Jill and me before the race start!
It didn't take long after the race started for me to see that my original thoughts were correct. Just do your best and enjoy the experience. I have not been inactive of late and I could quickly feel it on the first hill. I took out my camera and began taking some pictures. I also did a lot of walking up the hills. I am a fairly fast walker and thought that was the best use of my energy. I was surprised at how many people were walking the hills.
People ahead of me as far as you can see on one of the first long hills
Eventually the trail narrows and becomes a single track. It is not an area you can pass anyone on. At this point it was downhill and I was running. I felt someone breathing down my neck but I was behind someone I couldn't pass so there wasn't much I could do about it. Eventually we crossed a small footbridge and came out onto a road. I had been making myself drink at each water stop and continued to do so.
The Path begins to narrow
Once we were on the road it was a very long road uphill. The first part was the steepest and I walked all of it. There was a woman ahead of me running but I didn't feel she was making any forward motion ahead of me. I asked people around me if they knew how much farther it was to the top. When you finally see a water station you still go around one last corner and up one more (small but steep) hill. Then YES you start going downhill. I will have to put my splits in. They have never been so varied.
Now we're coming down the hill
Headed toward the finish
This was a good race to have negative splits in! So much of the second half was downhill. I found myself around several of the same people for the whole race so I was holding my own. I was able to cheer for Jill as she was coming down the long dirt road when I was still on my way up! I loved it when I could hear the announcer as I knew I was getting near the end. As I approached the finish I heard Jill and Kathleen cheering. Kathleen took a picture of my finish. Yeah for support from bloggy friends and meet ups! Then I get to the very end and there is M cheering me on. I am miles from home and I have support! M hangs my medal around my neck and I am done!
Kathleen, myself and Jill
After breakfast - Steve, Kathleen, Jill, myself and M!
The t-shirt and medal - love the medal!!!
Here are my splits - probably my strangest splits ever - but I PRd because I had never done a 12K and a negative split! Life is good.
Mile 1 12:57
Mile 2 12:55
Mile 3 14:02
Mile 4 15:12
Mile 5 9:14
Mile 6 11:13
Mile 7 10:45
last .5 8:51
I think it is pretty clear I am NOT a hill runner! I had a great time though being in Colorado, racing in a new state, racing "with" M after all the running talk we exchange and meeting some bloggy friends.