North Fork 50 Mile Profile
The North Fork 50 Mile race was much harder than I expected. I flew (solo) into Denver, Colorado the night before the race; Denver was experiencing record high temperatures and I felt like I was in a sauna, it was suffocating. (The locals at packet pick-up were laughing at me.) I did the necessary pre-race preparation (Cobb Salad and a beer), had a great night sleep and woke up at 4:30am (3:30am Seattle time) to eat, tape my feet and drive to the start (45 min.) I arrived at the start around 6am and my stomach was, “off!” I do not recall ever having stomach issues in past races including adventure races in the French Alps and The Canadian Rockies. It was a different feeling than altitude issues or nerves.
The race started and I figured the stomach upset would go away, but it didn’t; it didn’t go away all day. My game plan for the race was to go out “steady” and stay “steady” all day! “5 rounds of 10 miles,” if you do CrossFit you’ll understand. I wanted to run a consistent race; a training race for Wasatch 100 www.wasatch100.com. The race started off with a climb and everyone started running up the mountain. I was being passed left and right. I hiked. It was not fun being passed but I knew it was going to be a long day. I did not want to waste my energy this early in the race, especially with an upset stomach. I stuck to my strategy and continued to power walk up this climb and all the climbs. Once up the first climb, it was sweet single track, fast and flowy…that was pretty much the course…a climb and sweet single track with a few logging roads thrown in. I was envious every time I saw a mountain biker.
The heat at times was unbearable, but luckily the clouds rolled in a few times over the day threatening thunder showers. The volunteers at the aid stations were amazing; they took my pack and filled it with water & ice while I grabbed food. I have never experienced this much assistance at a race; they were encouraging, energetic and friendly. One aid station offered me a beer; do you know how hard it was to pass up a cold beer at mile 40 when it was so bloody hot out?
The race was a suffer-fest for me because I didn’t feel very well. As I crossed the finish line I was handed a 2nd place plaque for my age group and told I placed 3rd Overall Female. Although, it made me feel a little better; it was a tough race mentally and physically. I’m not sure how to describe it, even though I placed, the race personally was not very rewarding and made me second guess my decision to run Wasatch 100.
I trying to put this race behind me and start mentally preparing for Wasatch 100 (Utah). Wasatch 100 has 26,882 feet of climbing and tops out around 11,000 feet. I have 36 hours to run the 100 miles. I feel if I go out slow and stay steady…I can finish in the allotted time. (I’m mentally working on “I hope I can finish” to “I will finish!”)
Above: Wasatch 100 Course Profile
Pictures below: North Fork 50 Mile Endurance Run; Pine, Colorado
*Thanks Tony Maldonado for the pictures.