Saturday, June 21, 2014

River of No Return 25K

The distance listed for this race is deceiving.  It may have only been a 25K, but it felt MUCH LONGER!!

When we headed out of Boise Kris treated us to Jimmy John's sandwiches.  We put it into the cooler with intentions to eat it somewhere on the road.  We left town at about 10:30 AM.  I was already hungry.  By 11:30 I was STARVING!  Michele could NOT find anywhere to pull over so we could eat.  By 1:00 I was about to eat my pillow if we didn't not pull over soon.  Michele found a campground and pulled over.  The sign said "fee area".  Michele stopped the car, "We can't stay here to eat. You have to pay."  Kris insisted that we COULD stay there to eat and that we WOULD stay there to eat.  We were just eating our lunch, not camping!!

We had not been eating all but 5 minutes when a portly man in a white truck pulled up and KICKED US OUT!!  That's right, we were kicked out of the campground!  You do have to pay, even if you are taking 20 minutes to eat.  (I know that to be true because that is exactly what Kris asked him!)  As we drove off (me still starving) Michele made sure we knew "She was right" for several miles.  (Do not worry, we did find a FREE picnic area and I did not have to eat my pillow).

In Challis, we picked up our race packets and I saw 2 people that I know; my sister-in-law and an old friend.  Michele said that I have to go out of town to find friends..... oh haha.  Then we toured a little bit of downtown Challis.

The weather was extremely windy.  We were all hoping for that to change when we woke up in the morning.  We enjoyed a spaghetti dinner (not worth $13) at the Tea Cup Cafe in Challis and then called it a night.  After watching a marathon of "Pickers" we decided it was lights out time!  Once again we froze all night with e A/C on full blast proving that we are both afraid of Kris just enough to risk getting pneumonia in a cheap hotel room, than turn off the A/C and face her wrath!

Our race distance started at 9:00 AM.  We woke up to nice clear skies, and WARM!  Oh boy was it warm!  It was already in the low 50s when we were lining up to being.  That is already 30 degrees too warm for me!

To say this race was tough would be an understatement. After a 2 mile start along hwy 92, running on an old rutted 4-wheeler trail, we started climbing.  We climbed ...

and we climbed ....

and we climbed ....

and we climbed.

Then after we climbed a while - we climbed some more!

We started the race at around 5,200 feet and climbed to 7,700 feet in the first 8 miles.  We stayed together until about mile 6.5 and then we started to slowly pull away from each other.  Michele's hurt leg was feeling better than she thought it would.  It was Kris who struggled.  The elevation really got to her.  So her new nickname became "Iron-Lung".

Even with all this tough, HOT climbing.... we still had fun!!

I hit the Aid Station at mile 8.6.  This was a happy surprise because it was supposed to be at mile 9.  As I was there I ran through my checklist:
1.  Do I have enough water in my pack? Yes
2.  Need to use the bathroom? No
3.  Slice of orange, yum.  Everything else looks gross.
4.  "Hey, can I have a shot of Coca-Cola?  Just a tiny bit!  Thanks!  Perfect."

Michele hit the aid station next, about 5 minutes later.  Her list:
1.  Biofreeze the legs.  That feels good.
2.  Chips? Sure.  Oh gross that was sour cream and onion flavor!
3.  "Can I have one inch of Coca-Cola please?  Perfect."

Kris followed next.  She of course was her usual fun self:
1.  Bananas?  Taste delicious the rest of your food does not look appealing!
2.  Oh look!  A wipe station!!  Face wiped clean- check
3.  "I will pour my own Coca-Cola thank you. Oh wait , mix some of that endurance drink into it.  Hold my cup until I'm ready!"
4.  Handful of pretzels to take with me? Don't mind if I do.

After the aid station it was going to be downhill until we came back to down town Challis.  We were all looking forward to being able to open it up and tear down those hills!

Unfortunately that only lasted until mile 10.5 or so, then the trail became not really a trail anymore.  It was more like a field of loose rocks.    At mile 12 there was an intensely steep downhill, completely covered in loose rock.  I called it "rubble hill". It was so awful, you could barely even walk down it!

You know a trail run is bad when you are happy to see the road.  I was so thrilled to hit a flat surface that didn't move underneath me.  I picked up the pace a touch but not too much.  It was so HOT!!

We all finished relatively close together:

Jodi - 3 hours 27 minutes
Michele -  3 hours 47 minutes
Kris - 3 hours 57 minutes

He race was harder than we anticipated, but we all agreed we felt quite proud of ourselves for completing it.  After a free "shower" in the Challis high school locker room we hit the road.  Once again with me STARVING!!

Some things we reflected on during our car ride home:

1.  We don't have many photos of the end of the course because Kris, our photographer, announced she just wanted to "get off that blasted mountain!!"
2.  Great news realized..... Kris did not fall!
3.  Challis is all rock and desert, very few trees!
4.  We saw ZERO wildlife, unless you count grasshoppers and crickets.
5.  Kris likes Bob Hope movies.  Most likely due to the fact that she is older (this was revealed by Michele).
6.  Michele will forever be friends with Deedra.  They were instant BFF's
7.  We were disappointed to not receive a midnight call from Dan.  That's NOT amore!
8.  When driving on mountain roads, the center line is optional.
9.  When we were about 30 miles from home Kris announced that "was fine as long as I don't have to run it!"