Today’s stage is a 5 mile hilly run along another part of the Water Bean trail. The course is actually different than that of the visual below. The race director found out this morning that part of the trail he wanted to use was closed due to bridge wash out, so he had to go and mark a different setup. It’s still on the same trail, but it’s now two loops instead of just one, and there’s less flat and more hills. Awesome.
Turns out the start line is less than 5 minutes away from where I’m staying. I could have technically walked there in 20 minutes. But I would also have to walk home, and it would take longer and be much more painful. So I opted for the car.
I spent the day trying to rest and recover as much as I could. This started with me going for a swim in the race director’s pool. This is honestly one of the best parts about participating in the ENDURrun races. He and his wife and family open up their home to the competitors; you can go for a swim, socialize, or just hang out and relax. The pool was the perfect temperature. Today, I was the only one there (other than the race director Lloyd, and his wife Julie).
I arrived at the start line about an hour before race time. I did my usual routine to get ready for the race (get my water and Gatorade bottles in place and put on my HR strap). I did a little warm up on the course to see how my legs felt. Yeah, they feel like garbage, as expected. Today’s plan is to just go slow, run the downs, and walk the ups. I hear there are some significant hills on the course, so that’s probably for the best.
I also found out that the two people that were behind me didn’t pass the cut off times from the last stage, so I am the last man. Last person, actually, since the last women is also faster than me. Ah well. The goal is to survive, not win. As long as I can do that, I’ll be happy.
AT 6:00pm the race began. The first loop went about how I expected. I ran the downs and the flats, and power walked the uphill portions. It started with a very long downhill and then gradually proceeded with small rollers. At the end of the loop was a large uphill. Not even 1km in my hamstring was numb, and my leg muscles were protesting again. However, to my delight, it really wasn’t any worse today than it was yesterday. So perhaps I’ve hit some sort of “pain plateau”. As long as I can keep a constant pace and take rest breaks here and there, I can get through it.
Pretty soon everyone passed me, and I was pulling up the rear. The race director even joined me for a bit on the last loop, as he was just scouting the course and picking up the kilometer signs. I pushed and made it to the end with 15 minutes to spare.
Official Time: 0:59:35
Cumulative Time: 4:46:07 after 5 stages and 40.5km