“[Kris] Kern estimates that [Jemez] is among the three toughest events in the United States with all three being almost equal in degree of difficulty.” Those are not words you want to read in the Los Alamos Monitor the night before tackling the 50 mile course.
Dirty Girl Gaiters.
I walk and run for a few miles and then come to a road. I didn’t think we were supposed to run on a road. Another “last place” runner is behind me so I wait until he catches up. “Did we miss a turn?” he asks. A car passes by and then turns around. “You guys missed the trail; it’s about 75 yards back”, a man says. How did we miss that? We backtrack and then keep walking uphill. I feel awful so stop to sit on a log. I was going to at least try to make it to the Pajarito Ski Lodge aid station where Cara is supposed to meet me, but I can’t make it over 10,000 ft again today.
I now know what it feels like to DNF, as this is the first time I haven’t made it to the finish of a race. I learned a lot from my experience and know that I need to do more altitude training and arrive at least 3-4 days before an event and hike at altitude as I did last year when I ran the Tahoe Rim 50. I’m proud that I ran 32 miles, over several 10,000 ft peaks, on one of the toughest ultramarathon courses in the country. I’ll be back to try again another year and have the Tahoe Rim 100 mile course to look forward to in a few months. See you on the trail.