Months of non-preparation, and on-again-off-again riding had brought me to this moment.
The killer hill at the beginning - around 12km was just as bad as it was last year. I had to pause and roll around on the ground for a bit to stretch my lower back out. It was just *so* tiring from pushing the bike up the hill at a 65 degree angle. Urk. I started off the ride with sneakers on, to reduce the number of transitions by one, and also so I didn't have to hike up the hill in bike shoes. I'm really not sure how much time I saved!
For the 50km, they had graded the fast downhill track from rocky, sandy and technical to smooth with a combo of water bars & sand traps to slow you down. I was trying so hard to slow down on this downhill bit that I could smell burning rubber - probably my rim brakes. Top speed for me: 41.5km*, and I was a slowpoke!
The water station at the 28km mark (where the 100kmers split off from the 50kmers) was very good with watermelon, orange slices, 'gu' water. Very good, especially since so many people ran out of water last year. I probably stayed a little too long at this rest point.
Apparently a 100kmer broke their collarbone just past the water station. The hike-a-bike bit got removed, but there was a plank/bridge ride over a creek that a few people got wet in when they tried to change direction when already on the bridge.
Timing chips/legstraps got provided too. Ah - technology!
My time was worse than last year (1min), but my placing was one better.
*Courtesy of my handy GPS unit. If I'm speeding downhill, all hands on brakes, even though I'm the kind of person to scream "go-faster", do you *really* think I'd take my eyes off the trail to see the kind of speed I'm clocking up. Nuh-uh.