driving in to the staging area
don't we look cool!?
ADULT WARNING, gratiutous shower pics! It was raining, & this was the only way to get the mud off before getting back in the car. (below) Hannah & I showing off our new XTerra tatoos!
the pre-race bathroom line, not all shown here, which I abandoned after several minutes. 8 porta-johns, really?
the view from our table at Kona, although it seemed blurrier when I took this. Hmmmm...
view of Diamondhead from Waikiki beach
Pearl Harbor, and the USS Arizona Memeorial
(above) sunset at...you guessed it...Sunset Beach
my favorite beach...
As many of you know, this trip was planned as a Mother's Day surprise for Abby back in May, with a big race thrown in for my benefit. Not known to me at the time was that I would not be able to train properly or at all for most of June, July, November & December. That being said, my race goals for the XTerra Trail Run World Championships went from being competitive to surviving (which I was able to do). The race was held on 12/7 on a ridiculously hilly, sometimes muddy, sometimes trail-less 21k course at KuaLoa Ranch on Oahu. While en route we passed, and were passed by Jurassic Park Tour Jeeps, and ran through jungle while seeing several panoramic vistas of the Pacific Ocean. I ran fairly steady the whole way, if a bit slow. I lost contact with a pack that I was clinging to at the start, but for the most part I kept a similar position through the whole race. I estimated I was in the top 20 or so after the pack dropped me...I was actually 15th...would be passed by two guys when I stepped aside to let them by on a uphill singletrack 56 minutes in, and after passing through the start area at mile 10 (I was really hoping it was mile 11 or 12), I actually passed one of them back with about a mile to go to finish 16th, in 1:43 & change. While I was 25 minutes behind the champ, he is a 1:02-03 runner on a flat course and ran 1:18. That translates to about a 1:25 for me on a flatter course...10 minutes off my best, but ok considering. It was a great experience, a great course, and as I finished only 9 places & 6 minutes out of the prize money, I'm hoping to be back when in better shape!
As I stated in my last blog, we sampled 40 beers while in Hawaii...Abby's parents, Jim & Betty were glad to help with that, as was Abby, myself, & Hannah, who is now a borderline alcoholic! That was a ton of fun & I am now in full beer-drinking mode...I haven't run a step since the race, and I don't plan on trying again until 2-1-09, hoping for a healthier 11 months of 2009. Since 10/27, I've only run a couple quality workouts, and I could really feel it in the 3 tune-up/survival runs I did between the Turkey Trot & XTerra. They were one hour long run, and two 20 minute runs, and were all a struggle, as I sweated likw a stuck pig. I plan on being more active than I was during the 7 weeks I took off this summer, so even though I've already "tapered" for a few weeks, I'm hoping to regain my fitness within a couple months of resuming training in February. I've dropped my last 2008 race, January marathon, February 50k, and a couple others...planning on being back in action at the Climb California in SF on March 28th, and back in good enough shape to attempt a 5k course record (16:34) at the Daffodil run in April.
The trip itself was great. Between the beer, fish so fresh it melted in your mouth (and we ate lots of fish!), the beaches with the warm ocean water, and the 68 degree low temp for the week, I didn't really want to come back to the real world, but at least I'll be back at the gym tomorrow morning when it's 20 degrees outside! I've attatched a few pics to gve y'all a visual of the race, and the beaches where we swam, and that I ran by or on during my 3 training runs there. Mahalo.
You can see race pics @brightroom.com...search XTerra trail...it's the XTerra trail running World Championships...12/7/08...KuaLoa ranch, Oahu. My bib # was 44.