This year, I was once again with a group of primarily obstacle course racers who do a lot of traveling for Spartan races. However, we lucked out by having a trail runner latch onto our team who volunteered as our cook and who also happened to be a river guide in Utah and a decent chef over a gas grill. Bonus!
Leading up to the event, we used Facebook to plan the trip. As we got to the final week, weather became the primary focus. The forecast was all over the place - snow, rain, sunny, hot, cold, you name it.
Finally, it was time to head to the race. I took a couple of days off from work and got on the road shortly after noon. With the time change, I arrived in Ponderosa Ranch slightly after 4 PM and went directly to our reserved campsites. Our team captain reserved two adjoining campsites which was great because they were on the hill overlooking the main camping area and were close to the restrooms and showers. Because they were a little farther away from the start line and the running routes, they were also a bit quieter.
|home sweet home|
On race morning, I got up and had pancakes with my team and then went down to check out the Ragnar store (bought a tech jacket) and the sponsor/expo tents that were set up. Our start time was 11:30 so at about 10:45, we went to the start area to watch the safety video. There was some sort of technical glitch going on so by the time they finally got the video started, our first runner had to head to the start line before it was finished. The rest of us hurried out of the tent to see him off. After that, I had about five hours to kill before my route. During that time, I ate lunch, charged my phone at the Goal Zero station, got some more reading done and finally donned my running gear. During this time, it was intermittently raining and while I was waiting at the start line for the hand off of the bib, a little hail came down.
|the official map|
After the loop was done, I handed off my bib and headed back to camp. Once there, I grabbed my shower kit and change of clothes and headed to the shower. After my shower, I did some first aid on one of my toes that lost some skin and was bothering me a lot on the run (not certain what I did - woke up with a flap of skin hanging off it that morning). By the time I got out of the shower, it was raining pretty heavy and the temperature was dropping so I bundled up and went over to the cafeteria area for my spaghetti dinner. I managed to grab a seat inside and spent the next hour talking with racers from different teams while enjoying my dinner. Finally, it was time to step back out into the rain and hustle back to camp.
I was scheduled to run again around 1 AM so I laid down to catch a little nap. At 10:30 PM the race director announced that the temperature had dropped to 32 degrees and the race was going to be suspended for three hours. They also began sending 4x4s out to pull all the runners off the courses at that time. At about midnight, our runner who was out on the course made it back to camp, He was picked up around 11:15 about two miles from the finish of the red loop and was in the vehicle that was picking up other runners until about 11:50. Most of us were up so we enjoyed some of the leftover soup from our lunch and cooked some s'mores as we waited for the course to open back up. At 1 AM, the race director came across the PA system to announce that all runners were back to the campsite and that the race was suspended until 6:30 AM. At that point, I went to bed.
As I laid in bed, a few things happened. First, I realized that my old tent had finally developed a small leak which perfectly allowed water to drip onto my forehead. Not fun! Next, campsites around us were being flooded out due to people not putting down ground covers under their tents, setting their tents up in drainage areas, etc. These people were scrambling to pack their gear into their vehicles and many of them were rolling out that evening. This made for a lot of noise and the last time I checked my watch was around 3 AM so I definitely was not getting much sleep.
|Saturday morning at 6:30 AM|
|2015 medal and 2014/15 SNOMG medal|
Next up - Tri/Du/Run For Your Cause Duathlon on May 9th