Well, it was the epic of all epics. I moved through the field and felt very confident of a podium finish when I met my pacer, Scott, at Forest Hill (62 miles). Then we dropped down to the river, and the temperature soared. Scott tells me it was well in the 100s. I managed to hold it together until the river crossing (78miles), but the wheels were starting to wobble big time, I lost a couple of places and fell back to 7th. 80 to 88miles was pretty hellish; the setting sun was pounding the side of the final canyon we were traversing. But as soon as it went down, I got my head down and ran some quick miles. At Highway 49 I was in 5th, not many miles left to reel in the remaining guys who I knew were fairly close in front. I smoked it to No Hands Bridge, still no sign of them. There Scott re-joined me after sorting his blisters and we put our heads down and ran more quick miles. I got into 4th at about mile 98, then hit the podium slot of 3rd in the last mile. It was emtional stuff. I finished in 16h 54 (I think), 3rd place. The finish into the stadium was simply awesome.
There were many high profile drop-outs, probably due to the intensity of the racing and the heat. I amd pleased beyond words with my 3rd place - and with a Japanese runner taking 2nd - for the first time ever there are two foreigners in the top 3. Great stuff.
Thanks to everyone for the support from back home, I was thinking about everyone tracking me online and it was a great motivation aid!
Full report soon!
- Jez Bragg
- Welcome to my blog which I hope to develop with some interesting material on ultra running both on the trails and road including reports on races and interesting training runs, views on kit and equipment as well as anything else I find of interest. I love running for adventure, opportunity and well being. Enjoy!