|(Lining up at the start for the sold out race)|
|(Headlights line the ridge of the first climb!)|
The course this year went straight up Hill 88 (groan), but that didn't stop Franz Van Der Groen, Chris Jackson, Lon Freeman (in the 50-mile!), and Jeff Mogavero from setting a blistering pace up front. I slotted about 30 spots back, looking for good picture spots as we climbed above the clouds.
|(Getting above the clouds, then turning around to jump back in!)|
|(Cruising with Katie)|
|(Charging the climb, photo courtesy of ChasquaRunner)|
|(Matt and Ian in good spirits)|
|(These climbs get steep!)|
|(There's the Golden Gate Bridge!)|
|(Chris Denucci gets me filled up)|
|(The clouds wash up to the trail)|
|(We climb the ridge)|
|(Hold your breath, we are going back in!)|
|(Above the clouds, photo courtesy of ChaquaRunner)|
|(Ed is in there somewhere!)|
|(Peter enjoys the greenery)|
|(Ed pulls out of the clouds)|
|(Having fun, photo courtesy of ITR)|
|(50-milers getting it done!)|
I charged up the steep climb of Middle Green Gate, recalling this is the climb that broke Lance Armstrong when he ran this race with us in 2016 (he regrouped and got a solid 7th). Oakland's Sam Demello was fast hiking, and was thrilled when he asked if we were half way yet, and I said "mile 22...two more climbs and you are done!". I kept pushing, allowing myself to red line as we got close to the top.
|(Sam in getting it done!)|
|(Fast downhills, photo courtesy of ITR)|
I felt like I could have gone another 10 miles at this pace, so clearly my fitness is going well this year.
|(The final stretch, photo courtesy of ChasquaRunner)|
|(Find that finish, whoop, whoop!)|
|(Race Director Tim Stahler taking care of us)|
|(Enjoying some post-race beers)|
|(Happy volunteers keep us fed!)|
Another perfectly executed MUC by Inside Trail Racing, another beautiful day in the mountains. I can't wait for the next one!