This was Dave’s and my first race together! And it was my first single-day ultramarathon, and Dave’s first ultra at all. So we were both really excited, about the race itself as well as racing it together. We’ll write a blog post about the whole experience – what we did, and what we learned – but for now, here are some photo highlights from this very beautiful course: Sun Mountain, in Winthrop, Washington.
Here we are at the start line, with Fiona (who has appeared in this blog before!) and her guy, Doug. Fiona is the one who told us about this race in the first place.
The start was pretty crowded, with both the 25k and 50k starting together. There was also a 50 miler, but they started earlier.
Some long and gentle climbs at the start, all with really pretty views.
Dave was very excited about his hat. I don’t really get it, but he can’t stop talking about it. He is going to wear it for his Ironman in France next month.
I was very excited about my running skirt. The turquoise matches my hat, and the purple matches my shoes!
Here’s Dave yakking with one of the other racers. That’s a good thing about running ultramarathon distances – you go slow enough that you can actually talk. And it’s a very nice crowd…
There were SO many wildlflowers along the first part of the course that we stopped a lot for pix. But then we realized it was just solid wildflowers everywhere!
Is that not just absolutely beautiful? (The hat, I mean…)
I don’t even know what kind of flowers they were – but they were spectacular, and everywhere.
The aid stations were AMAZING. They had a really good selection of food – and that is really important when you are going that far.
The whole course was up and down – but there were two really BIG climbs to do. This was the second one, at about 42 km (i.e. just after completing the marathon).
There were some really cool wildflowers up high, too – like these big pink ones seeming to grow right out of the rock.
Great sign-posting along the whole course – navigation was never an issue.
There was very little route repetition on this course – and that is really important to me, makes the course interesting – other than at the top of this last hill, which was a short out-and-back with a turnaround at the summit.
Dave was so excited up at the top there that he had to stop to take a picture of his amazing hat. That’s me on the trail behind.
From the top, it was just another 5 or so km along forested trails to the finish.
We REALLY enjoyed this race – as you can see, the course was just spectacular, with stunning views to surprise us around every corner (and that really helps with motivation). It was well organized, with everything well signposted. And we worked really well together – finishing in 7:04. Which, considering we were barely able to train for this (both of us being sick for a month or more in March-April, as well as major work obligations, as well as me battling Achilles tendinitis) – we are both very pleased with. Our first ultramarathon together!
Our next post will have a few more pix, but also lots of info about the race and how we did (and didn’t) prepare for it.