Sad to report that I DNF'd my first attempt at 50 miles. Not beaten by the distance, instead by Mother Nature.
The Coastal Cuties had planned this race to be our last long one before The Coastal Challenge. Maya signed up for the 50K; Kristen, Beiyi, Shelli and I signed up for the 50 miler. Kristen decided to drop due to a recurring heel injury and volunteered to be my finish line support. Shelli and I were assigned a start time one hour later than Beiyi so we were hoping to catch her at some point. However, Shelli started the race not feeling good and decided to drop to 50K. I decided to catch Beiyi as I didn't want to run alone in the dark on the way back down to the finish line.
The course: Up Indian Truck Trail. Main Divide, down West Horsethief. Up Holy Jim to Main Divide and up to Santiago Peak. Down Upper Holy Jim to Holy Jim, up West Horsethief to Main Divide and climb to Santiago Peak. Down Upper Holy Jim to Indian Truck Trail to the finish.
Right from the get go we were wet; low clouds and fog made it cold and slippery in places. I felt great despite being so wet and had pretty much dried out by the time I reached Holy Jim the first time. The climb to Santiago Peak was tough but bearable, spooky in the fog. I caught up with a small group and followed them back to Holy Jim for the second time. My buddy Troy was crewing for me at Holy Jim and made sure I downed an Ensure and had something to eat before setting out again. I still felt great. I caught Beiyi on the way up to Trabuco Peak but it was clear she was feeling the cold too. I was determined to get to the top of Santiago Peak. Then the storm hit. Gusts of wind that almost knocked me to the ground, driving icy rain, poor visibility. I just put one foot in front of the other and kept moving.
By the time I got to Santiago Peak, I was soaked to the skin. Shorts, shirt, half-zip, windbreaker and emergency poncho just weren't doing it. It was dark, foggy, sleeting and windy. 30 deg plus wind chill. Corrinne and hubby Bob were waiting at the top and I made the decision to drop. Not because I was tired or in pain (I had lots of energy, was moving quickly and was pain free), just personal safety. I had allowed myself to get too cold. Disappointing but the smart thing to do.
Corrinne and Bob drove me to the finish line where Kristen fired up her camping stove and made hot chocolate to thaw me out and Shelli showed up with gluten-free risotto so I had something warm to eat. Bless them! And bless everyone who volunteered in those atrocious conditions. Without them, the race would have been a disaster for more runners.