mud along the way.

Almost at the top of a long climb called "Chin Scraper"

Reagan White and I at the finish. Congrats Reagan on Ultra #1.

I think this is a first for me 2-50km events a week apart. After completing Dirty Duo last Saturday I had little to no muscle soreness this past week. I was a little tired at times - that post ultra feeling you get. Neil had signed us up for Chuckanut 50km earlier in the year but I hadn't really thought much about it or realized it was the week after Dirty Duo. Saturday morning the alarm went at 4am. Ouch! Chucknanut is in Bellingham Washington so we had to be on the road early to get through any possible border delays. There was a bit of a wait but not bad. The USA Border Patrol thought we were crazy heading off so early to run 50km's. When he asked if we would be leaving anything in the USA - Neil replied "a little sweat". The humour was not appreciated! We arrived in time for the check-in, package pick-up (nice red t-shirt) and to say Hi to some familiar faces. The plan was to run together - this was our 3rd time doing this event. It had been pouring rain all morning but once we arrived the clouds blew away and it was a clear, cold, windy morning. Of ourse we put too many clothes on that came off shortly after the start. It starts with a flat 10km stretch then a climb up, up, then around a ridge then down, down, then a repeat of the flat 10km to the finish. I usually feel better in the second half of a 50km but I knew the last 10km run on the flats was going to hurt. My plan was to have some Coca Cola at the final aid station to help me get to the finish. I was really disappointed to learn that they were all out! Mentally that was tough as well as physically, I was now without the fuel I was hoping for. We met up with Reagan White from Vancouver (participating in his first ever ultra!) at the final aid station. He ran ahead but I could see him and tried the trick of reeling him in. It helped! Thanks Reagan...when I caught up with him I recall saying something negative like "this sucks" - it was a tough grunt to the finish. I received encouraging words from Neil like "dig deep", "you've made it through tougher situations"...he really is the best! That gravel trail just went on and on and just when you think you're done, there is more! Amazing how once off the boring gravel trail I could go pretty good again. Others around me were suffering too...I managed to pass about 7 people so I did OK. We left fairly quickly to head North to the Canadian border knowing that it is Spring Break and many people are on vacation which could add to the wait. We stopped for a coffee to go - wow did it taste good. It was a full day - I think I am going to be more sore this week than last. Perhaps a bit more tired as well with 2 - in a row. That's Ultra #35! Hmmm...which one is next??