First of all, thanks for all the good luck wishes on my previous post. It is great to have so much support!
Today went very well. I was hoping to run 3:50, and I ran 3:46, beating last year's time (4:04:56) by almost 20 minutes on the first day course that runs from Inspiration Point to Spooner Summit, and placing 6th overall.
This puts me in second place in the Super Triple, after Steve Young (35, from Davis, CA), who ran an amazing 3:16, which was good for 3rd overall. We left before any of the other Super Triple runners came in, but it looks like Jennifer Forman was going to place 3rd, and Charles Francisco 4th. Esther, Ron, and Keenan were still on the course with a few miles to go, so we'll see how they did tomorrow.
We started out at Inspiration point. At 7 a.m. Everybody made a last bathroom stop and then we lined up for the group picture.
Fellow Super Triple Runners (from ltr) Ron Barlow, Esther White, and Charles Francisco at the start.
Lining up for the group picture, while Les Wright loads the shotgun.
The race started promptly at 7:15. No fancy countdown, or "good luck out there," just a deafening blow (loudest ever) from Les Wright's 9 gauge shotgun started off the race.
I quickly settled in about 4th place and ran down the steep hill. After a few miles it leveled out and then, at mile 4, another runner (Ryan Flynn) stopped and wondered about some arrows on the ground. I recalled taking a left there last year, so we followed the arrows, but we had some doubts, because there was no fresh chalk.
We finished a little loop and noticed that most runners had gone straight. Ryan and I had just run about a quarter mile extra and were now in about 10th place. Oh well, no need to get excited, lots of running left. The quarter mile stretch was added last year, as part of Johan Oosthuizen's world record attempt, but did not need to be run today. Tomorrow's marathon is a little longer, so it evens out.
Having Team Chris and Rebecca out there again was awesome. It really meant zero downtime. If there were prizes to be won for crewing, they would be the winners.
I ran pretty steady and passed a few more people. I power-walked most of the steep Spooner Summit ascent and ran the short section to the finish line, arriving in 3:46. Ryan Flynn came in shortly after and we gave him a ride back to the hotel, but first we stopped at a little beach below Cave Rock to do the mandatory leg-icing in Lake Tahoe. This is a must for any triple runner. 20 minutes in the ice-cold water makes a huge difference for your legs.
In the regular triple, 27-year old Lynyrd Skynrod, from Soda Springs CA blew all the competition away by running 2:39 (first place). I believe that may actually be a new record for day 1 and a world record pace. Let's see how he does tomorrow, there are still two marathons to go!
After a shower, we headed over to Sprouts for a delicious lunch. Their nachos are out of this world.