Dawn came hot and humid; the brief respite from summer for stages one and two was gone. I found that sleep had worked out most of the kinks from the first two days, which was a relief because I’d barely been able to walk when I woke up in the middle of the night for a drink.
I was feeling more than a little anxiety about the race that day because of the heat and because it was billed as the toughest day of the race. In spite of being shorter than day 2, it also had the longest cutoff: 5.5 miles, compared to 4 for day one and 5 for day two. Also weighing on my mind were additional upcoming expenses to fix my car (when I left you yesterday, I was sitting in Pep Boys, waiting to find out if the car was driveable … it was, but not for long). I also was very aware that if I finished the race and within the cutoff, I still had a three and a half hour drive back home. Everything was adding up to a tough day.
But I wasn’t willing to DNF, so I tried to rally as I drove to the start.
Knowing the day would be hot and long I filled my hydration pack to the brim, hoping to make it through without stopping at an aid station. As we gathered for the start the race director explained this would be the slowest and most technical miles we’d ever run in an ultra (which made me remember HURL Elkhorn), and I started to get excited. I love a good rocky climb. Read more >>