North Face 50m, round II

Capture9

More speed, less grace than four years ago. I’ll take that trade off. Still running happy.

On Saturday, I broke a personal rule: I ran the same race a second time. The last time I ran it, I had gotten stitches out of my leg the day before. It was a brutal, 12-hour slog, beginning and ending in the dark. This time, I was hoping for a slightly better performance.

This was the North Face 50 mile championship race, in the Marin Headlands of San Francisco. Long story short, I’m proud of the race I ran on Saturday. I finished in 10:40, which is much faster than my time in 2011. I felt very strong, and my spirits were high the entire time. Overall, a good day.

Here are some pictures.

Capture

Crossing the start line at 5:03 a.m. They started us in waves, with each one going off a minute after the previous one. I was technically in wave 4, but they didn’t seem to be aggressively checking our bibs, so I started with 3.

Capture

Running in the dark, before the sun came up. The trail here was pretty easy to navigate, in that it was wider fire roads and not extremely steep. That said, the rains earlier in the week had shaken a lot of debris off of the trees, so there were leaves, branches, and twigs dotting some of the downhill portions. My headlamp’s light was insufficiently bright for the task, so I trusted my night vision and the much more useful headlamps of my fellow runners.

02b5a202-1351-45f2-a5da-7c04c935c232

Sunrise photo, courtesy of Will. The pre-dawn light was welcome – no more headlamp! And the sunrise was gorgeous.

Capture2

Heading downhill early in the race. Not actually sure where on the trail this was.

Capture3

Charging up some single track.

The course featured lots of hills, and many of this hills were on single track. This meant that you got into place between a couple of runners and were pretty much stuck there until the trail got wider again. This was actually a blessing in disguise; the single-file nature of these hills meant I had to keep pace with the runners around me. No slacking off! This kept me moving at a very brisk pace. Early in the race, I thought I’d regret the speed up these hills, but it turned out I was up for the task.

This dynamic also meant more of an opportunity to get to know other runners, and there were some very cool people out there! They kept me motivated, even as we leapfrogged ahead of each other on different parts of the course.

Capture4

Will joining me at the finish line. He came in at 9:18 – a 50-mile PR for him!

Capture5

Me at the finish. There was actually a heel click here, but the photographer missed it!

e0474f66-f064-4812-ad3d-d44c6b0dec1b

More finish line joy.

bb7da338-6626-458a-888b-4060a2e82508

Will got me a present!
58c1b360-354d-4a5a-9d9c-ffd8e3866285

And here are some of my favorite people on the day after the race. Several Antarctica marathon buddies came out to CA to participate in the weekend running fun as well. It was fantastic to be able to hang out with them, especially during this post-race karaoke session.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “North Face 50m, round II

  1. Pingback: North Face 50 Miler (36.3 Miler, Actually) | ineverlikedrunning

  2. Pingback: 2015: Year in Review | brbRunning.com

  3. Pingback: Ironman CDA | brbRunning.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s