Saturday, May 20, 2006

5/20/06 - Bishop High Sierra 20 Mile: "Checkmate!"

Bishop has always been one of my favorite races. Probably because it's named after a chess piece and this race requires a lot of strategy. And the views aren't bad either!

My plan began with arriving Friday in order to acclimate to the altitude and do some fishing in the Sierras.

Then I went to the pre-race dinner and briefing where I caught up with many of my running buddies. Everything went according to plan. I ate my pre-race standard meal: steamed white rice from the local (only) Chinese restaurant. Here's Xy (pronounced Chrissy). If you think she looks good here, wait til you see her running Badwater in July!
Photographer Don, Xy and King Bill.
Michelle, the Queen of Speed!

After dinner, the wind and the rain came full blast. So I retreated to the room and went to bed. The next morning, my opening move had to be made: what to wear... Since it was still dark, this was a tough call.

At the start, I put my game face on and told Scott how brave he was for doing the 50 mile event (yes, I'm standing on a log).
The race is unique because it features the 50 Mile event, the 50K event and the 20 Mile "Fun Run" but runners are permitted to switch distances mid-race. One part of my strategy that I was quite set on was that I would NOT be switching from the 20 to anything with the number "50" in it.
At 6am, it was time to put the game plan into action.
I reminded myself to run a smart race, not to strike too soon. Then I slowly approached the long steady hill. To my amazement, my tactic worked. I attacked the hill, but kept a steady pace and maintained my breathing. I stayed calm as I maneuvered over and around many rocks. Most importantly, during the "heat" of the battle, I recalled some valuable advice from the wise race director, "Be weary of rattlesnakes."
3:07:14 - 1st place female, 5th overall.
Five minutes faster than last year!
Afterwards, I let my guard down and had some fun. Here's Chris Rios, the race director for the Ridgecrest 50K, passing the post-race field sobriety test.

I really wanted to lay down and go "Knightey-Knight!"
Receiving 1st place female award, which included free entry into next year's race. Hmm: 20, 50K or the 50 miler? So many possibilities...

1 comment:

Scott Dunlap said...

Go for the 50 mile! ;-)

It looks like your season is going well, and you are consistently faster while still having a good time. Congratulations!

Cheers, SD