A whirlwind weekend to say the least! I have now crossed over to the traveling portion of this 12 in 12. It sure takes a lot out of ya. However, it is now part of the deal since there are no marathons in my home state during the winter monthes. Honestly it's just a great excuse to be able to go out and do all the marathons that I've wanted to do anyways!
Napa Valley was AMAZING. You might have seen my previous post about it's description. It said that it might be a 'bit challenging'. These race directors and their vague descriptions. Seriously.
I've missed writing a top ten list, so without further ado...
The Top Ten Reasons Why Napa Valley Trail Marathon Is So Hard-Core
10. Only the first 10 feet is on pavement and then the rest is literally on singletrack trails.
9. Moss covered trees crossing the trails that required, once again, my cat like hopping skills.
8. The race director runs Envirosports and is also a past winner of the Escape from Alcatraz swim. He won back in the days of the au natural wetsuit - as in he didn't wear one... Pretty tough dude. He just about has me convinced to do the Death Valley Trail Marathon in December instead of California International. We shall see...
7. The purse for the winner - a purse with a rubber chicken in it. Really. Not doing it for the money, people.
6. Trail runs = no ipods. If spotted, immediately DQ'ed. One guy found that out the hard way. Don't mess with a guy that can swim from Alcatraz.
5. I looked around at the start line and thought all these dudes should be running Northface or Patagonia challenges. A pretty tough crowd. Guys that were worthy of Runners World covers.
4. And by crowd, I mean 26. There were 300 runners there that morning. The race director yelled out that we're going to stagger the racers and that the marathoners would start first. Yeah, only 26 of us walked forward. Everyone else was running the half or 10K. Have you ever ran an organized event that only had 26 marathon runners? Me neither. Needless to say, the whole second half of the race I was on that mountain alone, with no one in sight.
3. Of those 26, only 20 finished. We know of at least 6 that dropped out somewhere midrace - the course was that tough. Of those 20 finishers, only 7 were women. I came in 4th out of 7 women, 16th overall. I wasn't last - I'll take it! BTW - the top women's finisher was 4:26 - I wasn't too far behind!
2. When I say the course was tough, we're not just talking inclines but sliding down rock sections, clay mud sections, a little creek hoppin' and definite log hoppin'. There was no PR to be had at this race, but it didn't even matter to me. I finished feeling like a champ. Even though I was slow, I honestly never hit a wall. The trail was good to me that day.
(these are the scaling rock mtn sides sections of the course)
1. In this course of my 12 marathons in 12 months - Napa Valley Trail is my #5 race - I finished the race exactly at 5 hours, 5 minutes, 5 seconds. Not even planned, I promise! I really wanted my watch to say 4 hours blah, blah, blah but when the lady checking times at the finish line asked if I got the same finish on my Garmin, which I did, we both just got the chills... And it was Halloween weekend...ooohhh, kinda spooky....
I can't say enough great things about this race. It was challenging and beautiful. This one will definitely be on race calendars in the future years to come! If anyone's interested, they run the same course in February - sign up now - it always sells out early!
No wine tasting at the the fancy schmancy distilleries but we did take a few pics. I was too stinky, sweaty, and muddy to go sit down to gourmet meal. So we enjoyed the countryside on the drive back to the Bay Area - it was simply gorgeous with lines and lines of vineyards on both sides of the highway. Just breathtakingly beautiful.
So, another one chalked up. I have lots of thoughts about where my upcoming training is going, changes I need to make etc. Good stuff to come.
November's Race...Rock n Roll Marathon - San Antonio! Yee haw!