It was a little chilly when I got to Red Lodge where the shuttle would take us to the start line, I was about half a hour early so I hung out in my car for awhile and then wandered around until I found some people I knew and before I knew it we were loading the bus to the start.
It was cold up at the start. I stood around for shivering and finally took off for a warm up run. The sun came it and I stripped down to my tank. I was later very glad I did, a lot of others kept on their long sleeve shirts and I think we're sorry later. I also wore my fuel belt, there was mention of a water stop halfway through, but I never did see one. I ate a chocolate gu ten minutes before the start and finally it was time to go!
I was unsure of how to pace myself for a 9.3 mile race, so I was thinking just faster than half marathon pace, about 7.20ish. My first mile was fast and I wondered if I should slow down, but I was running with another girl whose name I never got and she was setting a fast pace. It felt good though so I decided to stay with her as long as I could. Four miles in we were still running sub seven miles and I ate a Roctane, and drank some nuun. I was worried doing this would throw off my pace and I would lose pacer girl, but I actually sped up as I did so. We made great time and passed a number of people.
Just after 4 miles in I noticed she started slowing a bit. This bummed me out a little as I really felt like she was helping push me, I stayed with her for a bit hoping she would rally and stay with me, but she kept fading.
I didn't. I kept going pushing the pace as much as I dared.
I had no iPod with me and was worried I would lose focus or motivation, but I never did. I kept repeating my mantras and focused on the guy in neon yellow in front of me, slowly, slowly I reeled him until with one mile to go I was on his heels. I passed him several times and was really hurting the last mile, I don't think he liked getting passed by a girl in a skirt. He would speed up and pass me back. I was also getting hot. It was now 55 degrees and sunny.
The course was downhill, but with lots of rolling hills and I was told once I hit town it would be all downhill, so imagine my disappointment when I noticed a slight up hill once I got halfway through town! I do recommend this run though. Beautiful scenic views from the Beartooth Highway.
Funny thing is I think I beat him at the end, but I couldn't tell you that for a fact. I got over the timing matt and sprinted to my biker Troy, handed him the timing chip and he was off. I had a great time hanging out at the finish cheering on the other runners.
My favorite mantra for this race was: Make this moment count.
Others I used: Be you bravely, soldier on. This is what I do. And I can do another mile, what is another mile, nothing to me.
But mostly "make this moment count", kept me focused and motivated. I felt great and was glad I decided to rest Friday and Saturday even though I hadn't planned to.
9.3 miles in 1 hour 5 minutes and 16 seconds, per my Garmin. I don't have the official time yet. I didn't hang around for the festivities or the rest of the bike or paddle portions. I had to come home to take care of two little people :) Automatic race distance PR since it is the first time I have raced a 9.3 mile race.
I will post the final placing for my team as soon as I find out, but I wanted to get my part down while it was fresh in my head. I know I was the second girl in, but that is all I know at this point. So excited to find out how my team mates did!