We did it!! Woo Hoo!! My first 50K is a done deal! AND...not even DFL! Rick, you did great, keeping me from running off and burning out, you knew that horsethief was there waiting...Your calm presence and strong even pace was so reassuring! This was a great gift. Thank you again.
We arrived at Blue Jay campground at 0630. It was still dark and we used flashlights and headlamps to get around. After checking in, it was time to start sorting through all the stuff we brought and make our final decisions on what to wear and carry along for 30 miles. Baz delayed the race for a few minutes, a handful of runners hadn't arrived, so he was giving them a chance to make the start. The turnoff to the campground in the dark is hard to see.
The first 10 miles to the Candystore felt good, we followed the "plan" right from the start...walk the uphills and run the downhills. It was hard for me to slow it down so early on. It was Rick's reminders that saving our energy will pay off in the end...and that we still had 25 miles left...tempered my desire to run up ANY hill! At the first aid station(we arrived in a little under 2 hrs) we saw Steve and Annie Harvey. Annie was keeping the food table stocked and organized and Steve was giving the runners sage advice. His advice for me was to drink the water, not just carry it around!
Refreshed, we all headed back to Blue Jay to make the 5 hr cutoff at the 19 mile aid station. We slowly made our way up the trail to the campground. Alot of loose rock and boulders to climb over. Our arrival to the campground at 4:07, was still well above the cutoff so we took a side trip to the van and restocked our supplies. I had developed a large blister on the ball of my left foot, and a slightly smaller one on my right. I put on blister bandages, clean dry socks and a completely different pair of shoes in hopes that it would help. We spent 12 minutes at the van. On to the main divide road. We power walked the long uphill to the Trabuco trailhead. At the water station there, we were reminded that we needed to be back and check in before the 8 hr cutoff. We would have to run down Trabuco, up West Horsethief and back to the main divide in 3 hrs..with blisters... Rick flew down Trabuco. I tried to keep up, my best was just keeping him in sight. We passed 3 runners. At the bottom of horsethief we came upon a familar face...Doug Malewicki! A brief chat and a picture and we started our long climb up. I've been told it's only 1.5 miles. I repeated that over and over to help get me to the top. At the top of Horsethief was another water station, a quick stop and back on the main divide. A combination of running and power walking got us back to the Trabuco/main divide aid station in 2 hours. 7 hours total of trail time at this point. 2.5 miles back to the campgound and the finish. We ran as much as my feet could handle. The downhills were murder on the blisters. A bit of a walk, then we crossed the finish line together running. Physically, I was very tired and sore. My blisters were burning and my left knee was starting to stiffen. Emotionally, I wanted to cry...happy tears for the accomplishment, and tears of mental exhaustion, of having to keep it all under control for 7 1/2 hours. Rick and I took a brief rest, I brought ice(the best thing i ever did!)and put a bag of it under my blisters. We cheered every runner that finished after us and when the last one crossed the line we took off down Ortega hwy to home. See ya next year Baz!