Distance: 24.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,361ft
"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go" -T.S. Eliot.
Motivation words from Theresa on my "Day 3" card.
During the course briefing the night before, the run course director shared some cool info about Camp Hale. It's a little bit of history that if I hadn't run this race, I probably would never learn; I figured I'd share:
|What's left of Camp Hale. Added to NHRP in 1992.|
The 10th Mountain Division is a light infantry division in the U.S. Army currently based at Fort Drum, NY. Originally constituted as a unique mountain warfare unit, the division was the only unit of its size in the U.S. Army to specialize in fighting in mountainous and arctic conditions, thus earning the division "mountain" tab. It was on July 10, 1943 that the 10th Mountain Division was constituted, and activated at Camp Hale 5 days later.
Now, back to the race. I woke up in Leadville with a little bit of frost in my tent. I still tried to be efficient and got out of "bed" quickly, change and pack my stuff. After dropping off the duffel, we had the option of taking a shuttle to the Museum for breakfast. I, instead, walked there to calm the nerves and let the muscles loosen a bit. It was a 10 minute walk. My breakfast was light and I walked to the start on Harrison St. (main street). Starting a race in Leadville, CO is pretty amazing; I love it!
|Start line in Leadville|
|Some views from the top at mile 4.5|
|Coming in hot in muddy trails (you can't tell it was muddy, but I distinctively remember the photographer camped out where she could see people slipping and sliding!)|
While I had 3 miles to go on a flat dirt road after the checkpoint, the weather had turned bad and it was now cold, drizzly and we all had a head wind. I tried to slow down and maintain a mellow pace and push through it. I did my best, but had to walk a couple little hills. This section felt like it was never going to end, but I eventually saw the finish and crossed it at 5h13m49s for 14th place.
|Finish line shot!|
Later, while at dinner (maybe 5:30ish), Houda came into the tent to announce that the last finishers were almost there... It was amazing to see the 400+ people leave their dinner and seats to go out to the finish line to cheer them on. The team (an older married couple, maybe in their 60s), had tears in their eyes. Truly inspiring.
The night went on as usual with course, medical and weather briefing for the next day and an early bed time for me. I was truly exhausted this day, although I had very much enjoyed the run. Today I can say, it was probably my favorite stage (and favorite camp site).
|Gorgeous place to camp!|