I was pretty excited to run the Dick Collins 50 Miler. I hadn't run a 50 miler in quite a while, since May at Bear Mountain (which is so tough and technical it's more like a 75 miler than a 50, ugh). I had PRd on this course, so was hopeful, even though it was 2 weeks since Hinson 24 hour, and 3 weeks since North Coast 24 hour. Ouch. I felt it.
I started out, pretty excited and happy to run! It was so pretty. I was chatting up a storm with everyone around me, pointing out all of the pretty views. The course is just jaw-dropping, and oh yeah, this is totally normal for California and everyone stares at you like you are an alien when you scream, "OMG LOOK AT THAT VIEW," and they say, "That looks like everywhere out here. What is wrong with you?" Ooops. New Yorker.
There's a different vibe to running out in California; there's history. I mean, GORDY was in the race. Swoon. Gordy, the father of ultrarunning. People said, "Western," and they meant Western States. OBVIOUSLY. Everyone was amazed I came out for this race, but I told them they shouldn't be. It's an awesome race, beautiful, AND very importantly, the day before San Francisco's Burning Man Decompression.
The course is not easy but beautiful. Lots of ups and downs. I kept saying, "I don't remember the course being this hard!" Up and down, more ups than downs, it seems, but as the course was pretty much out and back, you know it really wasn't. My hamstrings felt DESTROYED. I kept stopping to stretch. They hurt so terribly.
I saw an old ultrarunning friend Steve, who was working an aid station while he was injured. He didn't mind the sweaty hug.
I'll admit; the food at the aid stations weren't quite as good when Ann Trason was RD. I basically ran a 50 mile all-you-can-eat buffet when she was RD. This was still quite good - grilled cheese at the turnaround, yay. They had these little packages of madelines, and given that I adore madelines and bake them, I ate approximtaely 400. Well, not that many, but I couldn't stop eating them and had to restrict myself. I knew I wasn't burning that many calories, ha.
I pulled it into the finish, way slower than I thought and hoped. Blisters, soreness, but I was okay. I was disappointed, but I guess my legs are just too slow right now. Sigh. Oh well. Next year, I'll be fresher!
And yes, next year, I'll be back.
We got pretty good schwag - tshirts, wine glasses, little reusable backpacks, fleeces. The post-race BBQ was nice, the volunteers friendly, and I'll def be back! See you next year on the trails!