|I enjoy taking starting-line self-portraits, because the other runners in the photo always look so serious.|
The course was well-marked, although I made a few early mistakes. Amid the sometimes drenching rain and mud-slicked trails, I was so nervous about falling on my bad arm (and face) that I spent a lot of time looking at my feet and missing the ribbon markers. I overshot one turn on the descent from Montara Mountain by nearly a half mile, and probably would have run all the way to the ocean if a Good Samaritan non-race runner didn't chase me and another guy down and turn us around. I made up for my extra bonus mile by misreading another marker and accidentally cutting the course. We ran two loops on Montara and I came up with nearly equal distance readings on both routes. I did disclose my mistakes to the volunteers, and I know I wasn't the only one (from what I saw and heard, there were several creative variations of the Montara Mountain loop.) ITR was nice enough to still list me with the finishers, and I did finish with 31.2 miles on the GPS.
7,700 feet of climbing on my GPS. This was a dangerous course in that there's a lot of climbing but nearly all of these trails are runnable, both up and downhill, and I was full of energy and feeling good. My hips, which are needed for sled-dragging, really hurt after the last 50K I participated in, in which I at least jogged nearly all of it. This time, I was smart and dialed it back when I needed to. I have a bigger fish to fry next month.
It was a fun weekend with the trail-running community.