*Altitude.. WS isn’t considered a high altitude race, but 6000 feet felt like 14000 feet this year! Compared to 2009 when I lived in Colorado, I was sucking pond water this year as we climbed out of Squaw Valley. In 2009 it was easy to crest the top of Squaw at 8500 feet in first place; this year I was in about 15th with significantly more effort.
*Recovery: My spring season was too packed with victories :) to perform top notch at WS. Live and learn, gotta push the envelope, living life on the edge, etc, all that. That said, I can’t wait to race again later this summer!
*Hoka One One: I am so happy I sported the Bondi B the whole race. The Bondi B rocked the snow, as I came out of the snow in first to promptly lose about 15 minutes on a misflagged turn to Talbot Creek campground (ten more yellow flags led me across a waist high stream crossing leading into the Granite Chief wilderness...I wonder if other racers took this turn?) Anyway, the Bondi’s gripped the snow, cushioned the descents, and performed just as well as hey did at AR 50 and Miwok.
*Crew: My crew was stellar, as were the aid stations and volunteers. But I found it completely unnecessary to have crew until Michigan Bluff (mile 55) and would have been fine until Foresthill or the river going solo using only aid station resources. As known I thought I would struggle with GI issues but this didn’t materialize this year. I learned that simple is best for my racing and the transfer from fueling in sub 100 k races works fine to my rare 100 mile race. Of course I can say this given the cool temps this year and may be “eating” my words in the future.
*Props to Montrail for putting on the 2011 Montrail Cup (and 2010, 2009, 2008..) Of course I am happy about this because I won the series and some money which I sorely needed. I know some may not like to hear it but if it weren’t for my sponsors I would not have raced this year; I simply would have had to get a part-time job on top of school to support my family.
When I won the 2004 Cup I received a crystal vase presented at the Mountain Masochist 50, which still holds the flowers I bring home daily to my wife (or weekly.. maybe). I am guessing Montrail president Topher Gaylord has a iridium razor he just hasn't got around to mailing just yet.
*Have an excellent summer!