And I made that decision just a few days after that race!
My brother was going down to emcee the Goblin Valley Ultra, and through TrailandUltraRunning.com (TAUR) had a race entry that, since he was emcee-ing, he wouldn't be able to use.
Free race in Goblin Valley? Awesome!
Timing-wise, just a few days before, Goblin Valley had been in the news across the world because a few dummies decided it would be a good idea to post a video of themselves knocking down one of the ancient rock formations.
Great job guys.
Because of that the first thing out of almost EVERYBODY's mouth when hearing I was heading down to Goblin Valley...
"Don't knock down any Goblins!"
Right. I'll keep that in mind!
Friday afternoon my brother and I drove down in his new FJ Cruiser to Goblin Valley - unsure if we would have a campsite or if we'd be sleeping in the car.
I guess we were supposed to have a campsite - and those campsites look pretty nice - but they were full, so the rangers told the Race Director that we could sleep at the Overlook, which is normally NO CAMPING.
It was really cool to set up the tent and sit outside looking at the amazing stars in the sky - with no light pollution whatsoever. It's crazy that up to two-thirds of people can only see some of the stars... and that some people have never seen the full brilliance of the night sky due to this light pollution! We just sat in the dark and watched the shooting stars.
It did remind me that maybe I should look into a lasik type eye surgery as some of the details just weren't there. Getting older. Blah.
It was cold when we went to sleep, but thankfully not as cold as it was last weekend at the Pony Express! THAT was bitterly cold.
I decided to start the race in the morning in a tank top and Matt's Pearl Izumi sleeves, as I knew it would be warming up and I didn't want to have to carry too much.
I was going to run with just a handheld bottle (and I probably could have) but after hearing that the Race Director had only ever done a road marathon and some half marathons, no ultras, I realized that this was NOT going to be normal Ultra-type Aid Stations but instead water, electrolytes, and gels of the road type races! So I took my Ultraspire Spry just in case.
This also allowed me to take my ActionCam, but I haven't been able to process any video yet.
I started off running with Kreuzer (you might remember him from the Millcreek 50k, Olympus, and Olympus again in the ROCKS ROCK video!) and his cousin Roxy, an experienced Marathoner but first-time Ultramarathoner!
We headed away from the start and down the ROAD (blech) past the campground, and then onto an ATV trail for a couple hundred yards and back onto a road. That road continued for the next six miles... And then it turned into a dirt road near the Wild Horse Canyon outside of the Goblin Valley State park. There were a few minor climbs but nothing too bad, and we kept a pretty decent pace until the 50K turnaround.
Just before the turnaround my body started to give me some signals that it was TIRED. I was definitely feeling the effects of 50 miles from the weekend before! But I was able to stick with Roxy until about mile 17, and Mark until 19.
I kept moving slowly until a girl (Her name was Jenny) who was moving really well passed me, and I decided moving faster would hurt just as much as moving slowly, so I kicked into a higher gear and blew by her and a few others and got within 200 yards of Kreuzer again, then my feet and hips just quit working - they didn't like the pavement. Jenny passed by me again and ultimately passed Kreuzer as well, running really smart and strong. It is always awesome to see people pull a good smart race together!
At this point I just pushed myself into a 200-300 steps of running, 25-50 steps walking all the way back to the turn past the campground and up to the Overlook Parking lot.
From the parking lot they direct you down to probably the best part of the race - about 3/4 of a mile through the Goblins. I could actually run again since I wasn't on the pavement!
Following the Halloween Candy Bowls (rocks, no candy, so sad) you weave through some of the goblins until you get to STAIRS at the END of the RACE. So mean!
Then to make it worse, you cut off the stairs and run straight up the hill around the fence, then across the parking lot to the Finish line.
Finish lines are fun!
So that's a 50k PR for me. I think if I hadn't run 50 miles 8 days before - I could have cut off 30-45 minutes off that! It was a bit short for a 50k, but it was still a lot of fun.
We hung out and talked and took pictures and helped the race directors out
Then we had the long drive home!
Next up - Kakes runs the Moab Trail Half Marathon!