Gutbusted!
April 15, 2006

Gutbuster #2 today at Mt. Tzouhalem.

Today was a good day. I woke up early and drove to Duncan to take part in the second Gutbuster race of the series. Upon arrival, I picked up my race pack, which consisted of various leaflets and yet another Carb Boom sampler (ugh... does anyone want these?).

At the start line, a mild downpour ensued bringing a smile to my face. And we're off: a pleasant trot through the fields and mud until the mountain approached. I had chosen the long course (10k), and was having second thoughts when the climb started -- my quads and calves adamantly voiced their disapproval, but we were committed. I was comforted by the fact that everyone slowed to a brisk walk on the steep bits. Some magnificent views were to be had as we climbed, as the clouds had abided, but a fleeting glance had to suffice. Bill Scriven (61!) chased me near the top, but on the downhill I gained a few minutes on him.

The course was well-marked, and the marshalls competent; one estranged piece of pink flagging tape nearly took me off-course, but I eyed it with suspicion and it payed off. At the bottom of the hill, the mud was sufficiently slippery and plentiful. I'm uncertain if the donuts in the field we had to run through were intentional or not, but i'd like the think the former. After the mud pit, the short climb with mud-clad shoes was tough. With the finish line in sight, I started cooking with gas; a guy around my age was 40 meters ahead: time to sneak past! I caught Patrick Bundon at the S-turn about 60 meters from the finish, and we were in a dead heat right to the end -- an all-out sprint. I was giggling and giving it my all, and just beat him by a nose. An excellent finish for both Patrick and myself.

I ended up placing 37th out of 127, with a time of 1:17:31 (that's nearly twice the time it would take on a flat course). Given the 10 days rest I took off prior to tuesday, I felt I did really well; now i'm feeling strong and looking forward to building my strength in time for the next race (and avoiding injury).