I dedicate this report to my Dad, A. Raymond Rogers, who gracefully bowed out of this world on August 27 at age 87. I am grateful I had the chance to tell him about my latest adventure before he passed. I now share it with you.
We last left our intrepid heroine trying her best not to drive her darling bat shit crazy. (He would argue that happened long ago).
Due to client vacations, I was fortunate to have a light work week leading up to the race. Not the best thing for my wallet, but it gave me time to order, and pack, and reorder, and repack (and, um, reorder and repack) my drop bags. I heard horror stories of food running out at Leadville this year, so I packed enough gels and other nummies to feed an army. The aid stations are well stocked with “real” food, but I wanted to be prepared lest something didn’t sound appealing. My goal was to eat at least 100 calories every half an hour, and increase my caffeine intake as the day wore on. (I even packed some Starbucks DoubleShots in my drop bags at mile 33, 53 and 80). I would be running alone in the dark for several hours and did NOT want a repeat of my Rocky Raccoon sleepies. I met my friend Tracy — who was also running the race — for cupcakes the day before, then ate a hearty, yet healthy lunch and dinner. By 8:30 p.m. it was lights out.
While Cascade Crest can arguably be one of the tougher 100s out there, it has a very civilized start time: 10 a.m. Granted, most runners probably don’t get a heck of a lot of sleep the night before, but at least there’s no running around at Oh God Thirty gathering one’s things. Since they serve breakfast before the race, I just had some coffee and a banana at home. We were on the road by 7:30 a.m. for the hour+ drive to Easton.
Despite my trepidation over making cutoffs, I felt really good about the race. Sure, I knew I could have done more training wise, but at least I was showing up to the race healthy and injury-free. After grabbing some fruit, pancakes and sausages I milled about with the the other runners, catching up with people I hadn’t seen for a bit. (I figured the “home court advantage” would serve me well; not only did I know at least a third of the field, I also knew at least 1 person at every aid station. It would be a welcome sight to see familiar faces who would provide me with encouragement and motivation along the way).
At 9 a.m. we gathered for the race briefing where Charlie Crissman formally handed the reigns over to the new race director, Rich White. He provided an update on the course, as well as explained what we could expect in terms of markings (heavily marked at intersections with a few confidence markers thrown in). However, given a major portion of the course would run along the PCT, he said that section wouldn’t be as heavily marked. (This would come in to play for me). We lined up at the start with about 15 minutes to go, and after both the U.S. and Canadian national anthems were sung we were off!