Sunday, September 22, 2013

Second Gauntlet - A Look Back

I guess I never really did a retrospective on the Second Gauntlet after its last race.  Might as well take a look at all of them.

Wildwood Trail Marathon:  Held in Forest Park in Portland, OR, kind of had to travel for this one.  Posted my fastest trail marathon ever, breaking 3:00 by about a minute and a half.  Also managed to beat one Chuck Engle, who had previously beaten me at my first-ever trail run.

San Francisco 50-Mile Endurance Run:  In the Marin Headlands just across the Golden Gate Bridge, a very hilly course.  50 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing.  I signed up for it just to see what would happen, and wouldn't you know it, I wound up winning.  Possibly the hardest thing I've ever done, and one of my proudest accomplishments.

Crystal Springs Trail 50k:  Held on "The Peninsula," just outside of Woodside, CA.  Two long, tough hills, one of them right in the middle of the race.  Other than that, a pretty fast course with lots of tree cover and singletrack.  A sub-4:00 50k and another win, putting me at 3-for-3 so far on the Second Gauntlet.  Had I run the marathon, I would've been destroyed by one Oliver Bear Don't Walk.

Cinerella Trail 50k:  In the wooded hills east of Oakland.  My nemesis.  Was looking for revenge after last time, when I got lost twice, crashed at the end, and got passed with less than a mile to go.  Instead, I stayed on course, but crashed even harder, slipping from 1st to 5th in the last four miles, and finishing 45 minutes out of first place.  This course just has it in for me.

Hood-to-Coast Relay:  A 200-mile relay race from Mt. Hood to Seaside, OR.  I was part of a 12-man team made up entirely of Googlers.  We covered 200 miles in 19:30, averaging over 10 mph, or better than a 6:00 mile!  Finished 3rd overall, Google's highest finish ever, in the largest and one of the most prestigious relay races in the world.  As far as my personal performance went, I held my own on a very good team.

So aside from Cinderella, I'd say it went about as well as could be expected.  Of the four personal events, I won three of them, setting course records at all three.  And the relay, while we didn't win, we did do better than our team ever had before.  And I might add that it was a blast.

But I was also a little relieved when it was all over.  I might avoid doing races on five consecutive weekends again.  And to think earlier this year, I was telling myself I'd never so much as race two weekends in a row...