Orcas Island 50k
Toeing the start line with my older brother Eric on a mystical island was a fantastic experience. The race was arduous and I was feeling the lack of training right out of the gate. Since Thanksgiving I have been trying to recover from as stubborn ankle sprain. Training had been difficult and not very effective. I figured the brace around my ankle would help convince me that it was sturdy and ready to go. My mind wasn't concerned with my ankle much at all during the race, rather the concern for how I was going to finish in the desired time was. My goal was to finish the race in under 5 hours. I was ill prepared in that I didn't thoroughly map out the course. The first three miles were up a windy, steady uphill on pavement. Typical of me, I started too fast up this road. I was in the front pack, maybe 6th place and soon realized my heart rate was too high already. So, I dropped back, let myself slow down, and I listened to my body. With just a handheld water bottle and only four aid stations, I had to ration my liquid intake. I ate about 6 gels during the race and consumed a good deal of fruit at the last two aid stations. I find that I have a low point in every ultra marathon that I have done. My lowest point on Orcas Island was about miles 8 to 10. I was hypoglycemic and negative thoughts were having a hay day in my head. Being a bit larger for a runner(180lbs.) I have to keep my caloric intake steady. I always have a hard time eating while running, but I am slowly getting better about forcing sugary gel down my throat. After a few miles and a few people passing me, I was ready to get back into it. I kept a steady pace for the rest of the race. As I climbed to the last aid station on Mt. Constitution, my oldest brother Coulson, who was part of the support crew, was cheering me on. Nothing like having family come up from our hometown Salt Lake City, Utah to provide support. After he stuffed my face with bananas and oranges I headed down for the last 5ish miles to the finish. I was able to pass a few people on the way down. I crossed the finish in 5 hours and 11 minutes finishing in 13th place; just shy of my goal. I was still really stoked. My brother had trained way less than I had and came in an hour after.
After the race we went back up to Mt. Constitution as a crew to fully enjoy the view this time. We headed back after sunset, enjoyed some bluegrass music, amazing pizza, and a huge bonfire. I hope to make it back sometime to this awesome event. I felt so blessed to have friends and family with me to relish the amazing experience.