The race continued. Some nice running on a paved road, and then powerlines. Powerlines are never good (Birkie, Voyageur) but these are a 2000 foot climb up a rutted road. If you could fast hike here (like Kyle
) you could probably maintain a 17 to 18 minute mile; it only averages about a 10% grade. We weren't that much slower, showing that we lost a lot of time on downhills and flats, where the pros are clocking sub-10 miles and we, uh, weren't. Also, it was dark and 2 in the morning, and my watch had died so we didn't know our elevation.
There was a bit more "bad cop" coaching up the hill to keep Shaun moving; by this point he wasn't allowed to sit or stop since his hamstring had tightened up the last time. Also, he had to drink and eat enough (which I was neglecting myself). We crested the ridge and mostly walked down the hill and then the rather technical—especially in the dark—section to Mayqueen, watching headlamps dance above and below (this was very cool, as was the almost full moon on the landscape; on dirt roads and paved ones I had my headlamp off; the battery, which was otherwise on reactive mode, lasted all night).
Mayqueen was the start of struggles. I had neglected my own feeding and it caught up with me. I was in calorie deficit and it showed. I ran out pretty well but pretty quickly fell in behind Shaun, who couldn't go any faster anyway. He stopped at a restroom with about 5 miles to go, all on roads (except one gnarly little descent. The issue was the roads were uphill, gradually but painfully, with no end in sight. My phone had died (with gorgeous scenery, mostly behind us, of Mammoth and Massive hovering above the fog in the valley) and we slogged up the hill. 28:00 was out of the question, but we made it in 28:30. The ascent had felt a whole lot longer.
Then I ate almost an entire large pizza, and slept all afternoon.
I want to do this, I think. But I think Iearned a lot:
* Eat enough (obvi)
* 20-22 hours should be attainable, which means finishing in the dark, not going all night.
* Definitely have at least two pacers, if not two pacers and a crew. Pacing 50 miles was fun, but a lot of work.
* Probably use hiking poles to bound/fast hike up the big climbs. But then give them to your pacer or drop them at an aid station.
So depending on wedding schedules next summer, I might throw my name in the lottery again. (I did this year and was happy to have "lost".) It's beautiful, and fun, and extremely stupid. My kind of activity!