Double win for the Wurteles – 25k trail run

When I crossed the finish line at Spooner’s Cove, in the Montana de Oro State Park, the 5 people there to witness said “congrats!” you are the first female finisher”. When one of the timing ‘officials’ looked on her list to cross my name off, she said “oh are you are Wuretle too!? You and your husband swept the race!’.  She passed me the canvas bag for the win, and as I was walking over to the food table saw Trevor coming towards me with a bag over his shoulder. I held mine up and he smiled. We got bags!!

That was it. No awards ceremony, no one cheering, a picnic table with some food, a cooler full of coke, and our two canvas bags. His was filled with dry clothes for me, and a bottle full of Ultragen. Sweet! The best Valentines present I could ask for (given that he smashed the course record, finishing in 2:01, he had exaclty 28 minutes to kill until I got there!)

We were on the beach, in the sun, chatting with a few other Pacific Coast Trail Run finishers and volunteers, and when we were done eating and stretching, we thanked the organizers for an awesome day and just…. left. It felt strange really. Like oh, I guess that’s all there is to it!

Trail runs are cool. The race atmosphere is there to give you that adrenaline and make you push hard, but the vibe is supportive more than competitive. People say “nice work!” or “way to run!” or full-on yell “whooo hooo!!!!” when you go past them, or when you are running down a climb they are grinding up. I soaked it all up and shared the love by cheering my head off too!  It was pretty exciting to see Trevor, the mountain gazelle, running down to junction of the Valencia Peak out and back, just as I was starting up it. The first 12k loop of the race started on the bluffs along the coast and then climbed and climbed and climbed up to 1,670 ft (3,200 total elevation gain for the race) with some pretty thrilling single track descents that had the HR almost as high as for the climbs!

There was one aid station, between the first 12k loop and the 2nd 13k loop. I stopped to grab a banana, a piece of potato, re-fill my water bottle and stuff a few shot blocks into my shorts. The 2nd loop started off painfully (especially after stopping) with a long gradual uphill grind on a skid road and I was happy to pull up beside Eric (a runner in the 50k event) who visited with me the whole way up. It was great to pass the time with someone, and great to have him as a carrot when we got to the steeper single track stuff.  I was very envious of his two big water bottles when I was completely out of fuel and water, well before the top of the last climb. Soon Eric was a speck in the distance and I had to use all my focus to just go with gravity for the last long downhill, and not trip over myself in my dehydrated, calorie deprived state.  I definitely should have brought a second bottle of EFS drink (that stuff is the best – my performance improvement is immediately evident when I am well hydrated with it) and carried some Liquid Shot as well. Hilly terrain makes such a difference calorie expenditure wise. Live and Learn. All in all the most fun we’ve had in awhile!

Trevor’s race report:

Low key for sure.  But so much fun.  Off the start, two guys took off really fast and I wasn’t sure if I should go with them given that there were 3 other distances starting at the same time.  8km, and 12km and a 50km.  I was conscious of pacing myself, but I also knew it should be somewhere around a 2hr 15′ event based on previous years course records.  That kind of race is just a notch or two off of max effort – go to the point of slobbering all over yourself, then back it off slightly.  That’s exactly what I did.

I hung out in 3rd place for couple minutes, then went in search of the leader.  I could see him about 30 seconds ahead of me, but I couldn’t close the gap without hurting a bit too much.  By the time we hit the first long climb I decided not to bother with him anymore, I was getting worried about cracking myself with 1.5hrs of hilly running to go.  Turns out he was indeed doing the 12km race, and he was crushing it.  There were also three guys I could see lower down the slopes, I’m guessing 2-3 minutes behind.  On the descent back into the parking lot and end of the first 12km loop I let it fly. Really going to the point of no control.   I think that’s why my pecs and arms are so sore today, I was absolutely flailing, trying to keep my balance through the winding sage brush trails.  I was happy to see the surface of the trail in very good condition so worry about twisting an ankle or catching a root was limited.  My HR didn’t come down at all, but even so it felt aerobically easier so I used that time to take in some calories (highly concentrated EFS drink).

At the end of the first loop and on to the second bigger loop a guy in a red shirt was still not far behind.  I started wondering if he was just running easy and would run me down over the next big climb.  About 30 minutes later, at the top of the second big climb I could see him down low and I had clearly opened up a bit more distance. That was a relief and I think I backed off the effort a bit at the point, even fast walking some of the steep stuff to help save my quads for the long final decent. Over the top of the final climb I finished off the last of my calories (used 175 calories total – perfect amount, but could have used WAAAY more water).

The final decent was by far the most fun of the whole race, wow, absolutely cruising down the most epic single track ridge top trail.  Quads on fire; but the amazing view of the ocean, the assurance of coming across the line first, and looking at my watch thinking the course record should be doable helped keep a big smile on my face.  After crossing the line and enjoying some post race refreshments the dude in the red shirt came into view, and kept right on going!! He was doing the 50km race!!! I couldn’t believe it.  Even an hour later when he finished his 3rd loop (37km) he was still on very much the same pace as the first one.  Totally amazing.  I’ll have to look up his name when they post the results, I’m sure he didn’t just do that out of the blue.  But, like Heather mentioned, nobody is out for recognition or trying to make a living in this sport.  It’s just full of awesome people who love running for 5hrs at a time.


~ by trevorandheather on February 15, 2010.

2 Responses to “Double win for the Wurteles – 25k trail run”

  1. Great running out there. I love the trails. Nice WORK!!! 🙂

    That very first paragraph is a gem! Love it!

    Now you’ve got bags for TJs’ runs! Speaking of which… i need to go shopping.

  2. Two wins, snap snap! That rocks! I grew up in Los Osos! I think montana de oro is one of earths little gems in the world. I grew up hiking and running every trail it offered, kissing boys in the caves at the cove, and learning lots of self taught marine biology in the tide pools. That place is special and I’m glad you got to experience it with a few wins. The ultra community is such a nice reprive for the competative triathlete.

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