Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Desert RATS Stage Race, Day 3 (Race Recap)

Wednesday, Day 3
Shortly before starting for the day I was talking with my dad about how awful it was going to be to run in my glasses with no protection from the sun. He loaned me his "clip ons" and to be honest - it was a MIRACLE.
Thankfully, it was to be a short day. The first few miles of the course were on paved road. My legs/feet were PISSED. For the first time I was struggling to keep up with the "Three Amigos" (Trish, Sheri and Cindy). I just couldn't do it. It was a gradual uphill of horrible-ness.
There was a water drop around mile 3 before we turned onto the trail. It still felt REALLY hot and REALLY hard.
I caught up with Gene around mile 4 or 5. He is extremely sensitive to the sun and was having a very rough day. In an attempt to cover up he was wearing long pants. Like actual long pants. He was afraid of overheating and overexerting himself so he was walking and taking it easy.
I was still hanging back from the Three Amigos and then FINALLY caught up to them briefly around mile 6. We all sort of ran/walked together for maybe a mile. There was a section on the hill where we had to do some climbing and I was in front of them as they stopped to take some pictures. I almost grabbed a snake!! After screaming a minute I kept on and was power hiking up the hill.

There was a section down by the river that was a bit difficult to get through with overgrown shrubs. But it was the only section that had "shade." I moved quickly through this area as I was SURE I was going to get attacked by a snake.
Another climb out, where the photographer was at the top taking pictures. Then there were a few miles of awfulness.
The trail in the next section was packed down so much it was like running on slick rock. To me, this felt like the hottest day yet. I'm not sure I could have gotten through too many more miles at this temperature. There was NO shade out here.
Ran by a ranch (in the middle of nowhere) and saw some cows (that also looked really hot). It was like a glimpse into civilization! I was expecting the course to be about 12 miles, maybe a bit longer, so I was really surprised when I turned a corner at about mile 10.5 and saw the finish area. I was really pleased to have the day be shorter than I expected.

Garmin Time - 2:50:19
Garmin Distance - 10.95 miles
Elevation Gain - 758 feet
Mile 1 - 14:07
Mile 2 - 14:47
Mile 3 - 13:00
Mile 4 - 14:48
Mile 5 - 15:59
Mile 6 - 17:32
Mile 7 - 15:04
Mile 8 - 17:28
Mile 9 - 17:46
Mile 10 - 15:37
Mile 10.95 - 14:54

It was amazing to get out of the sun under the tent. However, this section of the course was mosquito central so we had to spray a ton of bug spray. Everyone finished this section under the cutoff.

We headed down to camp at Dewey Bridge where I was able to take off my shoes and assess the damage from my blisters. It was not good. My dad left after lunch so that he could be home before too late.

We had the afternoon free so I spent a lot of the time dozing off in the shade. I also had a 30 minute massage. Yes, this race offers a masseuse for the entirety of the trip. I felt a lot better. During this day the staff also jumps off the bridge into the river. It looked terrifying, especially with how high the river is right now.

We had the staff meeting where the race director said more than once - "you will suffer." He was also keen on saying "this next stage is what this race is all about" and "you will be very remote." Ok. Went to bed early and I think this was the first night in days when I actually slept.

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