Supermodel and I completed the Jupiter Peak Steeplechase on Saturday. Our concern about the weather was for naught. We couldn't have asked for more perfect conditions weather-wise. The temps were in the 40s and 50s, no wind, no rain, and blue skies. My gear bag was packed with so many clothing options, it looked like I was going on vacation for a week. I wore a sleeveless shirt and no gloves. I was very comfortable.
Mile 1: Up
Mile 2: Up
Mile 3: Up
Mile 4: Up
Mile 5: Up
Mile 6: Up
Mile 7: Areyoukiddingme? Up [Without exaggeration we climbed, using our hands, to the top of Jupiter Peak. The peak was comprised of loose rock with weeds growing sporadically. We could grab the weeds for balance, but there was no trail and the rocks slipped underfoot. The view gave me vertigo and nausea, so I looked quickly... once. Maybe another time.]
Mile 8: Slightly Down [after scaling the Peak], but then... UP
Mile 9: Slightly Down - Fall Number ONE for me.
Mile 10: Down
Mile 11: Down
Mile 12: Down
Mile 13: Down, Up, Down - Fall Number TWO for me.
Mile 14: Down
Mile 15: Down - Fall Number THREE for me.
Mile 16: Down - FINISH!
There were varying degrees of intensity and grade with the climbs and descents, but you get the picture.
For those who haven't run a hill climb that includes a descent, running down is more difficult than one would think. There were a few sections that were too steep to run, and the runnable sections required restraint on my part because my knees can't take the pounding.
Supermodel and I separated early in the race. It happens. We positioned ourselves at the very back of the pack before the start. Once we began running, I realized we'd made a mistake. There were people ahead of us who probably should not have been. We were running on a forest service road for roughly the first half mile, then we all poured onto a single-track trail that was 18" wide. The race began up a hill, so everyone was dealing with immediate oxygen debt. I did the best I could to reposition myself before the single-track. Supermodel was doing the same thing, but we lost each other. We both knew the other would be okay.
This was a very difficult event, which made reaching the finish line that much sweeter. Chris and the boys were there to support me, and Chris took several pictures. Here I am before I noticed Chris or the boys.
With yards to go, I saw this...
Which made me so happy, I almost cried...
...before I finally ran across the finish line.
After the race, Supermodel and I hugged and congratulated one another. It's always a bonding experience to train with someone and complete a goal together. [We still have two more events ahead of us.] Supermodel told me all about her run, and I told her about mine. We shared and cared about each other's aches, pains, joys, and victorious moments. Supermodel and a few other runners were charged by a mother moose and her baby around mile four on the course!
Supermodel also fell, only once, but she was scraped pretty badly. We decided it's not your first trail race if you don't leave skin on the trail. Just like, it's not a party until somebody pukes. We're both officially initiated.
Toddler Child did not like seeing my skinned knees...
Supermodel and I after wiping ourselves with Wet Wipes.
Before we loaded up the car to head home, we paid a visit to the results table. We were each handed a card with our UNOFFICIAL Overall Finish as well as our Age Group Finish. My card said 32nd overall. Supermodel's overall finish was very near that. We asked the woman who handed us our cards how many people actually ran the race and she said close to 250. Supermodel and I raised our eyebrows at each other and said, Not too shabby!
The following day, OFFICIAL Results were posted on a website. I discovered that our "Overall Finish" results were for WOMEN only. The race was timed as a Men's Steeplechase and a Women's Steeplechase, which is typically a subset of Official Results in other races I've completed.
I called Supermodel.
Me: Guess what?
Me: Official Results are posted and we didn't do quite as well as we thought. We still did a great job, but it's a little deflating. Our overall finish number was only for WOMEN.
Supermodel: I liked thinking it was for the whole field.
Me: Me too.
We may not have finished quite as well as we originally thought, but we each did better than we expected we would. And? It's possible I finished the race with a broken wrist. It's definitely sprained, the swelling's gone down, and my mobility's returning. If it's not better tomorrow, I'll get an X-ray.
Tell me that's not badass.