Ah, just back from Boise after a trip to Seattle and Bellingham over the last few days. My son and I decided to visit friends who just moved to Seattle and then I could race up in Bellingham while he hung out with them. I had planned to stay the night in Bellingham before the race but plans changed and I ended up just driving the 2 hours up in the morning before the race.
The weather had been rainy for days and nothing was changing for race day. Actually, as I approached Bellingham, the rain turned to slushy snow. I found the start area, checked in, and then back to the car to decide what to wear. I settled on 3/4 tights, light long sleeved and a jacket (all Mountain Hardwear) and for shoes I stuck with my Masochists, my favorite. At the start line I chatted with Houston Laws and Pam Smith as we waited in the rain.
The course starts with 10k of quite flat paved and gravel trail which means it is going to be fast. I rarely run flat so I knew this would be a challenge for me. I settled in to a nice pace with Jenn Shelton and Toshi also chatting with Brett Rivers and Pam Smith for a bit. I was thankful for the trail to start climbing but unfortunately my legs were feeling as strong as I had hoped. I usually love to hit the hills but for some reason it didn't feel as good on this day. I really enjoyed the snow and the singletrack, it was beautiful, and really just kept my same position for quite some time. I knew I was in 3rd for the women (Jenn had pulled out due to injury) but also knew there were many fast ladies not far behind. The mud and snow were nothing new, all my races this year have been very muddy! I had heard about the climb up Chinscraper and it was much shorter than I expected, it was definitely steep though! After summitting, I just tried to run strong for the rest of the race. There was a long downhill and my dreaded sideache started to come on. Luckily, I was able to keep it at bay and keep running a decent pace. I hit the flat, fast 1ok and was able to see a guy ahead of me. I was thankful to have that "rabbit" out there and tried to draw closer to him. I knew I was running for 3rd place, as I had not seen 1st or 2nd the entire day. With approx 1 mile to go, a spectator said to keep running strong, that 2nd place was not far ahead. That certainly gave me motivation to keep running as hard as I could. I did catch the guy ahead of me, but not the 2nd place woman. I finished 3rd woman in a time of 4:35. I was happy with my run, although I never felt strong. Krissy certainly knows how to put on a top notch race, it is one I will return too, hopefully to see some of the scenery I missed with the clouds, rain and snow we had this year!
Big thanks to Mountain Hardwear, Montrail, and Drymax - perfect clothes and shoes for the day!