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@djsteve

Tacoma, WA Raving since 2023 Active 11 months, 2 weeks ago

About Me

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My Races

Organize, track & review your races and personal bests here.

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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Future Races

Future Races (0)

Race Distance Location Date Paid

Past Races (2)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
50 Miler Page, AZ Mar 11, 2023
50K Olga, WA Jan 28, 2023

My Raves

Well, that didn't go as expected. The course is beautiful and I really appreciate the opportunity to be a guest on Navajo land. I wish VR felt the same way … MORE

Well, that didn’t go as expected. The course is beautiful and I really appreciate the opportunity to be a guest on Navajo land. I wish VR felt the same way and could have strung together a healthier, less-stingy production.

The 50-mile and 100-mile start by heading out to Antelope Canyon for the breathtaking, picturesque slot canyon. The race start of 5:45am makes sense, but I’m traveling from the west and my body is not ready to poop at 4am PST. There are 30 porta-potties clustered at the start/finish line, but only 3 at each of the first 4 aid stations. I’m stuck running 6 miles to the first aid station where there’s a queue of 15 or so people and a grim reaper approaching. Oh well, I’ll get it on the way back. Double back and at 12-miles let’s just say I was primed and ready. Long queue still. Ef. Okay, I wait, lose 15 minutes of my day, and carry on. It’s raining on and off, nothing the race can do about the weather. Stalling for so long though causes my knees to seize up… a new one for me that showed up in a 50k I ran about 5 weeks back. I’m in the wrong shoes for this terrain and have to make it to mile 20 for my first drop bag to swap shoes. I cruise into Slick Rock aid station at mile 17 and head over to the medical tent because I need something to take the pain away. No one is there. I go over to the food tent and a nice volunteer helps me sort through a measly medical kit and gives me some stretch tape as there is not KT tape. Better than nothing, and I carry on. Rolling into Horseshoe Bend and I’m still in pain, but swap shoes, poop again (the porta-potty is a disaster at this point), I re-up my pack, and head over to medical which is better staffed but still poorly equipped. I use the last of some supplies, pop some tylenol because there’s no ibuprofen, and I carry on. The next stretch is absolutely stunning and worth all the pain. Take time to soak it all in, and boom, the tylenol kicks in and I’m cruising again. Not the most runnable terrain but it’s the best miles of the day for me. I went from thinking I might DNF before halfway to honestly thinking I can make to it at least 38 and re-evaluate a finish (but not under the last cut off). This stretch of terrain carries on for longer than expected. The rain starts coming down pretty hard, and weather is obviously taking an unexpected/un-forecasted turn. I’m prepared and happy, but passed many who were not. Running into WH aid station and my sprits are high but at this point the wheels were starting to come off the race. Already I was aware that the ladder down to the slot canyon had a queue of an hour which I was not looking forward to. No big deal, the slot canyon is closed due to the rain. There’s an alternate route. But the aid station is literally breaking down. There’s no porta-potty, that already disapeared. There’s no hot food. The worst part is there’s no runner mat to cross; me and another runner are told if we carry on we are no longer running a Vacation Race. I didn’t actually think there was a grim reaper at this aid station, but sure enough I’m already disqualified. I decide to call it a day, stoke was high, and I didn’t want to push forward with the questionable weather completely unsupported with some nagging knees. Bummer but today wasn’t my day.

Here’s the thing that irks me after. There were at least 5 runners behind me who were yet to check in at the aid station. It’s very likely that all of these runners could have needed aid and were possibly counting on it. If there was a specified grim reaper for the aid station, I can understand. But there wasn’t to my knowledge. Pretty lame. The volunteers were super helpful any way they could be, but it’s a questionable decision IMO to close up early when runners may need it the most. Isn’t that why a lot of people sign up and pay for these sufferfests?

So a pretty disappointing production overall. I know weather went sideways and that’s always a risk for these events. But in my opinion VR left runners hanging big time. I know there were a lot of DNFs. But there also was a lot of wasted time on the course with unnecessary queues. For a race that has been established for years, it seemed like costs either were cut or the race simply was overwhelmed by the weather situation. Either way, shout out to all the runners who supported each other and made it a great day outside.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
5
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Had a great time out on the island running all day. This course is no joke... the elevation alone is going to make it difficult for runners to hit cut … MORE

Had a great time out on the island running all day. This course is no joke… the elevation alone is going to make it difficult for runners to hit cut off times. There’s plenty of flow but also some rough technical terrain and obviously powerline has a steepness of 30-40% for miles that is un-runnable. You’re rewarded though with the best views of the day on top of Mt Constitution and it felt so good to summit! I underestimated how much technical trail there would be and the downhill ate me alive. I would do this again as I missed the final cutoff time at Mt Constitution but felt good knowing all I missed was a little bit of downhill back to the finish line. Talked with multiple race participants who have done the race multiple times and always come back. Rainshadow did a stellar job with communication and setting up aid stations and the finish line was such a great party with pizza and drinks! 5 star experience the race promoters should feel very proud.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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