Shannon & Pam, after months of training, officially became ultrarunners with finishing Way Too Cool 2010 (3/13/10). They continue to run the long distances as they continue to challenge themselves physically & mentally. This is where they post those triumphs and also their tribulations.

March 14, 2010

The ride of my life...WTC race report

Ok, here goes....I have been mulling over what I would say about this incredible race, unforgettable day. Please know that mere words cannot convey how great this experience was, but I'll try to capture it as best I can.

2 days before the race, I started to get stomach issues; something I don't usually get. I attributed this to a combination of nerves and a touch of a stomach virus. I wasn't able to eat much, but kept on top of the fluids. A frantic email went out to Diane, my patient, expert coach (and wonderful friend) asking what I should do. She gave me guidance on what to eat and by race morning I was nearly back to normal. Saturday morning I collected Mary and we headed up to the start.  It was frigid cold but the excitement of the day kept the adrenaline pumping. Found Shannon and my FTR peeps and took a few pics and video.
pre race vid

Before I knew it, we were lining up start   and off. We started out on the paved road. This wasn't too bad and actually was a nice warm up before hitting the trails. We started nice and easy, letting a few pass us.  Headed onto the trail. It was gorgeous from the start. Sunshine and flowing streams.  We hit a mild hill  that went on for awhile, but this was nothing to what we were going to face with Ballbearing and Goathill! We hit the first aid station. We felt great and sailed thru quickly. Shannon had calculated what time we needed to hit each aid station and how long we could stay to make all our cutoffs; what a smart girl she is :)

This video is at about 9 miles; so many cool stream crossings.  We continued up the hill towards Browns Bar, which wasn't too bad at all. We got onto the singletrack at the top where other runners started to pass us. This was probably my least favorite part, just because we had to stop and start alot to let the other runners through. We made it to the next aid station feeling still pretty damn good. I made sure I hydrated well and ate alot of potatoes with salt. Sucked down a gel and we were off up ANOTHER hill. 

At about mile 17-18 I lost Shannon. I found myself running alone for quite awhile. I really missed her but I knew I needed to keep moving or I would not make the cutoffs. I kept up a good pace; walking very fast up the hills and moving quickly on the downhills. I am such a baby when it comes to going downhill, but I surprised myself with how well I ran these. Onto Deadtruck trail and I met up with another running just ahead of me. We played leap frog for awhile and then we headed down the hill to the deepest stream crossing. At the bottom of that, I slipped and fell onto my back, hitting my right elbow and slipping a bit into the stream. The other running stopped to make sure I was okay, then we both headed into the stream, surprised at how deep and rushing the water was. It was a perfect, albeit short, ice bath, at the perfect time! My legs felt refreshed after that and we continued down until the base of Ball Bearing. Once onto Ball Bearing, I felt a 2nd wind and moved fast up that hill, passing 4 other runners (how I did that, I'll never know). I was so worried about not making the cutoff. I got there with about 25 minutes to spare. Filled up with more potatoes (this is the best fuel), S-cap, gel, soup (I drank chicken soup at every stop). By then I was really worried about Shannon. It seemed like hours since I had seen her, but I think that was the delirium setting in. I relayed my worries to a very nice volunteer who told me I couldn't wait and I had to move on. I hung around alittle longer, but she found me and told me to 'GO NOW, I'll take care of your friend'. So I continued on. The trail from this point to Goathill is my favorite. 

At this point I had stopped taking any pics; just too difficult while running. I met up with a runner named Billy, who I called Billy goat. He commented on how consistent and steady a runner I was...Ha! ME?? We ran the last miles together, talking and keeping eachother from slowing down. I am forever grateful to him for the companionship on the last few miles.....

Coming into the finish, I was greated by a posse of cheerleaders; FTR buddies Mike (who was injured and had to drop out, but is a rockstar for taking pics and providing me with a post race beer), Marc, Ralph, Diane (my trusty coach), and dear friends who came out just to cheer me on: Pam, Kem (who also was injured and had to drop out of the race), Kathy, and Phyllis.

This morning, I woke up crippled, like many of you reading this probably did. The beast, Bella, attemped to harrassed me out of bed but it didn't work. You can't see her very well in this video, but she is very cute and manipulative and it's hard to ignore her

The day ended with pizza and beer with my buddies. This could not have been a better birthday gift (oh yeah, I turn 47 on 3/15). Thank you to Shannon for her friendship and companionship through this incredible training journey, and to Diane for her perfect guidance and training plan! I'd also like to thank my dear friends Kem, Phyllis, Kathy, and Pam for supporting me and lifting me up when I needed it! I don't know what I would do without you girls!  I am also so grateful to our running group, Folsom Trail Runners for showing up for all the runs I organized and for inspiring me to push myself beyond my limits. I love all you guys!

My first ultra is is very bittersweet, cuz as I said before, there is nothing like your first.  But as sore as I am now, I can't WAIT to do my next one. Tahoe Rim Trail 50K, HERE I COME!


  1. You rock and I love you! I couldn't ask for a better running buddy! Thanks for everything!

  2. I love you too, missy! We both rock...We ARE ultrarunners!!

  3. I finally got a chance to watch your video clips, I absolutely love em. Especially Bella at the end.

    Too fun!

  4. Outstanding! Can't wait to watch your video clips. Go, girls! See you in a few years at Western States 100!