Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Race Report - 2011 Desert RATS 148 Mile Race (Stage 3)

Day 3
This stage, also referred to as the "Sprint Stage" was extended by two miles for a total of 11 miles to make up for the shortened stage yesterday. There were no aid stations available today and they really weren't necessary anyway as it was a short race very early in the day. Isn't it funny that everyone referred to today as a rest day? The course today ran from Fish Ford to Highway 128.

Me pointing the way to the finish...or was it the porta-potty?
As we entered the trail we went through remote rolling cow pastures and over slickrock, until we finally made the short but steep climb away from the river.

One of many many steep climbs.
The footing was generally ok, but we went over winding trails before steadily running up and down on single track trails along the Colorado River. One section was pretty muddy due to recent river floods. I barely required any water and only drank about a liter. I started the day with three small blisters and ended the day with three larger blisters.

Some of the beautiful winding trails.
Richard and I had decided early on in the day that we would each run our own race. I wanted to get off my feet as soon as possible to continue to rest my blistered feet. I also wanted to show that I could actually run a little, too. The last couple of days had been a struggle between adjusting to the elevation and dry heat and the blisters that continued to develop on my feet.
 
I initially thought this stage was going to be almost 13 miles, so when I actually saw the finish line, I still had way too much energy in the tank. I ended up semi-sprinting to the finish, feeling excellent and itching to do more, if it weren't for the before mentioned blisters. Once runners reached the finish line for this stage, we were shuttled to today's campsite that had to be moved from the original site due to flooding. This campsite was located right by Dewey Bridge at the Colorado River allowing us runners to take "ice baths" in the cold river.

Our campsite right next to the Colorado River, very cool!
I was able to run pretty well, but I am really worried about the 52 mile expedition stage tomorrow. If these blisters would get any worse, it was going to be a struggle. There would be a lot of uphill mountain running with at least 4500 feet elevation gain. Rest, rest and more rest and refueling and rehydrating was on the agenda for the rest of the day. We finished before lunch time, so everyone just lounged around for the rest of the day, exchanging running stories, comparing blisters and trying to nap under one of the big shade trees as it was impossible to sleep inside our tents, way too hot.

I guess some of the crew got so bored, they decided it would be a great idea to jump off the Dewey Bridge into the Colorado River. The current was so strong, one of them barely made it back to camp after floating along in the river fighting the current. We finished the day with an excellent pasta dinner in preparation for tomorrow's stage. The food was absolutely amazing throughout the trip.

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