Sunday, January 22, 2012

Delayed race report - Big Bend 25k trail run

I'm behind.  It started at Thanksgiving, which is usually the weekend I prepare/send all my holiday cards, send out holiday gifts, and transfer my calendar into the following year (old school, Filofax style).  This year, I have been late on all of that, and only finally transferred my calendar this weekend -- realizing that I'm nearing the end of January 2012 - ALREADY.

But, things and races got in my way -- and here is the race report from my 3d race of the year - the Big Bend Ultra trail run (I just ran the 25k).  For those of you who don't know (like I didn't last year) -- Big Bend is here - very, very far away from most things (other than Mexico).  Zoom as you need to, but that is a 6.5-7 hour drive from San Antonio. (Note: click on any pic below to make it larger)

So, I headed out along the more scenic, albeit very lonely I90 route along the Rio Grande.  And saw my favorite sign
(I did NOT pick up any new inmate boyfriends).  In fact, you don't see ANYONE out here.  No cars, no cellphone coverage, cue banjos....and then, you are really glad to hit a border patrol stop for a little 'company.'

below picture is Mexico - across the Rio

and no cars in sight

Pecos river

still no cars and about 3 hours to drive
But, eventually, I made it to Big Bend National Park - and my cozy lodge room (you guys camping are suckers!), where this was my view of The Window

and as sunset approached in the Chisos Basin

On Saturday, I drove around the park (all told - 1,100 miles on my car for the weekend, which is over 1/7th of my annual mileage).  Most of this was on my own and, while wading across the Rio Grande at one point, I realized that nobody in the whole world knew EXACTLY where I was (no cell phone coverage, either) -- I'm glad I didn't get eaten by a bear.

proof of illegal immigrant ponies

who altruistically brought these semi-legal goods across the river, I'm sure

Here's the view across the Rio to Boquillos, Mexico (border crossing opening this Spring!)

Then, it was off to the hot springs (and it was hot)
In the hot springs (I thought it was going to be cold in January - air temp around 72 degrees, water around 101-102 degrees)
near the area I allegedly may have crossed over and touched Mexico, although only the donkeys saw me, if it happened - and nobody can prove it...

and this was the road my poor little podcar had to drive to get over/back there (the drop off is MUCH bigger than my car)
So, then there was the little race to run

Here's the cool shirt
and getting ready, set...
(It takes about 45-60 minutes to get to the staging area in the morning, and I almost hit a deer heading down the basin/mountain)  But, I made it to the windy, but decent-weather start (mid 40s with a breeze)

1st aid station (around 4.5-5 miles)

Here's where I started to sneak down into the secret canyon Whitney told me about, but then I remembered there were bears, mountain lions, spiders, and such out there, and I jumped back onto the race route (yep, I was chicken to try to run it alone).
had I run it, I would have emerged here (unless a bear got me)
but I kept on -- the next pic of me is the 3d aid station
(somewhere near here, you can see the finish across the desert for about 2-3 miles)....but it finally arrived
(on the other side, thank goodness!)
Here is my bling

and after eating the BEST veggie burger EVER (really) - relaxing at the campground w/ buddy Kim (she won first F masters for the 25k last year, and goofed off this year, running my 50meter pace!).
and then there was that cruddy Packers loss, a long solo ride home with sore feet, and a flat tire after I got home.  Which is my excuse for posting all of this beauty late. THIS weekend was a nice medium-distance run with buddies, followed by brunch.  Next weekend is the 3M half marathon in Austin -- if I get the new tires on!!

No comments: