Just a brief post on this wonderful trail marathon. A friend of mine had considered going but does not care much for the rocky and technical trail running. He's much more of a road runner. He definitely should have done this race because this is probably the smoothest, rock-free trail this side of Colorado.
I would highly recommend this race to anyone who wants a friendly trail run on a very smooth trail with great support and camraderie. I do not know why people pay $100 for a marathon when you can go and run this for a $5 donation and it's much more fun and definitely more scenic!
This was my third time to run this race and for some reason I did not really appreciate how smooth the trail is. I'm also after three times, getting to know the trail better. It's funny how you begin to recognize certain sections of the trail and over time, more and more of the trail becomes ingrained in your memory. After three times, you have a pretty good sense of how the course goes. Another couple of times and I will be familiar with nearly every little hill and gully, foot bridge and overviews. It's almost like you can play the trail in your head like a movie.
I have not really had a good fall of ultra running. It's definitely getting harder as I'm getting older and I have to now have longer periods of rest in between races and the sciatica thing is just a chronic problem that is some days better than others.
Overall, I felt pretty good on this race. I came in eight minutes behind my CR time from last year but I felt like I never pushed really hard. My time this year was 3:43. One year, if I'm feeling good, it would be fun to try to go sub 3:30 on this course.
It was really great seeing all of my ultra friends and I was sorry I did not get to visit with them more. The funnest part of an ultra race is the beer drinking afterward and I had to forego that to get home.
I also found out that for the second year in a row and for the fourth time, I was not selected for the lottery in Western States. Maybe I will get into Hardrock. If not, then Bighorn will let me run.