Mount Diablo 50k
This race was almost 2 months ago. My memory of it is not very fresh, so this is going to be a lousy race report but let me try.
I woke up super early, as usual was worried of not having enough for breakfast so ended up stuffing myself completely. Not good. The drive goes smoothly but then there's a long queue for registration and for restrooms so I end up rushing to the start. Yohann is there with me.
If you look at the map of the race 50k consisted of a climb to the top of Mt Diablo, then a large loop, then another climb and down to the start. So essentially two climbs. Two big climbs. In fact, Coastal Trail Runs have 17 different courses for their races throughout the year (I did 10 of them, few multiple times) and out of those 17 Mount Diablo is the one with biggest total elevation gain; 2435 meters overall. It's a brutal race as we were soon to discover.
We started together with Yohann, at some point I was setting the pace but he was just few meters behind me. Before long he took the lead and was going at a pace that I knew would kill me that day so I did not try to keep up and he was slowly gaining distance.
The climb was very picturesque. At the top I honestly wished I had my camera with me. Probably I would not have stopped to take photos anyway, but the views were truly gorgeous.
On the way down at some point I got debris in my shoes. I honestly cannot believe my stupidity but I did not stop to remove it. I did not want to waste time (duh). So instead of stopping for 30 seconds I continued with every step causing me pain and eventually developing serious blisters. Very, very smart. At least I hope this will serve me as a lesson for the 100 miler later this year.
The second climb was really brutal. I was tired but all the miles, the ascent was tough and, to top it all, it was a very hot day.
When I reached the penultimate stop I was very surprised to see Yohann there; I did not expect to see him again, except perhaps at the finish line. Turned out the heat got to him. We ran for a bit together but he was in a pretty bad shape and, although I wasn't much better, I still had some racing spirit in me, so after making sure he's fine I tried to catch some guys in front.
In the end I finished 6th (2nd in my age group) in 5:53:56. I can say that without a doubt that was the tougher Coastal Trail Runs race I did. Climbing Mount Diablo is not a joking matter. Climbing it twice is... :)
At the finish, as always, the watermelon tastes divine. I drive home and am so tired that am thinking of taking a nap, even though it's not my usual MO. But in the end I make it until 7pm and then collapse for good.
P.S. Since we both suffered so much in this race, obviously mere 3 weeks later we had to come back there ;).