It could almost seem that I am deliberately completing as many crossings over the Sierra Nevada mountains as possible. In keeping with that theme, after a couple of days around Truckee and Squaw Valley, I followed my brief run along a section of the TRT (read that post here) by driving straight back over (this time via a different pass) towards Sacramento. I had some time to kill so I stopped to watch a movie, which was possibly the only relaxation activity other than reading and surfing the net so far on my trip.
I then made my way to Cameron Park, 30 miles east of Sacramento, to meet up with Curt, his family, and fellow house guests. I had met Curt on the night training run I had completed along the Western States trail, and he had kindly offered me a place to stay if needed. A few days earlier I had also requested an additional favour as I wanted to purchase some running gear online but needed an address for shipping. I would stay with Curt and family for a couple of nights, collect my new running gear, and we would get an oppotunity for a daytime run thanks to Curt’s job as a teacher and the ongoing summer break.
Also staying with Curt were a couple of recent college graduates, that Curt’s wife had brought home from the hospital where she works when there cycling trip across the US was cut dramatically short by a collision with a truck only four days in. Luckily some scrapes and stitches were the worst of the injuries but the cycling was on hold while some healing took place.
We spent the evening watching the movie Unbreakable (not the one with Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson) about the 2010 Western States race. I had my computer open and was comparing the splits being run by the top three runners that day (Geoff Roes, Anton Krupicka and Kilian Jornet) to my planned pacing. Needless to say the gaps were quite considerable.
The plan was to run the section from Foresthill down to the Rucky Chucky river yet again. Curt was interested to run on the course since he will be pacing a runner from Italy. I had already run that section of the course a couple of times, the most recent being just the previous Saturday (read about that run here) but I was glad to get as much time on the course as possible. A friend of Curt who has run Western States previously would also be joining us for the day.
We met up at Driver’s Flat, a couple of miles up the road from the Rucky Chucky river crossing and drove one car through to Foresthill. We set off at a walk from the car, and after a minute I was forced to ask whether we intended to run. So we set off running, turned off the main street of Foresthill and onto the single track of the Western States that would take us down to the river. We ran along at an easy pace, and it actually felt slow for some sections. Therefore when we reached the river in 2:40, a time faster than I plan to complete that section on race day, it was a big confidence boost. Obviously on race day I will have had plenty of time to warm up prior to that section, with it starting 62 miles (100 km) into the race.
We then predominantly walked, with the occasional run, for the climb back to the car. We then headed back to Foresthill and enjoyed a well earned pizza.
For details of my third run down to the river you can check out MovesCount.com here.