Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bishop High Sierra Ultras

What the heck is that? That, my friends, is a banana and tapioca quesadilla. And THAT is just one of many taste sensations awaiting your palate at the Sage Summit aid station, had you run the Bishop 100k on Saturday. (You didn't eat the "carne asada" dip, though, DID YOU?!) This was the merry band of jokesters we 100k runners encountered at Miles 52 and 57. Think I may have a good idea who the instigator was...

This was the first year for the 100k option, the other distances being 20 miles, 50k, and 50 miles. Having never before run Bishop OR a 100k (in 17 years of ultrarunning!), I decided to go for the Full Monty and wasn't disappointed. It got hot--in the mid 90s--but the full brunt of the heat wasn't really felt until the descent back to the valley; higher up, nice breezes, cooler temps, and first-rate aid stations kept things pleasant. It was fun seeing old friends on the two separate out-and-backs, and the high Sierra scenery was spectacular (although upon reaching the high point of about 9,400 feet, I wanted to keep trekking toward the mountains!).

At Mile 48.5 the 100k runners could follow the course directly, and mostly gently downhill, back to the finish and get credit for a 50-mile finish. A LOT of 100k'ers--like half the field of ~80--called it a day and did just that. Option #2 was to continue on the 100k course. But this was not just 12 additional miles: this was 12 additional miles and LOTS of climbing, about 2000 feet worth in two separate ascents. What the...?! At the top of the first ascent we were greeted by the merry band and victuals pictured above. From there, we dropped a (okay, I'm embellishing, but it seemed really long) Hardrock-like descent (reminded me of Oscar's Pass minus the bowling ball sized rocks), to the "Poker Chip Turnaround." Then we got to retrace our steps ALL the way back to that 48.5 aid station and from there, to the finish.

Lucky for me, buddy Ken Hughes caught up to me at Sage Summit #1, so we ran the remaining 10 miles together, filling those hours with nonstop chatter. I'd basically been running alone all day, so this was fun! We crossed the finish line together in 14:08, good for 10th place overall, and 2nd chick for me. Marie Boyd definitely has a winner in the Bishop 100k, so hope it's here to stay!

Bishop High Sierra website


edmunds said...

you're living the good life, sue!

i'm glad your blog is back.

jeffrey <:-D

Olga said...

Living life, yes! Thanks for sharing!!!