Two weeks after the Mt Si 50 I decided to head back down to Washington State for the Capitol Peak Ultra. The event has a 55k and a 50 miler. I opted for the 55k as I didn't want to push the envelope 13 days after Mt Si and I was in the midst of a massive mileage week when I made the decision to enter.
Got in super late and didn't eat dinner till near 11pm that night. The plus to that was there was no real need to be up super early to eat breakfast before the race as the previous nights dinner ought to suffice!
The gun went at 6am after a brief speech from RD John Pearch. We left the Mima Falls Campground and into the single track trails of the Capitol Peak Forest. Due to logging activities in the park the course had been completely changed from previous years. The profile looked like it was a gradual climb to about the 16 mile mark and then a one mile, one thousand foot climb to the top of Capitol Peak. There was a longer 3 miles descent to get to the Capitol Peak Grunt before taking the same 16 miles back to the start/finish area.
I had planned on going on very slow. Painfully slow in fact. I wanted to be trailing ideally at the top so I could really push on the downhills which has become a weakness for me. I set out with Yassine and Matt (both of whom were running the 50 mile) and had a great chat with Yassine for a few miles while enjoying the sun coming up over the mountains to the east of us. It became evident that it was going to be a mudbath as well. Within a few miles I was already covered knees down!
We pulled into aid station one at the 8 1/2 mile mark together and left together. I had to make a pit stop in the woods and those two went on ahead. I settled into a groove solo once business was taken care of. The course was great single track with some nice views. It was slightly overcast so no views of Mt Rainier, Mt St. Helens which are visable on clear days.
Just before starting the grunt climb Alex Henry caught me. I hiked the first half of the grunt and then figured I would run the second bit of it. Hit the 17 mile aid station in 2:19. I was thinking I would hit the juncture where the main trail and the CP Grunt trail were as 55k is 34 miles but minutes kept going and going and I hit the junction 30 minutes after I left the 17 mile station (obviously much more than a mile to that point!) From there I knew there were 16 miles left and the race was likely closer to 60k than 55k. I felt pretty strong and tried to open up and attack the downhills. It was a little challenging to run a kamakazee mission down as there were runners coming up the trail and lots of little blind corners. Was great to wave and cheer people to pass the miles to the finish though.
Met Kristin at the 13 mile to go station and fueled up on many cokes and slathered on some more body lube to prevent the boys from chaffing. The next 4 1/2 miles are pretty much all downhill. I attacked pretty hard and got word that at the 13 mile station I had a 6 minute lead on 2nd place. I knew it was unlikely much time was gained on me if any during the last section cause I managed a great clip through it. The last 8 1/2 miles have a climb for the first 2 miles then pretty much a gentle descent from there. I knew if I didn't screw up too badly climbing then it should be smooth sailing.
Hit the un-manned water station with about 5 miles to go and recall it was 36 minutes to get to this juncture on the way out and that was all uphill. The miles started clicking off pretty easily in the last bit and was surprised the zip I had left considering this race put my weekly mileage total near 130.
Broke the tape for W #2 in 2 weeks in 4:45:32. Felt fatigued from the effort but not destroyed like I felt the day after Mt Si. Spent the afternoon the walking around the State Capitol grounds and went to the Seattle Art Museum and out to Cafe Flora in Seattle from some vege dinner.
Went for a run the next morning at Cougar Mt with Kristin. Love that park and the trail system in there!