|Frogs are Way Too Cool!|
My excitement started after being selected by the WTC 2013 lottery, a big surprise! Spent several months reading previous race report blogs and virtual course maps. The company I work for is based in San Jose and I travel there multiple times a year. The WTC race was to be tacked on before one such trip. A last minute change in plans meant I traveled from NJ to CA just for the race, and I felt like an elite runner.
Wanting to take it all in, I arrived at the start at 6:45. The sun was just coming up and not a cloud in the sky. Temps were in the low 40s (warm by NJ standards), heading to the 60s. Amazing weather for a run! The WTC weather committee out did themselves.
|Cool sunrise. Crystal clear!|
|Just a mile more, then park off the road.|
|Apeing around with Gimp Chimp and Big Banana|
|It takes a village to raise a trail runner.|
|TRN virtual voices Scott & Don|
Just before the start I ran to the car to shed the jacket and back to the line to join the sea of trail trekkers. A good short warm up.
|Are your ready for some Cool?|
|To the trails we go|
|Picture perfect memories|
|Hopping on the Trail Train|
|. . . Oh, down to the river we'd ride . . . (Bruce S)|
|Wabbit twacks! . . Twain twacks! . . Wunner twacks!! (Elmer Fudd)|
|AS2 volunteers decorated with smiles and color|
|Red-Visor-Runners say howdy.|
|The American River|
|Amazing hills, with wonderful smiles from Jessica and Aron,|
|Mike's having too much fun,|
|Carol lights up the hill with her glowing smile|
As the trail carried us towards the ALT aid station, the terrain changed often. Several creek crossing were accomplished and lots of single track rising through the mountain.
|Made me fantasize about running WS 100 someday|
|Shallow creeks can still wet your shoes|
|Eat or run? Such difficult decisions!|
|Soup Lady says "Soup For You! Yes?"|
|Bob, trail connoisseur, gave the low down on the GH ups|
|Flowing single track from ALT to GH|
My pace was averaging about 11 min/mi during these miles. My legs remained sore and became a bit heavy. Surprisingly my pace remained steady. Finally I came to the bottom of Goat Hill. I threw on a smile, said hello and started the hike. The grade was the steepest of the day. Running would not gain me much time over walking, (not that I could run it at this point) so I enjoyed the push up the curved track towards the peak. I probably annoyed some people by filming and taking pictures as we climbed.
Towards the top, my calves started to cramp and changed to a side stepping movement to provide some relief. A few volunteers with signs had placed themselves a few hundred yards from the top. This provided a little boost knowing we were close. Before I knew it, I crested the hill and was greeted by some smiling volunteers. I had made it up Goat Hill!
|GS starts not too threatening,|
|then the rise gets steeper. Almost there . .|
|Goat Hill Ambassador of Welcome|
Maybe it was the food and rest I took on, or perhaps it's that the trail was now mostly down hill. Whatever it be, I started to feel better several minutes after leaving GH AS. My legs didn't hurt so much and started to feel a tad bit better. I maintained a slow, steady pace. Soon the 2nd Rt 49 crossing appeared and that meant the final aid station. As with all the others, this was full of smiling volunteers looking to feed me and provide support for my needs. Blogger Gretchen was volunteering there and was slightly surprised when I thanked her for her 2012 WTC blog post.
|Aloha and Thanks Hwy 49 AS volunteers.|
|Does finishing WTC make me Cool? (Doubtful)|
One last thing on the to-d list; hanging out at the Patagonia Lounge and have a beer. They were tapping a local dark ale. Perfect ending to a perfect race!!!.
|Auburn trails and dark brew. I could get used to this.|
Thank you to RD Julie Fingar for providing such an exceptional race. Special commendations to all the volunteers that helped make the Way Too Cool 50K a brilliant event and made each runner feel as though you were there just for them. Thank you for all the smiles and support.
|Frog cupcakes are Way, Way Too Cool|