I just keep cruising and cruising, and get to the spot where the rock levels out for a while. And I think to myself….”dang, I don’t know what my friends where talking about? That wasn’t so bad.” I start running, come around the corner again and BAM!!!!! There it is! The Real “Red Hot”! Ohhhhhhh. Now I get it! This is what they were talking about. More steep climbing!
“The next section of the course is the infamous Golden Spike that every Red Hot runner has either cursed, loved, cried, laughed or had a zen experience, either way Golden Spike is unforgettable.” from the course description
The next…I don’t know how many miles….where pretty much up…and up….and up….and then finally…there it was….aide station #2!!!!!!! I loaded up on water and such and bam! I was out of there. A few more yards of climbing and around a corner was one of the most beautiful vistas of the day. I had to stop (even though I didn’t really want to) and take a picture.
This really doesn’t do it justice
After that, it was all about letting loose and flying downhill on the slick rock. It was awesome. I was in Heaven. After all my years of descents from the top of crags, I felt right at home. Mind you, there were plenty of uphill sections thrown in along the next 7 miles.
“If you are familiar with what an EKG pattern looks like this is what runners will be mimicking across Gold Bar Rim. Runners are running on an uplift at about a 45 degree angle. This section will require you to dig deep and push through the pain you will inevitably be experiencing at this point.”
This was so true! The digging was more due to my quads shouting at me than anything. I was flying on the downhills! Just letting myself go.
Then I hit the last aide station. 5 miles left to go from here. After some more slick rock I was running on some sandy 4 wheeling roads for what seems like an hour or so. I must say that it took me what felt like a good 30 mins to get back into a rhythm of running. It’d been so long! Mostly though I was trying to pick the least sandy parts of the road while getting my run groove on.
A short downhill section
That is until the last little bit of slick rock that they threw in for us! My quads where screaming at me by this time on the downhills. All I could think was “this is going to kill in two days when I try to sit on the toilet”. For real! The weird $hit we think about when we’re out there in the mists of it.
Finally I ended up in a wash again. Ahhhh……a dirt road again. Some guys where hanging out there and informed me I had about a mile to go. “Yeah right!” I thought. I added another mile on just to make sure. A bit further on the road started to descend. I was thinking…ok…cool….I wonder how much further??
The begining of the end
And then I started seeing people. Spectator people. Shouting….”you’re almost there!” Again…”Yeah Right!”. The road turns into switch backs….I come around a corner and I’m just like “The finish!”. Seriously, I felt like it came out of nowhere! I couldn’t believe it! I few more hundred yards and I was crossing the finish line!
Finish Line Sprint
Wow! I’d done it! I’d pushed myself and had a BLAST!
I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!
This is one of the best runs I have ever done in my life. It was challenging, fun, amazing, gorgeous….and
I can’t wait to come back next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nothing like BFFs!