This will just be a quick cap as we're about to hit the open road towards home here shortly. We realized we couldn't say bye to our beautiful hotel bed in favor of a tent just yet and extended our stay in Auburn by one night. It's been fun to actually explore the town a bit, especially Old Auburn, though walks have been limited to about 250 meters at a time...and we turned back once we hit an insane 7% uphill grade on a street yesterday morning...regretted attempting it for hours afterwards!
Honestly I'm on top of the world right now. Sixth overall in a time of 17h06m is honestly right around where I truly felt I could be, but to actually achieve it on race day is a completely other thing entirely!
I am ecstatic with how my race unfolded. I started conservatively, somewhere back around 35th over The Escarpment. From there I slowly moved up about ten spots through the snow running towards the Poppy Trailhead aid station to come through in about 25th. By the time I reached my crew at Robinson Flat, mile 30 / km 50 I was in 12th! This was further up than I thought I'd be, but I knew I'd been smart up till then and hadn't done anything stupid.
I slowly but surely continued picking people off and once I hit the final 20miles after the river I let loose. It was great running with my friend and teammate Matt Hart and I had a battle back and forth with fellow Canadian Glen Redpath. In the end I was jumping for joy as I snagged sixth overall in one of the most competitive Western States ever staged! (though that seems to be the case every year)
I've compared my closing splits with the top seven and only Geoff, Tony, and Nick Clark managed to find the line faster.
I could not have asked for a better result all things considered this year and I'm so happy with it that I constantly have to keep reminding myself that I didn't actually win the race...I just feel like I did right now!
I'll obviously post a race report that will be obscenely long by early next week. Then I'll take some time off and start pondering how the heck I'm supposed to take two full hours off my time by next year, lol!