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Kati and I survived the Whiskeytown 50k this past weekend.  Yay! First of all, keep in mind that we’re slow runners, preferring to enjoy the scenery and all. There’s no point in racing past when you can take your time and eat your weight in m&ms at each aid station.  Which is why this is our official slogan, designed by Kati:

I’m still deciding on the exact colors.

I started off this race really slogging it, even for me.  I’m slightly allergic to cats, which is unfortunate for a professional pet sitter…for the past two weeks I’ve been trying to convince the two cats in the house I’m staying at that no, they do not want to sleep on my head.  No luck.  Still, with Kati’s not-so-gentle encouragement I managed to make it over the first major hill, and from there I felt pretty good.  Our main competition? A man celebrating his 50th birthday by doing his first ultra.  I can only hope I’m still doing ultras in 20 years, too. 🙂

such pretty trails!

Some of the highlights of this race were the 19 river crossings we had to do, starting around mile 14.  Yes, 19, and there was no way to avoid getting your feet wet, either.  Trust me, we tried.  And while it was really fun and exciting to cross the river the first half dozen times, by the tenth time we were both like, really?

At the aid station at mile 21.5 we had a drop bag with nice dry socks in it.  I changed mine, which felt heavenly, but then had to run back to the aid station a few minutes later when I realized I left my soggy disgusting socks sitting there on a rock.  Here’s the scene:

VOLUNTEER: I’ll put those away for you – don’t even worry about it.

ME (running over): No, I’ve got it.  These socks are really bad.

VOLUNTEER (reaching for the socks): No, really, it’s alright.

ME (horrified, snatching them away): No, no, they’re all wet and gross and have been on my sweaty feet for the past 20 miles.  That’s something no one should have to deal with!

Did I mention how nice the volunteers were at this race? Above and beyond, I tell ya.

You get a little loopy when you’re out there on the trails as long as we were. Here are some of our conversations along the way:

Mile 10:

HEIDI: Wow, look at all these dry creek beds.  I wonder what this course looks like after a big rain?

KATI: Wet.


Mile 15:

KATI: What has two thumbs and makes this trail look sexy?

HEIDI: I’m not going to agree with the answer…

KATI: This girl!

Mile 20:

HEIDI: What do they call a dinosaur’s feet? Paws? Paws with claws?

KATI: Uh, feet?

HEIDI: Dinosaur feet.  Hmm.

Mile 26:

HEIDI: Did I mention I’m walking a dog named Potter? As in Harry Potter?

KATI: Of course you are.

HEIDI: …which reminds me, in Harry Potter…

KATI: And it begins.

Mile 28:

HEIDI: Three miles to go, and according to my little drawing here, it’s all downhill!

KATI: Then why is the trail going up?

HEIDI: …my drawing is deceptive.

KATI: Your drawing is wrong.

HEIDI: Deceptively wrong?

KATI: Like your face.

Luckily we finished the race 3 miles later, and not only was the finish line still there, but we got our medals and got to wear our fancy new T-shirts, which is really the only reason I do these things.  Overall I’d give this race a 4 out of 4: top marks for a great course, river crossings and all, as well as very nice volunteers, well-stocked aid stations, and I really like the fact that it’s club run, and therefore the money is going to help out local runners and not lining someone’s pocket.  I’d do this one again.

T-shirt and medal = all worth it