Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Summer Solstice 12 Hour Race

A week after the Bryce Canyon 100 fiasco, I spontaneously (and perhaps unwisely) decided to jump into the Summer Solstice 12 hour race. Why waste good training, right? I had mentally and physically prepared for a big race and felt robbed of the opportunity so it was like I was being given a second chance.

Also, as it was a low-key and small (like really, really small) first-time event, I could test the theory that my ongoing stomach problems during races is stress-related. Since no one I knew (except Dave) was aware that I was doing this race, there shouldn't be any pressure. And the idea of doing a "secret race" thrilled me. I'm kinda kooky that way.

Happy to be back on familiar trails @ Sun Mountain
I've also always wanted to do a timed event so this seemed perfect. The fact that it was being held at Sun Mountain where I love the trails and have always run well was just icing on the cake. True, my legs were still feeling the miles I'd put on them at Bryce and the adventures we'd had on the drive home, but I felt fresh enough.

The course consisted of 8km (5mi) laps on mostly single-track with a decent amount of climbing. My plan was to do at least 12 laps and aim for 14-15 if things were going well and my stomach behaved, which it did for the first 8 hours or so.

Then it unravelled. All those precious calories I had consumed, were returned to the earth over the next couple of laps. Nothing in; everything out. Same old story. I won't bore you with the gag-inducing details because if you've read any of my previous blog posts, you know how this ends. I managed two more laps of walking and vomiting before calling it a day.

At least with a timed event, you really only have to leave the starting line to be considered a finisher. I fell short of my goal, but still managed to take first place overall. (Did I mention this was a really small race?)

Beautiful handmade finisher's medals.
Even with my GI issues, I'm glad I did it. It was a fun and well organised event with great people and lots of potential. Hopefully, it will attract a few more runners next year.

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