While, I was waiting for my race to go, I decided that I just HAD to take my picture in front of the North Face Challenge logo thing. Well, this would prove to be a mistake because it would cause the one and only injury from the day. After the picture below was taken, I managed to smash my shin into the stage and it left a sizable bruise, and it bruised my pride a little too.
While waiting, I also got to see a friend of mine (who also happens to be a Zumba instructor) and hung out with her and her friends before the start. Most of them were doing the 10K, so I got to see them start and cheer them on. Guess who happened to be there to give each wave of races a pep talk? None other than the Ultra Marathon Man, Dean Karnazes.
|You can almost spot him, he's in the blue shirt with the white visor.|
After Dean's pep talk, we were off. Right after we started, I started to freak out just a little because I didn't have the garmin on. It turns out that not having the garmin was probably for the best because I am pretty sure that I would have cried if I had seen the pace and the distance. I am pretty sure that at least the first half mile was all uphill, it was deceiving too because just as soon as I thought that it would start leveling out and/or start descending, it didn't, we just kept climbing. It was so steep that there was no way that I could even run up it, trust me, I tried. The course had been marked 4 out of 5 in difficulty and technicality, and they weren't lying. The other thing that I had to keep track of was the actual course, it was marked out with purple ribbon for the 5K. So, there was one point where I had just gotten caught up in my music and was just going with it, then I realized I wasn't sure if I was still on the right path, I had to take a minute to gather myself and look for the markers. Then, I realized I had quite the difficult path ahead, check out the pictures.
|These were the markers, the purple was in there somewhere.|
|Found the markers again and on my way again... score!|
|Had to get around this...|
|Not sure if you can get a sense of how narrow this was and how severe the drop off is.|
I kept on, and then I heard it, it was the DJ at the start/finish, and it was such a sweet sound. Little did I know when I heard the music, that it was going to be a bit of a tease because I still had a little bit further to go. I saw that I was getting close to the road, and then I got to cross the road and the finish line was right there, but it wasn't going to be that easy, instead of the straight shot to the finish, I had to go back into the woods. This was quite possibly the toughest race I've ever run, yup, you read that right. Mentally, I was doing wonderfully; physically, this race was demanding. Am I stupid enough to do this race again next year? Yes, yes, I am.