Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ghost Town 38.5 Race Report

Distance: 38.5 miles (Garmin calculated 38.52!)
Time: 8:27:03 (Goal was under 9 hours - woohoo!)
I finished 51 out of 88 runners who finished the 38.5 mile distance. All 89 people who started the race finished the race (the one extra runner was 82 years old and he was the only one doing the 'double masters' 27 mile distance.) 
Cumulative elevation gain/(loss): 7,562/(7,619) feet
Starting elevation: 5,319 feet
Highest elevation: 6,970 feet
Where: Hillsboro, NM in the Gila National Forest
Fastest mile: 9:38, mile 12
Me (I was pretty tired - didn't sleep that great) and Jerry, a fellow TTR member, before the race at the race headquarters:

This race is an out and back course.  We started the race in the dark, wearing headlamps - temperature was around 28 degrees. I was bundled up! The first 6.3 miles are on road, as are the last 6.3 miles. The road is uphill, going 1,000 feet up in elevation in the 6.3 miles. I didn't notice the uphill, because I couldn't see it in the dark! Before I turned off the road, I was treated to a beautiful sunrise to my back:

The course was on dirt road/trails for the miles between 6.3 and 32.2. It was absolutely beautiful!

The race went off the dirt road on a trail spur and I ran into all sorts of snow and ice.

I ran into the 'boys' - Jerry and Chris, fellow TTR members, on the out and back portion of the 'trail spur'. They were flying!

I also saw Troy, another TTR member, in this section as well, and he was going so fast, my picture was blurry!

I got to run with some great people throughout the race - here is Adrian, who was running an ultra for the first time (he had never even run a marathon!) He was a cutie and very friendly.

The last mile or so of the 'out' portion had a bunch of snow and ice as well.

I started the day off with GI problems (there is an awesome pre-race dinner the night before - should have skipped it and stuck to my normal food routine), but I just dealt with it okay and kept eating plenty of gels, potato pieces, Clif Shot Rocks (protein)  and drinking plenty of water. There was a lot of campfire smoke out there, too, so I had my coughing asthma kick in for about 3 hours. Other than that...I felt pretty good the whole day! Seriously, I am amazed at how great I felt during this race.
I got a new iPod before this race, and it really saved me! There are a few really big climbs and I just turned the music on and trucked up those hills. I don't have any pictures of the hills, because I was sooooooo focused!

The weather turned out great for the day, staying cool enough for running, with the sun tucked under the clouds for most of it. By the aid station at mile 26 or so, I was down to one long sleeve shirt and my skirt.

I had a strong finish, too, and even though a walked a bit at the end, I was still averaging a bit over 10 minute miles for the last 7 miles. The views at the end of the race on the road were really awesome.

The crazy thing is, I am hardly sore. I am trying something new out - I didn't stretch at all after the race. I am going to stop stretching for a while to see what happens (it has been suggested by other runners). My legs felt awesome! I am amazed.
I am proud of myself for finishing my longest distance ever! I hope that this is a good sign that I will do well at the Old Pueblo 50 mile race on March 6th.
This race is highly organized; I'm doing it again next year!!! The volunteers were so friendly and helpful, aid stations were packed with great food and drinks. We got a huge chile ristra for finishing the race, which was neat! 
Thank you to all of the wonderful people who supported me and helped me finish this race. I am thankful to the Tucson Trail Runners, whose runs are helping me reach some awesome goals!
From one of the songs on the iPod that I enjoyed during the race:
'One road to loneliness, it's always the same; one road to happiness, it's calling your name' ~ Yes


HappyTrails said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome! Glad you had a fun time! Thanks for sharing the great report and no, it wasn't too wordy! :-)

Fe-lady said...

nice race report...
hopefully i will be crewing at OP 50 so I may get to meet you.
I used to run all the trails around here in the 80s...then switched to tris but miss the I may be back.
I am just kinda old now and slow and the distances seem kind of daunting but I DO miss the call of the dirt and rocks and such! Thinking about it..... :-)

P.S. I know Gene and jane and Ross pretty well...

Sarah said...

Nicely done! Sounds like a great race!