First Ultra – Santa Cruz Trail Run 50k – 8/4/12

This summer, I am determined to officially do an ultra run. I went to Santa Cruz and ran one of the Inside Trail running races. I like this trail running group, they are very friendly people.

I started off the run with Dwight Brown, but then he was too fast for me so I only ran with him for 4 miles or so. As I ran/walked/hiked through the trails, there were less and less people around me. After mile 10, I was by myself.

The trails on this run were pretty, except we had to cross a stream of water that was almost waist-deep on me. I expected that I would cross this water 4 times, as we were warned by the race director in a previous email. I did not mind the rive-crossing as it was very refreshing after miles and miles of running/walking/hiking. The water seemed clean; I could see the bottom of the river.

At around mile 13, I met Emily, who is now my friend on Facebook. She got lost, made a wrong turn and did one wrong loop. She was about my pace with running, but she was faster on the downhill. I really need to practice descend running on trails. Emily and I ran together till we got to the aid station before our last 13 miles. It looked like she was about to quit but I said, let’s continue, it’s the last 13 miles, just one half marathon left! So we did, and it felt like the longest last 13 miles ever.

In the last 2 miles or so, there were lots of downhill trails, so I told Emily to go ahead as I am slowing her down on the downhill. I told her to tell them at the finish to wait for me, I’m coming! I finished 8 hrs 45min, which is 15 minutes after the cutoff time, and 1 minute behind Emily. They allowed me to finish and gave me my finisher shirt and glass. I am grateful for this race crew, for waiting for me and allowing me to finish my first ultra-marathon race.

P.S. Since I was the only one who had a race/route map with me during the run, I won a pair of La Sportiva trail shoes, which are the trail shoes I run in nowadays!