3:25PM Mon Aug 15 78 hours 25 minutes elapsed.
AS #14 Owen's Creek (Mile 192.8) - conflicting feelings when I arrived here. I was on fire and just wanted to run the final stretch in. The horse was smelling the barn. I didn't want to leave without knowing Craig had made it in and was on his way with a ride to his next pacing duty. Around 15 minutes later, Pat arrived. He promptly asked for his dropped bag and started to change into road racing shoes?!?!? I told the vollies I wasn't up for that sort of a race to the finish and asked for a beer. As I enjoyed the super-tasty IPA they gave me, Craig rounded the corner and Pat took off. While we chatted, Jeri with the pink/purple Kinsio tape on her legs showed up after a fast downhill too. She was obviously looking to finish strong. I left wondering how far out Pat was ahead of me. Splits show me leaving in 11th place.
Section #15 - the half-marathon to end the 200 miler - or at least close to it. A couple of mile downhill on gravel road then finish on pavement to Randle. 13 miles, 385' of climb and 1,639' down. Just as I finished the downhill gravel section and approached the pavement I saw Pat walking along the pavement ahead of me. When I caught up I told him I thought Jeri behind us was on the hunt perhaps chasing him. It was meant to be a conversation starter. He thought she was working hard to stay ahead of Van and hold 2nd place female. Seemed like a more logical scenario than mine. We walked/ran for miles together after that until he tricked me into going ahead. He was struggling with his feet, taking his shoes off, walking a ways, then replacing them. I explained the remainder of the course to him and he suggested we run to the highway crossing before walking again. I agreed and started to run. Vehicle traffic required single file travel. I didn't look back until I got to the bridge just before the road. He was a tiny figure in the distance behind me at that point. I crossed the highway and gave it everything I had left to the finish.
Finish (Mile 205.8) 7:05PM Mon Aug 15.
Finished 82 hours 5 min (3 days 10 hours 5 minutes) after starting, bettering last year's time by 3 hours 18 minutes.
12th place overall finish
This race was 205.8 miles long, with 50,000+ feet (15,240 meters) of ascent. More than 96,000 feet of elevation change.
It was hours (and numerous beers) before I bothered to try to sleep. I finally grabbed a couple of hours in the back of my vehicle then returned to the finish line to cheer more runners in (there was also a lot of beer still in those kegs). The next day, I wrangled a room at the motel next door to ensure some decent sleep before driving. By the time I could access the room, there was really only time for a shower before heading back to the finish line for the awards ceremonies. The rest of day was filled with celebrating the final runners coming in and the awards ceremony. I hung around for another day helping repack that magical 35' trailer (only to head to Tahoe in a few weeks to unpack it again). Magical because it is bigger inside than outside.
After a quick hiccup getting Garrett underway with truck & trailer tires all filled with air, the last of the circus deserted town. I headed home via a long route around the Olympic Penisula for a couple of beach days to rest the legs and feet.