Running race 5:58:39  50.0 km (7:10 / km)
A few years ago, Chris McDougall told Luis Escobar that he should put on a "runnaissance" weekend in California. Luis took the suggestion seriously and this year was the third year for the Born to Run ultramarathon weekend, which is a big ol' party at a private ranch about an hour north of Santa Barbara near Los Olivos. When a bunch of my Copper Canyon pals talked about going, I thought it sounded like a great way to spend the long weekend. Flew out Thursday to LA, met some others and drove up to Los Olivos making it there about 6:00 p.m.
Friday featured some lively morning wiffle ball games, a visit to two local breweries, the beer mile, some Tarahumara ball games and some live bands. There were four race distances (10 mile, 50K, 100K and 100 mile) with about 460 competitors in total. There was no map, no course profile and the RDs drank a bottle of whisky while marking the course on Friday so we had no idea what to expect! This may also be the only race in which Luna runners rival the number of shoe wearers!
I was nervous about camping for the days leading up to the race as I'm not a great ground sleeper, but I managed to squeak in a few hours each night. Saturday morning we were awaken by mariachi music at 4:00 a.m. and the race started at 6:00. Course was two different ten mile loops so for the 50K we did one once, one twice, then a 800m out and back at the end to make sure we got the extra mile in. The aid stations had names like Barbieland (which featured barbie dolls in compromising positions) and Wild Bill's which had burritos and whiskey (plus regular stuff). Felt pretty good until the third lap where I started to suffer a bit, and the fact that I had no real race goals in mind made it a bit too easy to take it easy. In retrospect, I probably could have PR'ed for the 50K here as it was a really nice runnable course with only moderate elevation (about 3500ft for 50K) but I was there mostly for the fun and wasn't sure how I'd fare since my achilles has prevented me from training really consistently for the past month or so. When I came in at the 30 mile mark I realized I could break six hours so aimed for that and was pretty happy with that time.
Got a very cool Akabill amulet for finishing and the rest of the weekend was an absolute blast as well. We had a couple of friends in the 100K and 100 mile and it was great to be able to cheer them on and help them out as they came through each lap. Fabulous way to spend the weekend and I imagine I'll be back next year! In the short term though, I promised my chiropractor that after this race, I'd give my achilles a bit of real time off from running, so am going to aim for a week or so before running again. It kept up its end of the bargain I made to it during the race but was really sore Sunday and today.