Carkeek 12 Hour Race Report, Saturday October 29th, 2011

Billed as the hardest 12 hour race out there, it really does seem to live up to just that. If this was a marathon or 50k it would have been my slowest finish by far. This course was 95% up or down and the few level s spots lead right up to the hardest elevations! If you love steps, this was your race. I didn’t count them, but there were a bunch! This was my first 12 hour run and the time seemed to fly by. I was never bored or distracted and was fully engaged nearly the entire time. Yes, my mind did wander at one blissful moment as I charged down a hill happily in the groove when behind me I heard “Right, right! Jules – take a right!” I had run past my turn and gained a few more feet to climb back up! That was the second wrong turn; the first was on the initial loop in the early morning pitch black of the forest. A group of about 7 runners including me were following each other and our leader missed a turn. We blindly followed until the trail narrowed to almost nothing and we realized our mistake. Running by head lamp is very interesting. It is like tunnel vision especially in the complete darkness under the tree canopy.  I have to say the support crew was excellent, very motivated and they were having a great time. They had tents set, endless food and drink, camp fire to warm us up, and blasting tunes to keep the runners peppy.  Most of the crew and about half the runners were in costume (not me, I just couldn’t come up with something I wanted to run 12 hours in). The start/finish area was a very busy place all day with family and friends stopping by to give support to their favorite runners. Some even ran a couple laps! Also about a dozen girl scouts had come to play and they were very interested in the racers, the support crew setup and borrowed our camp fire to cook up their own goodies.  By midafternoon the park was full of families, hikers, dog walkers and non-race runners. Everyone was very pleasant and curious about the event. The weather was perfect all day and the only thing I could have wanted was another hour to continue racing! Despite the challenging course, I did not suffer a single blister, bruise or scrape.  Only my quads are barking at me and I find it easier to walk down the stairs backwards today! I am eager to for my next race in a couple weeks (First Call Veterans Day 50k) and at least one marathon over Thanksgiving break. So here are the numbers;

23 full laps

1 short lap

45.5 miles total in 12 hours

Over 9890 feet in elevation change

Endless fun


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