One of my goals was to do a 50K this year and was a little sad when my lack of disposable cash kept me from running the Great Cranberry Island 50K in Maine this year. My ears perked up when Galen told me that the Corner Canyon 50K was practically in my back yard! I was really interested, but I had never run a race longer than 26.2 miles and I don't run trails that much (had I known there were so many beautiful trails so close, I would have run more), but Galen said if I wanted to do it, he would pace me through it. That was all I needed to hear and I signed up!
The Corner Canyon 50K was a race put together by friends benefiting one our local trail runners John Maak (aka- Johnny Runner) and his family. John was diagnosed with a rare form of Cancer called Mantle Cell non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. To read his story is quite powerful. Check it out: http://www.ccutr.org/?page_id=251
Galen, John Maak and I at the start. I am still sleeping!
Before the race we all gathered and listened to instructions. I have not been nervous before a marathon in a long time, but I was shaking in my gaiters hearing one part of the course was called "The Widow Maker"!
Co-Race Directors Troy Olson and Troy Robertson present John Maak with a shirt and medals (from the 50K and the 25K) signed from some of the ultra marathon greats.
When John Maak spoke, there was not a dry eye in the house. I felt good about picking this race to run my first 50K.
After the instructions we were off at 6:00am sharp! The race started (and finished) at the Andy Ballard Equestrian Center in Draper. I have lived in Draper for over four years now and had no idea there were such beautiful trails in my back yard! Since I had never run these trails, I wasn't quite sure where we were running. The course description was as follows: "You will run on many trails throughout Corner Canyon to name a few, Ghost Falls, Clark's Trail, Anne’s Trail, Canyon Hollow, Oak Hollow, Bonneville Shore Line and the famous Widow maker climb."
Early in the race, the sun is just coming up!
The start of the course was nice and easy, but Galen and I both felt the elevation (even though I live here). It was fun to meet all the runners out there too. Then s**t got real!
Ian Farris was out making sure the course was well marked (and it was)!
One of our first real climbs. It was pretty brutal. Galen and I asked the girl behind me if this was the "Widow Maker" and she just laughed and said "No".
We started climbing. When we got to the top of the first real climb, I thought, the rest of the course can't be much worse than this and we headed down a nice stretch of down hill.
We decided that I would walk one way and Galen the other way for 100 yards and see if we could see a pink ribbon, when neither of us saw one, we picked one trail and prayed it was the right one. We still don't know what happened, but once we got to the next trail intersection, we saw the pink ribbons and got back on track. The only problem was, we had just added another mile to the course.
We saw Ian Ferris on the course and according to Galen's Garmin we had a half mile left. When I asked Ian how far away from the finish we were, he answered "a mile and a half". I wanted to cry, but knew that would just make things worse, so we just took our lumps and carried on.
I knew we were getting close to the finish when I saw the white fences that surrounded the equestrian park, then we would get better view, and it wasn't the park fences. Uggg! Every step I took at this point I felt like I was going to throw up. Then from out of nowhere, we saw the wooden fences from behind the park! Galen said "I think this is it!" and it was. We heard Amie, Troy, John and all the volunteers cheering for us! I told Galen to run ahead and I would see him at the finish (I didn't want to puke)! He did. When I got to where I could see the finish line I started to run it in.
My husband never comes to my races. He doesn't run and he thinks I am crazy for running so much. When I saw him at the finish line, I lost it! I bawled like a baby!!
Troy giving me my bling!
Hugs from the RD's!
Hugs from my husband David. The best sight ever!
The best feeling ever! Taking off my shoes with a bag of ice on my neck!
Galen told me before I did this race that the ultra running community here were some of the nicest and most supportive people around and he was right! I have never felt more taken care of than at this race. From the packet pick up to aid stations to the finish, everyone was so supportive and helpful. When I finished and sat down to take off my shoes, there was a bag of ice, a plate of food and a cold drink brought to me. I didn't need to move a muscle! It was awesome!! HUGE THANKS to everyone involved in this race. It was a life changing experience. HUGE THANKS to my husband David for showing up for me when I was hurting the most!
OMH!! The ice on my feet felt soooooo good!
Now! Who's up for Park City next weekend!
Elevation Chart! Yikes!