This has been a goal of mine for at least 5 years. Every year the race comes around and I'm always in the same situation...under trained or over injured. This year my lack of dedication to running has left me feeling completely uninjured. I'm usually plagued by shin splints that leave me feeling like my anterior tibialis muscle is separating from my broken tibia. I'm also seriously motivated by the fun factor....if its not fun, I'm not motivated. Excruciating pain is not fun, hence the long winded explanation of my running blights.
But this year I turned 30. All of a sudden my new geriatric status makes me feel comfortable being slow, and ok with just finishing. So I basically said "F@#% IT!!" and decided that if they would let me into the race, I was going to do it. My goal was to first make it to the top of the pass in under an hour and not get disqualified, and then to finish in 5 hours.
I have a significant amount of history with this trail. The first time I hiked it, I was 17,and thought it would be a fantastic day trip....that day was a major epic. I think it took my friend Mindy and I about 15 hours, it rained the whole time, we got lost twice (who needs a map?), learned what cairns were, saw 3 bears, down climbed a cliff below Raven gorge, and ended the day exhausted with a new list of "don't do that again's".
Mindy and the Waterfall Below the Pass
Raven Glacier and Me in 1996
I finished the race in 4 hours and 40 minutes, and 17th for women. Not a spectacular finish competition wise, but still 20 minutes under my goal. Plus more importantly I finally just did it and had a ton of fun....minus the river crossing and leg cramps!!!