Very humbling experience to say the least... The day started off great, I made it to Manitou Springs very early to get a good parking spot as I didn't know how I would be feeling after the race and I didn't want to walk very far.
Met up with GZ, Nick and Justin at the start line. All looked very comfortable and relaxed. We went out for a short warm-up and got readhy for the start. I went out very conservative as a newbie should, all was going very good. I was tagging along with the second place women (as others did) at the time all the way though Barr Camp, looked down at the watch, 1:27, not bad I thought. I hit the A-Frame around 2:10. As I approached the timberline, I started getting that "I'm going to puke" feeling and a massive headache. This lasted all the way to the top and then back down to timberline. I was sucking wind hard during this time as well, there's only so much an Altitude tent can do for you. There is no substitute for climbing at altitude.... During this stretch I gave shout outs to Nick (who was running in 3rd at the time and finished 4th overall) around the 2 to go sign and GZ (who finished 12th overall and 1st Master!) just before the cirque and Justin on the way down, both very close to each other, maybe 20 seconds and the most with GZ leading the way. I power hiked about 90% from here to the summit. Back to timberline... I couldn't take the puke feeling anymore so I stuck my finger down the gullet and got rid of whatever was churning my guts. I immediately felt better... About a mile to 3/4 of a mile to Barr Camp I caught my toe on rock and went down a few scrapes here and there, nothing to whine about. About a 1/4 mile later caught my toe again and went down hard this time, ass over elbows and slammed my left hand into a rock and dust and gravel flew everywhere. There was a guy about 20 yards behind me called out if I was ok, yeah no problem. I got up and assesed the damage, a couple nice gashes on my left pinky and ring finger. Left knee and thigh, palm of right hand chewed up good. I made my way down to Barr Camp and spent 5 minutes in the aid tent while they cleaned out the wounds and bandaged me up. The guy asks me, "do you want to continue" ah, is the Pope Catholic? Once I got past Barr Camp I started feeling much better and started to pick up the pace, from here to the finish I was feeling great.
Picked up my finishers shirt and headed to the car. I had to go back to the Hotel room and shower off the humilty that was covering me. I should have given this race tons more respect than I did. If I ever do this again, there will be much more time spent on the treadmill over 12%.
Overall I had a great time here. Getting to meet my blog world friends was fantastic. Who know's if I'll ever make it out to this area again.. One things for sure, if I ever hit that lottery, there will be a summer home that the Moya's will live in here in this area!!!