Of course, my wife deserves "honorable mention," because she cooked the pre-race pasta dinner, baked the post-race pancakes, drove the kids to countless rehearsals, and made sure everything was properly organized.
- Sandy Bottoms aid station (mile 13.9)--2:00
- Rucky Chucky turnaround (Mile 15.8)--2:15
- Mile 22--3 hours
Andy Anderson on his way back
I hit the 14-mile mark at 1:52 and the turnaround in 2:05 (both earlier than expected, but feeling pretty comfortable), and then started making my way up the hill again, exchanging "good job" and "looking-good" with all the other runners coming down the trail. I hit the 22-mile mark a little behind schedule at 3:05. At the last aid station (with 8.7 miles to go) I found out that Andy Anderson had a commanding lead, Mark Lantz was about 10 minutes ahead, and JC was only about 3 minutes ahead.
Some of the uphill sections were insanely steep and almost impossible to run. I took a few walking breaks, but tried to keep a running rhythm going as much as possible. For the longest time I was not sure if I would make it under 5 hours, but once I hit some of the familiar trail sections before California Street, I knew sub-5 was within reach. I sped up a little and crossed the finish line in 4:52 (4th overall and 1st AG), still 3 minutes behind JC, who definitely has a future in ultra running (his wife was running the 50K as well). I was quite happy with the result and stuck around for Lisa Mathis's excellent post-race buffet.
Andy Anderson easily took first place in 4:18, just 5 minutes off Lon Freeman's CR and Mark Lantz came in second in about 4:30 (great time for a training run!). Though perhaps not a familiar name on the ultrarunning scene (yet), watch out for Andy Anderson. He's an avalanche forecaster, who logs about 30 miles on cross-country skis in the Tahoe Truckee area every day in addition to some low-volume high altitude running--wow!