Larry C., Tana (Golden Retriever) and I arrived around 9:30 at the parking lot. Larry C. was to hike up to the access gully to the summit pyramid at the top, wait for both participants to pass and then follow us down. He was equipped with a cell phone in case of injury, either to us or insufficiently alert hikers.
After Larry C. took off I waited for Taylor and Dana.
Taylor and Dana were supposed to arrive about 10 am to start the race. I had tried for an earlier start, fearing that the weather would be hot and slow the race down, but Taylor made some excuse about wanting to sleep in. I think he was hoping for slow times.
The day was classic midsummer with blue blue skies and hi temps predicted to be in the 80s. There was not a breath of breeze.
Finally about 11 am the boys arrived and we started the race.
As planned I pushed the pace hard for the first mile - but after half a mile I could no longer see Taylor on the switchbacks behind me. As I climbed, occasionaly I could look down over several switchbacks and by the one mile mark he had to have been a couple of hundred yards or more back and I felt my plan was working well.
The day was perfect for a picnic but too hot to run really hard - I was heat limited, not leg limited. I tried to keep the best pace I could and enjoyed the fantastic mountain scenery glimpsed through the trees and forest vegetation on the way up.
I guess I was getting complacent. Somewhere past the three mile mark I heard heavy breathing behind me and to my utter astonishment saw Taylor around a hundred feet behind me. I have absolutely no clue how he made up all that distance. I clamped down on the old adrenal cortex and pushed for the summit.
I passed Larry C. and Tana on the summit plateau at about 65:30 - a very good time for me particularly considering the temperature. I entered the summit gully and topped out. On the way down the gully I passed Taylor going the other way and then stopped briefly to exchange a couple of quick comments with Larry C. and guzzle a half liter of gatorade before tipping off the plateau for the trip down. The round trip from the 4 mile mark on the summit plateau to summit and back took about 11 minutes, also a good time for me.
I felt I had him for sure, but I was not feeling as strong as I usually do at this point. Pushing that hard in the heat had taken a toll.
The trip down was uneventful except for periodic incipient cramping in calfs. I could tell I was not making great time, and my legs were not responding as quickly as they should when I told them to "lift up the feet" to avoid root or rock.
I crossed the finish line about 38:40 from the top - a VERY slow time down.
It was, however, fast enough.
Final time was about 1:55:10, although our official timer is unsure of the seconds.
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