About an hour prior the start I find myself checking in within the big white warmed tent at Cool, California.
The whole event was organized very well.
Sunrise and 56 minutes and 32 seconds to race start.
Picture perfect day!
A way too cool Way Too Cool starting line :)
Slowly but surely runners and their family and friends are arriving. All in all we expect 450 runners.
"A foot well prepared is the race already half ran" I say.
4 minutes until start. The weather is absolutely perfect. A runner will tell me later that 2 years ago he had to battle snow and hail while running the 2006 Way Too Cool!
As the website said: at 8 AM SHARP we were all off running the only pavement down the street to the trail.
After the pavement the trail starts and it's absolutely beautiful.
The crowd dissapears fast and the field is spreading out rapidly.
Conquering our first uphill. I learned that this lady here is suffering a cold and is having a bad day feeling "really really really shitty" (in her own words).
Working our way up to the course high point of 1,619 feet.
Along the way I met two awesome runners; Yomi (#317) and Dan (#396). Yomi told me about the rain and hail 2 years ago. He also would pass me at the 2nd last aid station (mile 26.24) and Speedy Gonzales his way to the finish line passing 4 more runners along the way. Way to go Yomi way to go!
Dan is 61 (!) and was on a mission. He kept going and finished this race in 8:25:35; 4 minutes and 25 seconds before the cut-off time. Honestly, when I talked to him I thought he was 40. I can only wish I will be as strong like Dan when I am over 60. Respect Dan respect!
1 hour and 8 minutes later I'm at the first aid station, HWY 49, at mile 6.1 where "Dirt Diva" Catra Corbett was helping out. She is a remarkable runner and check out her blog.
Long way to the next aid station.
At times the trail gets a bit muddy but it's all fun. Some runner try to avoid it (like me) and some run straight through it.
During the whole time this trail never ceased to amaze me in its beauty. At times it was breath-taking.
Running along the American River.
There were a lot of rolling hill sections which felt good for my legs.
Taking one step after another.
Just keep on going. Follow the trail.
Waterfalls on an ultra? Way Too Cool has it.
The views are spetacular.
Running on the trail where the trees will hug you.
I could have snapped a picture every 5 minutes and it would be beautiful.
I'm in a awesome mood the whole run appreciating being there enjoying nature the fullest.
While on the trail I often forgot to pay attention to keep on the right route. At one point I started to believe that I was lost because I didn't see any trail markers for a long time (or so it seemed). I was sure released when I came across this marker telling me that I'm just fine.
4 hours and 12 minutes into the run and I still feel awesome soaking up the energy around me. At times, so late into the run, I found myself running alone which I absolutely didn't mind.
Wonderful view to the American River.
Some sections were pretty technical like this part of the trail where we came down. This is a look back of what I just ran down.
It's rather easy to step the wrong way or to slip.
One of the many river crossing. I do not like wet feet and luckily I was able to avoid stepping into the water ever.
About 3 hours left in this run until the finish line.
A steep section up Main Bar Trail.
Again, better watch where I step in order to prevent insuries... :)
The aid stations were absolutely awesome with a huge choice of food and drinks. They even had my favorite ultra food: watermelon! A huge thanks for all those volunteers making this race happen.
It's totally uncool to litter and it truly upsets me when I see runners litter the trails. On Way Too Cool littering was almost non-existing. Way to go runners!
Running back towards the second last aid station. By this time the sun is high in the sky heating up the day which I didn't mind at all.
Again, just beautiful all the way.
Yet another tricky section along the final miles of Way Too Cool.
Almost there only about 10 more minutes.
On the far right side you can see the finish line area. It will take me 5 minutes to run there.
I've done it. I was slow: 7 hours 33 minutes and 33 seconds. But I was slow on purpose because in 2 weeks I have a challenging 100 mile endurance race coming up.
On the way home from Sacramento to Anaheim Hills we decided to drive the Pacific Coast Highway. Along the way we stopped at the beach and let the girl play for a while.
What a way to finish a perfect day. Standing there watching the sun go down made me really appreciate all the good things in my life.