Guinea Pig Report:
Sorry, no dice everybody! Let's take a look at what I've consumed over the past week...
~ 3 bottles of Pickle Juice (2 the days before the race and 1 right before)
~ 2 bottles of coconut juice (1 the day before, one the morning of the race)
~ 3 Bananas (1 the night before, 2 the morning of)
~ Packet of sports beans and 4 GUs
~ Gatorade/Water throughout the race
~ 1 Packet of (ick)... Mustard (yes, I gaged)
All those combined should have filled me with potassium, magnesium, sodium, and electrolytes. How could I possibly get cramps, right? Well sorry to report, but between miles 23 and 24 I had horrible leg cramps and had to walk most of the last 2 miles. Prior I was averaging an 8:15 pace and felt great. Mid mile for my 24th, they just hit. So the search continues... how to stop these cramps??? Well that's a mystery to remain unsolved... let's talk about the race.
Pre-Race: Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to go to the expo because I got in so late. But, the expo was supposed to be good and designed very much around women (good, since it was an all women race). They had a few workshops set up for writing and a couple of speakers. The whole event seemed to go off more as a social than a race-- kind of neat! I hadn't been feeling very well all week and the cold hadn't gone away by the night before the race, so I quickly got something to eat then went right to bed.
Race Day: This race starts out 26.2 miles out-- we get bussed out to the start and then run back to the finish. All the way up to the start there was a LOT of excitement a even more chatter. It was definitely unusual to have only women at a start. The race director, Elaine, got on the bus to wish us off on our trip. I thought that was very sweet and added to the excitement. The start was FREEZING!!! We all ran out, used the port-a-johns then quickly ran back ON to the bus to get warm again. The start was about 4000 ft higher than the finish and significantly colder. This was a nice change from the hot/humid weather we've had in Cinci, but wow it was a shock to the body.
The Course: The race went off with a simple "on your mark, get set, go!" No big speeches by people we don't want to hear from keeping us out in the cold unnecessarily-- thank you organizers!!! You immediately start racing up a good sized hill on loose stones. What a way to get warm. You immediately started back down just as steep of a hill. The hills continued to roll for several miles. My fingers were blue and I could barely move them to get water. If you're looking for a cooler race, you'll love this one! You not only start in the cold before sunrise, but even when the sun does come up, the mountains around you are so high they block it out until your last few miles.
Around mile 11 there is another good size uphill on loose stones again. This hill wound for a little over a mile, then you turned a cone and ran it backward. The rest of the course was constant turning around mountains on a gently sloping downhill.
Post Race: Upon finishing the race they give you a medal and a rose. They have a line of people waiting to walk with the runner as long as you need until you can stop to have them take your chip off. I wasn't very hungry but I was able to grab some really tasty fruit tarts and some water. Awards? WOAH! If you placed or completed some sort of marathon trifecta you received some fun runner jewelry. For the age groups (I got first in mine) they gave out awards to the top 3-- those engraved "inspiration stones" in a little leopard print bag with your age group and placing. Mine said "Friends" awwww....
Race Ratings to come!!!