Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Unknown

We ran in Charlie’s Unknown-?K race and it was just perfect: extremely neatly organized, challenging and at the same time a lot of fun. And I had a chance to see quite a few familiar faces there too.
There were only 30 runners divided into two 15-runner groups. Chaz calls it a supported group run, not a race.
I will not bore anyone here with all the details and detailed course description – just a couple of highlights.

I took off too fast – I should have put something slower or run without music for the first 3-5 miles – and Metallica’s Creeping Death is not the best pacer for the first miles of a race. But I had once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pass iMichelle and Keira and I used it – even though they caught me at mile 10. They did not actually race as they are running a 100 miler right the next weekend. But when they do race I never see them on the trail, only at the finish line if I do not come there too late when they are gone already.
Mile 6: the run was so beautiful that I got caught in the moment on a rocky ridge trail and fell. I do fall from time to time but this time it was a notch worse than usual. I could still run ok, but I had scratches on my both palms, left elbow, and some scary deep and long bloody scratches on my left leg. And later on – around mile 15 – I fell on it once again, although the second fall was not that bad. Many thanks to Marisa who cleaned up the blood and dirt from the wound at the 1st Aid Station!
Mile 19 – right after the 2nd Aid Station – there was a stream crossing with some pretty unreliable wet small rolling stones. As I knew about it in advance, I planned to cross it in big white trash bags over my shoes. It almost work, but I still got wet a little bit as small stones punched wholes in the trash bags and let some water inside.
Finish – mile 33. I came there in 7 hours and 5 minutes or something like that. Just like at Mt. Disappointment and Ridgecrest I had some issues trying to find the finish line :) The food at the finish was prepared by a real gourmet chef, and was of a restaurant quality. I wish I was not so upbeat and could feel the taste more – I was just devouring it.
Overall the experience was completely wonderful. Looking forward to doing this thing next year as well!

Note: the Unknown course is 33-mile long (which is 53km) and has 6624 feet of total elevation gain.

More photos from the race:

The Unknown ?K

Greg published his recap from the race too. Greg also published his second recap with more photos.
Also check Lambert's web site with the detailed map of the course, its elevation profile and even more photos.


jeff said...

bummed i couldn't join you guys on this. it sounds like it was a great race! missed you this morning on our run...i'll keep you posted the next time we run something from here.

olga said...

Nice looking wound! Michelle is a cutie pie. Fun times!