Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Friday, December 7, 2007

High Desert Ultra 50K: Last Race of the year

Our Trail running year unfortunately has come to an end. But Tanya and I can't think of any better way to end the year then to run the friendliest Ultra around; the High Desert Ultra in Ridgecrest, CA. This race was my first Ultra marathon, so I feel an attachment to it. We decided to drive up the morning of the race this year. Our friend and Training partner Jeannette Ewing picked us up at an early 4am. Ridgecrest is about a 2 hour drive, with the race starting at 7am this would give us plenty of time to get there. We arrived at the Cerro Coso Community College right at 6am the outside temperature was 29 degrees (Brrrr), the walkers where just leaving from the starting line. For those who wish to walk the course they are allowed the opportunity to get an early start. Nice I think.

(Tanya and Jeannette just before the start)
We picked up our bib number and goodie bag, and ran in those familiar faces we see all the time. It was like a big Ultra Reunion. What we just love about the Ultra world is the family atmosphere, some times you forget names but never the faces.
The run started right on time at 7:00am with a chilly temperature of 30 degrees, I guess I was not brave enough to run in shorts as many others did.

( Ultra friends: Leigh,Jeannette,Shannon,Kathleen)
The morning was so beautiful, you could see the desert landscape, and the surrounding mountains for miles and miles and miles. Jeannette and I ran together, while Tanya hung back for much of the race talking and walking with old and new friends. But she always seems to be able to make up time and distance very quickly :) So Jeanette and I got into a slow but early rhythm, our goal was to finish strong and try to go under 6 hours and 30 minutes.
( A desert raven saying hello to the runners)
As the miles passed and we ventured farther into the desert, the rock formations became more abundant and just interesting to look at. I believe that millions of years ago this area must have been a sea due to the rounded shapes of the rocks. But I'm not a geologists :)

(Me and Tanya hanging out with the ROCKS)
As the morning turned to afternoon the temperature began to rise, and we started stripping layers, but it was a perfect day for running. There was no other place I would rather be.
Jeannette and I began to pick up the pace after the halfway point and our plan was working. We where passing people and making up time. Way to go Jeannette, she was on her way to setting a new PR! As we approached the finish line, with about a 1/4 of a mile to go, who was right behind us? Tanya! she knows how to close and finish a race, it was good to see her and we all finished together.

(The 3 amigo's another race and year done 2008 here we come)

We missed our goal of 6 hours and 30 minutes; but we gave it a good shot finishing in 6 hours and 37 minutes. A new 50K PR for Jeannette! Way to Go!

After crossing the finish line we grabbed a slice of Pizza and I looked for the KEG but the beer was all gone :( Guess I have to run faster next year :) We took a nice hot shower, chatted with friends and then hit the road. 2007 was a great year, and the High Desert 50K was a great way to finish it. Thinking of stepping up to the ultra distance, then the High Desert Ultra is the race for you! I'll see you all there next year!