We gathered at the start and I noticed a few familiar faces, including Scott Dunlap sporting some brightly patterned sleeves (very stylish Scott!) and Bev Abbs. I made the rare choice to position myself near the front of the start, as I knew the course went immediately onto singletrack. Although I didn’t exactly plan to sprint up the hill, I still didn’t want to get caught in the inevitable bottleneck. I planned on running much of the initial grind, and knew that many folks would not. It worked out well, and as the true racers sprinted ahead I found myself with a line of runners who held a steady jog on all but the steepest and more technical stretches.
The cold weather had brought a hard frost to the ground. I knew the rocky technical trail was a challenging one, but I had no idea how bad it could really be. Uneven rocks covered with an icy frost do not make for an enjoyable running surface. We were slipping and sliding all over the place! Walking turned out to be the safest choice for this stretch.
A few days after the race, I went down to Orange County to visit family and was able to hook up with Jessica and the OCTR crew. We went for a great 6 miler in Peter’s Canyon. I felt great, and I definitely noticed the advantages of training at altitude, as those uphills at sea level felt almost easy. Thanks so much for putting the run together Jessica!