Thursday, August 23, 2012


Shauna and I celebrate our 2nd place finish!
 Finally, the last day has arrived. I am not sure how the body just keeps going and going when it's tired and sore but some how it does and mine just felt better and better the closer we got to day 6. All we had was a supposed 19 miles, which as it turned out got extended to 23. I remember this stage well from 09' even though it ended up being a tad different this year. I remember feeling good and running a lot of the hills.

We started with 3 miles of road from Vail to the trail. The start was changed because there was a Grandfondo happening at the same time. When we finally reached the trail it was just as I had remembered...a ton of switchbacks and many of them runnable. I love this section and had a blast hanging on behind Shauna for the first while. We were moving pretty good and I was thinking how 3rd place would have to be moving pretty good to catch us today. But then I thought I saw another open women's team behind us. Once I could get a better look, it was just a guy with a pony tail! We eventually got onto a steep trail that climbed straight up for quite some time and it seemed like a the aid station was getting further and further away. It was supposed to be at 7 miles but one guy's GPS said 9. something and we still hadn't seen it. I was out of water at this point and getting hungry and really just wanted to see it and be done with this climb.

We hit it moments later and refilled out packs and away we went. We had seen 2 of the open mixed teams there as well and after asking what the hell they were doing way back here, they said they got lost and took a detour. I remember noticing a fork in the trail where if you weren't looking up, you would've easily missed the flagging to go right, which is exactly where they got off track. Unfortunately for them, the trail went straight down and they had to climb all the way back up!

Again, I loved the downs....just always so fun, especially single track! This next section was rolling and flat at times which was a bit mentally challenging but we soldiered on, walking when we had to. Then we descended a very narrow trail which was very rocky and you really had to pay attention as it would've been very easy to roll an ankle. After passing through a small tunnel, we ended up on the road again, where we would remain for another 3 miles or so to checkpoint 3 in Avon. The road sections were hot and all I wished for was some cushioned runners at this point! I was still feeling good though and we ran pretty much everything from here to the finish. I just wanted this thing done and knew that it would just drag on if we didn't run in it. Shauna had no issues responding and we finished this stage in the same time as the day before. A big hug at the end signaled the finish of 6 long amazing days together.

Jenny and Pam celebrating their win at the finish. Nice outfits ladies!

Shauna was the best partner I could have ever asked for. Her laid back personality makes her really easy to be around and we shared a lot of laughs out there on the trail. I pushed her and she pushed me but for the most part, we just worked together. There was never any drama- simply good times. The finish banquet was fabulous and it was amazing getting to sleep in a real bed again!

We drove for 2 days and got home on Tuesday night, just in time to see the birth of my brother`s son. I can`t believe the timing! Thanks Jess for waiting for me.

Carston Mathias Gildersleeve!
Thanks again to the guys at La Sportiva who were so generous over the course of the week. It was great to meet the guys behind the scenes as well as some of my other teamates who came out and raced as well as volunteered. TRR is such an amazing event. I know I said I`d never do it again while I was running but now that it`s over and I totally want to go back.

It`s great to be back on Vancouver soil and back running in the sick single track on the North Shore Mountains. It`s nice to be able to run up hills without feeling like my lungs are going to explode!

Next up: Meet your Maker 50 miler in less than 2 weeks time if the body allows for it!

See you in the trails!

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