Or, the Lost Souls 50k (yeah, I got lost with a few others for a bit).
Or, the Solstice 50/50, because there was also a 50 mile option (of which Dallas was the only finisher!!)
Total distance: 30.94 miles (alternate route)
Total time: 7:32
AEG: about 6,000 ft. (6,114 according to Wayne Coates' stats, so my Garmin was fairly accurate on this one)
Elevation range: 3,864 to 4,918 ft.
This is an up and down course - lots of rollers.
I was fairly confident I could finish this one, since the BCL last week went well. All of the muscle rolling with the duct-taped tennis balls is paying off!
I led a good portion of the group out of Prison Camp at 7am. I felt great!! When we reached Molino Basin, a lot of people passed me, but it felt good to hold my own for a bit on those hills. I could tell it would be a good day.
I made it up and over 'the ridge' pretty well and was greeted with a beautiful sunrise. Last year, we were dealing with very cold temps and snow/sleet/hail for this run - much warmer weather this year (and the run was even scheduled a month later than last year).
Around 6 miles in, I missed a turn that I was supposed to make. I was behind Alli and Glenn, and just wasn't paying attention. So, we all ended up running through Bellota Ranch (there was no sign noting that, but we did go through a gate that none of us thought looked familiar).
I know, Ross said DON'T GO LEFT OR YOU'LL GO TO BELLOTA RANCH. Unfortunately, there was no sign on the ranch, so through it we went, not knowing we were still off course.
We went a few miles on some hilly jeep road, all the while thinking, no this doesn't seem right, but onward we 3 went. We then hit a gate that said 'Bellota Ranch'. We knew then that we had gone the wrong way for sure. So, we turned around, not knowing we were IN Bellota Ranch! About a mile or so down the road, we ran into Doug, who was coming back from Chimney Rock (he started with us, but was not doing the same route as the group). He informed us that we were indeed in Bellota Ranch, and that we needed to turn around again and head back the way we had just come from. We went throught the gate with Doug, and he was going to help us to the AZ trail turnoff, which would lead to our out point, Redington Rd.
He was heading back to the start (right), but we were going to be heading left. I saw an AZ trail sign on the right, but I recall Doug saying, no, that's not it. We kept going another mile before Doug realized his mistake. We had missed our left, which came before the right-hand turnoff Doug needed to take. Whoops. So, another couple of miles off course. We said goodbye to Doug and off we went, finally on the right trail! We were thankful to Doug for getting us on the right trail, even though he had led us off course a bit, too.
I was worried that somehow, I had missed seeing Dallas. He had started at Sabino Canyon at 4:30am with Tom, intent on completing a 50 mile course today. Dallas was on his way back when I finally saw him (that's Alli and Glenn on the right). He was worried about my mental state with getting lost and I told him I was fine! Just seeing him made my day. I needed that.
|Grrr!! What a tough cookie.|
I arrived a little behind Alli and Glenn at the Redington Rd trailhead with 17.5 miles. Since it was only 13.5 miles back, I concluded that I didn't need to do the additional 2 miles out and back to make a 50k. Getting lost had added enough!
|Happy to be arriving at the aid station|
|Ross was asking me, "I wonder what would have happened if I hadn't given you the directions..." Very funny.|
I barely ate anything (nothing sounded good), chatted with Ross and Pete (thanks for the aid!) and headed back behind everyone (I was still last).
|I may not have been eating much, but trust me, I'm always talking...|
I was feeling tired at this point, but realized I wasn't eating enough. After upping my food consumption, I caught up to Alli, Glenn and Mari.
For the most part, we all traveled together the rest of the run, which was great. I am usually alone on these runs, so it was good to have company.
Before getting to the ridge, I fell. Darn it! I tore up my right knee, hands and right elbow pretty good. Blood! Ugh.
|I took this pic the next day. Hurt when I showered. Ouch.|
I got right up and we headed on up the ridge. My injuries hurt quite a bit, but I knew I needed to keep moving. Alli was leading us up at this point, but was going pretty slow. She is a very strong runner normally.
I found out after topping out that she was out of water and couldn't eat! No wonder; I felt bad for her! It was getting pretty hot out there today - high around 70 or so - and we were all drinking more water than usual.
After getting to Molino Basin, her and Glenn got some water from a Forest Service ranger. I felt strong at this point, leading Mari, Alli and Glenn back to Prison Camp. It was nice not to come in last for once! It was Mari's first 50k and she did awesome!!! It was good to be done.
I yakked with everyone a bit and ate a bunch.
|Yep, that's Tom laying on the ground over on the right...|
Steve and I headed back to Sabino Canyon to wait for Dallas and Ken. Apparently, Tom had bombed out at 36 miles (migraine), leaving Dallas to face finishing the 50 miles by himself. Luckily, Ken from our group had run up from Sabino and was going to pace Dallas back down the mountain! What a fortunate set of circumstances! Dallas said that God sent Ken to him this day! An angel in the wilderness. I guess Ken just talked his head off the rest of the way, which kept Dallas occupied and focused on finishing.
About an hour or so later, we spotted them on the tram road.
|Woohoo! And, he is smiling. Wow.|
Dallas finished his 50 miles in 12:24. He had waited for Tom about 30 minutes at one point, so he could have finished in under 12 hours (his goal) if it weren't for that. But, you have to know Dallas. He doesn't leave people behind. His first 50 miler! I'm very proud of him.
Thanks to Steve for waiting with me! What a friend. Thanks to Ken for running the last 12 miles with Dallas! Also, thanks to Ross and Pete for aid.
A success! The Redington/Lost Souls/Solstice 50/50. An epic day, for sure. So happy to be running well again!