Put another San Juan Solstice 50 in the books.
It was Christy’s 4th finish here, and my 5th, and despite us both having a good amount of experience at this race, we’ve found that it is always a tough, unpredictable day.
It’s a favorite of ours though. There’s just something about the small town– it’s quirky accommodations and restaurants, the community feel of the finish area in Town Park, the laid-back attitude at what is considered to be one the most challenging 50 mile races around– we always love running it, and that’s regardless of how we both do.
On that note, year-to-year we don’t always have equally successful days. Last year, for example, I got lost soon after the start on an alternate, unfamiliar course that was put in place due to the snowy spring. By the time I got back on the course I was near dead-last and it took all day just to make up enough ground to finish in the 12 range. That’s just how it goes sometimes. Christy had a great day though, managing to win her age group and finish as the 5th place female overall.
I still haven’t come to figure out why, of the two of us, I was the one who got lost.
This year worked out differently. Thanks in part to the dry spring, I’ve managed to run more than usual, and with the race following the original course I knew so well, I set out to go fast and actually came home with a PR. Christy however, after planning for a hot day, was a bit under dressed and found herself shivering in the cold shade of Alpine Gulch at dawn. She lost ground and time to those around her until she could get into the sun and warmup at the top of the first big climb. Sticking with it, she ultimately rallied back through the second half to finish reasonably well, but a bit behind where she hoped to be.
With ten 50 miler finishes under her belt, she knows as good as anyone that even if they don’t start according to plan, you should always just press on ahead and you’ll finish with a smile.
And she did.
So by various measures, we both had good days. I’m right where I want to be for Hardrock and Christy will get another shot to do well next month at the Tahoe 50. She get ‘em there.