Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chimera is a beast and beasts are Unpredictable..

I woke up nervous, not scared; just nervous. I hadn't gotten to much sleep the night before but really I dont think many people do.

It was early...Very early and I arrived at BlueJay campground at 4:00am( you can do the math to find out when I got up); clouds had covered the mountain up to the start of Chimera forcing me to drive 4mph with my face pressed against the windsheild searching for signs of the road ahead of me; forboding now that we look back.

Greeted by many of my freinds..Michelle Barton, LT, dan, Maura, Steve Harvey and Anne..they were all there. I checked in and received my racing number..46!

Weather forcasts had been observed with great scrutiny and everyone was ready..or should have been for anything, forcasts had reported 5-10knot wind with 1/4 to 1/2" rain for the day. As we hudled in the dark our numbers were called for verification (Steve Harvey..the Race director and Keira are amazing in both organization and inspiration.) now we await for the start of the race!
In preparation for today Im wearing a compression long sleeve shirt layered by my coolmax running shirt, a Burlington Performance wear Jacket, head/ear covering and hat. On my feet are Brooks Cascadias and Injinji Performance Socks. In hindsight flippers might have worked...yeah...I said flippers.

I began running fairly quickly...the first 9 miles are ran on single track trail, as the rain fell I didnt want to get caught on single muddy slippery trail. I moved along fairly strong, at times maybe to strong but I knew this course and felt good.

Once I cleared the 9 mile loop I realized that this race will be a challenge, the rain was falling consistantly and everyone at this time was realizing the same thing.
I moved through the first aid station fairly quickly...greeted by Steve Harvey and volunteer freinds, it made me feel good so off I went. The main divide on a sunny day is a great run, although the beginning from Bluejay is always something that I dont look forward to.......Im not sure what it was.....the Cold, the Rain, the Wind? But I couldnt really equate this run to any in the past on the same route.... I knew about the steep inclines but didnt experience them the same way! they went quicker or passed without me realizing them even there!

As I drove on I thought it just cannot get any worse......then it did.......and did.......and did... the clouds were riding on updrafts as you ran along the trail, one side...the mountain, the other side is a steep drop off but you watched the clouds rocketing up into the sky...carried by the wind that was now gusting wildly...amazing!

I passed by Trabuco peak..the second aid station and was greeted by all of the friendly volunteers (this station later blew down....destroyed by gusts).

I ran to the top of Santiago, greeted again by tremendous voluteers, ate some chicken noodle soup, had hot chocolate and was again on my way!

I ran to Maple Springs, met by friends and my drop bag!, it was here that I was told the race might be cancelled!.....what!, strangely I knew that was right though....the weather had taken a serious turn even before I reached santiago...

I ran on past bedford peak and down santiago switchbacks to the Santiago Aid station where I was met by a small group of runners that had reached before me.......held here, the race was going on no further.....we were the longest runners, went the farthest before the end, but we were all content, I think everyone knew. So at 38 miles my adventure ended for now..I do however think that If we were given the chance most would have taken off again. In the end we waited for shuttles to pick us all up and bring us back........Thank you to everyone...directors and volunteers alike. The final report for weather.....50 to 60 knott winds 9" of rain.....hardly the 5-10Knott 1/4" prediction; but afterall ..... it is the Chimera! Bring it on next year! (check out the Maple Springs drop bag aid station that night) Demolished.

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