|Janeth Siva, Tim Stahler, and me, along with a giant dog (Hoover). Photo Chris Jones|
Stressful week. Some business marketing with Active.com was a huge flop (and cost a lot of money - don't use them for marketing), had a couple weeks of dismal motivation, and I got sick as hell three days before WTC. I was on the verge of bagging the race and just refocus my daily life and training for Miwok and the 100s coming up. At the very least I had to readjust my goals for the race. Initially, I wanted to go sub 4 hours and top 20. That seemed like a stretch now.
I drove up to stay in Roseville with Patrick (thanks for the hotel, P!) on Friday, had a big dinner and giant beer and headed back to the hotel for a stuffed up, coughing, sniffling, sporadic night's sleep.
|Looks like a drunk driving advertisement - hotel was across the street.|
The course starts with the Olmstead loop of 8 miles, which loops back through the start/finish with aid station. During this loop I tried to relax and get into a groove but my energy was low and I felt like stopping after mile 4. I caught and passed Jean Pommier, then Scott Dunlap, who also wasn't feeling well. ITR's other half, Tim Stahler came up for the race to take [great] photos and offer support for everyone. He was situated just after the aid station at mile 8. I reached him in 56 mins, dropped my gloves and grabbed a filled bottle from him (thanks Tim!).
|On Olmstead section. Photo Peter Beck|
|Scott Dunlap…and camera. Photo Tim Stahler|
|Photo Tim Stahler|
|Finish. Photo Simon Gatrall|
|Grinding up Goat Hill (mile 25). Photo NorCal Ultras|
It came down to a race with the clock. I kept wavering between believing I had a chance at sub 4 and feeling like it was impossible. When I hit the last aid station at 3:53, I figured there was no chance but I shot through the aid station without even looking up and poured it on to the final stretch.
Tim S. was on the final 400 meters and snapped some photos. Trust me, I was a lot more uncomfortable than the photos indicate. As I sprinted towards the line, the clock clicked over 4:00:00, so I thought I missed it. As in most cases, the clock wasn't synced with the race timing and I actually crossed the line in… 3:59:59.03 and 19th place overall. For once, I was on the good side of a goal time. I certainly am thankful under the conditions leading up to and during the race. Full results.
|Gary Gellin in the final stretch! Photo Tim Stahler|
Thanks to Udo's Oil, Rudy Project, and La Sportiva. Great companies and superb gear.