Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
Rarely do races put me in a good, goofy mood from start to finish, but the inaugural Diablo Trail 50K last Sunday had that effect. Proof that I was having a great time came at around mile 28 in what turned out to be a 33.75-mile course. I was flying down the dirt and sandstone slabs of a steep slope with the lead woman, Beth Vitalis, in sight about a quarter mile ahead. We were running from a ridge toward emerald foothills flecked with wildflowers and a canyon filled with oak and pine. The San Francisco skyline, Golden Gate Bridge and Mount Tamalpais sat on the horizon, far across the bay.
Beth and I had run together for more than half the course and then she picked up the pace, as did I, in the unspoken hope of breaking 6 hours. (Little did we know the “50K” would turn out to be a couple of miles longer than advertised.) We had spent the first third of the course bogging down in thick, heavy mud, and much of the middle third pressing against hurricane-force winds on ridgetops.
Suddenly and with a sickening sensation, I saw the ground rise and felt my body tumble like a snowball from an avalanche until my forearm and knee stopped the fall. (more…)