Monday, May 5, 2008

Kendra Ralston's Capitol Peak 55km Race Report

nuun ultrarunner kendra (borgmann) ralston won the 55km capitol peak race and was cool enough to provide a race report for me!

Kendra Ralston's Capitol Peak 55km Race Report
photos couresy of glenn tachiyama

It's amazing how much more the body can do than you give it credit for! On April 26, 2008, I took the opportunity to run in the 55K version of the Capitol Peak ultra [], directed by John Pearch out of Olympia, WA, which also features a 50 mile solo and a relay. Clear skies greeted us on race day, and only frequent mud on the trails and some snow on the ridge indicated the wet and colder winter the Pacific northwest has been enduring this year.

The nice thing about deciding that a race is just a coin in your fitness bank rather than an end in itself is that the pressure is off. As all the runners funneled onto single-track trail in the half-light of morning, it didn't really matter to me whether I went a little faster or a little slower than whatever my “ideal pace” would be. After settling down a little, I decided on which heart rate I would try to stay above and from then on the run passed in what felt like tidy half-hour increments with pleasant changes of grade and scenery and perfectly placed aid stations. When I went sailing by the first aid station James Varner helpfully called out “7 miles to the next one!” (whereupon I whirled around and grabbed a few gu's) and at the last station Carol O'Hear said “You're almost done, just stay on the trail”... it's a pleasure when aid station folks can give you these helpful hints!

I am not one of those people who can give a blow by blow of my races. I do remember that Monica Ochs, eventual female winner of the 50 miler, was ahead of me and since I was only doing 55K I felt motivated to kick my less-than-fit butt into gear enough to at least bring her back into view. I worked hard to do this and finally I saw her but she passed me again after taking a wrong turn and then my shoe getting sucked off in the mud. I did catch one guy with about 15 meters to spare, which really wasn't my intention. Okay, okay. Maybe it was. Third overall is a nice place to be. And my 5:22 time apparently broke the previous winning women's time by about 50 minutes. My Suunto T6 registered about 4860 feet of gain.

I derived a dangerous satisfaction out of this experience. It amazed me I could have such a good race off so little training. I know this can't go on forever. But once my husband and I move into our new house and a routine is once again established, I will incorporate my long runs outside of races! Through it all, nuun has provided me with the delicious electrolytes to keep on keeping on. Even when I'm nauseated, I can ingest its mild, fizzy flavor. I highly recommend both nuun and this low-key, pretty spring race. Here's to health and happiness!

congrats kendra! check out her blog here.

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