Sunday, November 8, 2009

Road Trip!

Yesterday was a gorgeous, sunny, 50-degree day. Rusty and I packed up the FJ with his bike and my running gear and headed over to Montebello, about an hour from our house and the site of the finish line for the Mountain Masochist 54 Mile Trail Race (MMTR).

Here we met up Dan Wiggins, Carter's XC coach and our good friend. He was up for running a bit of the MMTR course and the AT, and checking out the finish line of an ultra. He was in for a treat! At 11:50, Geoff Roes, the winner, came in posting a 20+ minute CR. Here is the quiet MMTR finish line at 12:30.

We ran and biked over to the top of Crabtree Falls Meadows, and then Rusty turned around while Dan and I headed south on the AT towards Spy Rock (no bikes allowed on the AT---bummer). I had always heard of this monolith but never seen it---man, it is very cool. Incredible views of the entire MMTR course as well as the Priest and Three Ridges Wilderness from atop its 100+ yard summit:

After taking lots of pics, it was time to head down to the where the MMTR course merges with the Fish Hatchery Trail and we saw Rusty just as he was coming down from the last MMTR aid station---perfect timing!

We had fun hammering down the last miles of the race course to the finish line just in time to see the 9:45+ runners finish. MMTR is always a huge reunion of VHTRC and East Coast runners---this year, the race was dominated by Canadians (top-2 women and third male), a Californian (second male), and an Alaskan (the winner). The top-2 males and females got automatic entry into Western States---sweet! It was very fun to see my buddies finish---all seemed to have stellar races and personal best times in the perfect weather. It was also fun to see many others who spent the day crewing or playing in the woods, like me.

Jenny Anderson and Bethany Patterson

Martha Wright, scoring a huge PR

Rick Gray, my faithful blog commentator

The gang at the finish: Marc Griffin, Ed Duval, RD Clark Zealand, Martha Wright and Donna Utakis

Jenny Anderson crewed for Annette Bednosky---so glad you had a great race, Annette!

The sun went down behind the mountain around 4:15 and the finish line got cold---fast. Time to wrap it up and head down the mountain... Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton, about 30 minutes from the finish line:

We met Dan's wife and daughter here and watched the sun set behind Humpback Rocks while eating fabulous veggie pizzas and drinking some yummy beverages. A perfect way to end our ultra road trip!

MMTR results and pics are here. Congratulations to all the MMTR finishers, and to Clark Zealand and his volunteers for putting on such a great event! Hmmm...I had so much fun watching the finishers celebrate, I think I'll run it next year...