I also took pictures. I'm going to re-use those pictures because, well, it's a mountain. Not much changes. Plus, I didn't stop to take any. For reasons that will be explained, in time.
Valles Caldera from 10,000 feet.
The race starts in a ski resort at 9200 feet, and climbs
up to over 10,000 feet in the first couple miles, which is where this picture was taken.
Fantastic aid stations, wonderful volunteers, very well run.
Here's the problem. I don't recall last year tripping over every fuc#ing root and stepping on every single loose fuc#ing rock. I think they got a lot of rain, and it washed a lot of loose rock down.
The result, was that I tripped and went face-down, HARD, at mile 0.75.
I played leapfrog with a group of folks, and was very proud to chick one youngish-looking guy, only to watch them all peel off and head toward the 10K finish. After this, I was alone. Very, very alone.
The rest of the run was me tripping over everything you could trip on, letting loose with profanities, and then apologizing to the family and their small children that were, inevitably, around the corner.
Forget about scenery. Forget about pictures. I had to keep eyes down. The race itself, by the way, had almost no flat spots. Just steep uphills and downhills, covered with loose rock. There was no stepping around it.
If you do this race, I recommend training by having close friends place trip wires at hidden and random intervals on your favorite trail. Then put baseballs and golf balls on a flight of stairs and run up and down.
This is me this year.
My finishing time: 3:53.
This year, for being the last place finisher, they gave me a jar of honey.
I looooove honey. I intend to boil it, though, or something. It's raw, and I'm not into botulism.
I found out today that this was a lie.
Apparently last year, the race people reneged on the last place finisher prize. Baboo won the gloves in a raffle, and then made up the story about the prize because he thought that I deserved something for how hard I worked.
So I bet you can guess what the real prize is. It's not a jar of honey. Do I have to say it? I bet I don't.