I wish I only had to write about the Ascent. Had a great day there. Going into the race I thought my fitness would allow for a 3:29 and I would have been really happy with that. So I was ecstatic when I got a second wind above Barr Camp and shuffled my way to a 3:12.
The good vibes continued on Sunday, where another 3:29 up goal was met with a 3:17. I felt great, and I was prepared for the bomb back down the hill. The first mile of that downhill went great.
Just past the one mile to go sign I twisted an ankle and went down hard. Felt something tear, and in hindsight I should have quit right there and headed back up for donuts and a ride back to town. But I've never been accused of being the smartest guy out there, and I felt I could hobble 12 miles back down the mountain just to get a finish.
Took me an hour to get from that point down to treeline where I received expert medical attention (a buddy of mine gave me a beer), then another two hours to get to Barr Camp. The real medical folks there taped up the ankle, but it was another hour plus to get to Bob's Road where I could finally call it quits. I would have loved to finish, but I was dealing with quite a bit of pain and the realization that at my current pace I wouldn't have finished before the sun went down, which would have been a pain in the ass for race management.
While at Bob's I got to chat with the Search & Rescue folks, and I cannot say loud enough how awesome those guys are. Most runners see them out there, maybe say thanks as they pass by, and don't think much beyond that. While eavesdropping on their radio chatter, I can tell you that those guys are all over the mountain, all weekend long. Long before the gun shoots on Saturday morning, and long after the final finisher on Sunday. Great folks, and they do so much more then put together the world's greatest high altitude kazoo orchestra!
Right before I got a ride down Bob's Road to the highway, I mentioned to the SAR guys that I had hoped to go my entire life without utilizing their services. They laughed, and one of the guys gave me something to remember the ordeal: