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mt.disappointment 50k

rugged terrain

scramble away!

without a doubt the hardest race i’ve ever done. i thought the tahoe rim trail 50k had been a killer, since it took me almost 10 hours to finish the 50k, but the mt. disappointment 50k had me struggling on the course for 11ish hours.

the heat was ruthless, and the stretch of 7 miles — miles 14-21 — without aid brought me to despair. about halfway, at mile 17.5, i start to panic. what do i do? turn around, go back and give up? or keep going, dying of thirst and afraid of a heat-stroke? i continued on, putting one foot in front of the other. i knew i was closer to my goal with each step, no matter how slow i was going. getting to the mile 21 aid station i lied down on the picnic table bench, drank tons of water, ate orange and watermelon, rested a bit more and went on my way. i still had to lay down quite a few times along the course, and when i found a creek i got myself soaked from head to toe. it felt GREAT! the last 5 miles were sheer torture, all up, a steep climb on narrow switchbacks when my feet were already screaming for mercy.

smiling race picturei was expecting to be the only one from our running gang at this race, but was really pleasantly surprised to see e-rod, greg, charlie, alexa, michael, eric kp running his first ultra, and steph. they all managed to do better than me (and the news is…?).

since tahoe rim trail headphones have been prohibited during a race, so i’m getting used to running without them. the good thing about it is that i get to talk to a lot of people i wouldn’t otherwise talk had i been listening to music. it also a great opportunity to feel one with nature, taking in not only the smells and sights, but the sounds as well.

smiling race picturethe only thing harder than the race was driving back home. i drive the speed limit (65mph) on the freeways and that seems to annoy most of the drivers. they flash their lights, tailgate, beep, flip me off, and a host of nice stuff. i got mad about halfway with the cars flying by and took the first exit, driving from buena park to newport beach on surface streets. getting home and taking a shower, i slept like a baby. now it’s two months race-free and the 35 miler in november, in santa barbara. supposedly a hard race whose times are comparable to 50 miler times. so i’m expecting at least 12 hours to finish this race.

this morning at 6am i fly to florida, (naples), for a family reunion. we’ll be all together after 7 years or so. i’m excited. i’m thinking about not sleeping, since i leave for the airport at 4:45am, and it’s already 2:20am. 🙂

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{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Pat Knoff August 21, 2007, 3:11 pm


    Are you the person I met at the starting line that is from Brazil? I was wearing the bright orange Brazilian race shirt. You spoke with my friend Marta for a while who is from Brazil.

    Anyway, have fun in Naples. I was just there. My parents live there. Running in Florida is interesting. The humidity and heat combine in a brutal way.

    My. Disappointment was very challenging. I’m glad we all made it to the finish alive.


  • Jessica Deline August 21, 2007, 5:47 pm

    good job out there. Sounds like just finishing it was quite the accomplishment!!

    have a fun trip!

  • OCRunnerGirl August 21, 2007, 8:27 pm

    Way to go Nattie! You pushed through the lows and finished with lots of smiles. Hope you have a great time at your family reunion!

  • Darrell August 22, 2007, 4:30 am

    I love your determination.

    I hope you enjoy your time in FL. Family reunions can be fun.

  • Greg August 22, 2007, 10:44 pm

    Hey there! You rock! Yes, this race was ROUGH! Sorry I’ve been so busy. We need to catch up!

  • e-rod August 23, 2007, 9:33 pm

    nattie, i was wondering how you fared on that course seeing how so many of our running pals had a rough day.

    you are one determined runner. glad you pushed through and finished that one despite everything.

    let’s go on some training runs when you get back. have fun in fl.

  • stephruns August 24, 2007, 12:53 am

    Oh I love our pic! Glad you made it home save. During my drive back, a strange kind of sillyness overcame me and Amanda. We went into Panda Express, starving, and the guy thought we were drunk or stoned or both.

    Have a fun time in FL!

  • Helena September 18, 2007, 1:20 am

    Oi, Ná! Tudo bem com vc? Às vezes passo aqui e leio sobre suas corridas incessantes… Gostei do post da caminhada com parada na pizzeria… Li sobre sua reunião de família. Como estão todos? O “pequeno” Ryan já deve ter uns 4 anos, né? Acho que o Daniel volta este ano para o Brasil. A Dri esteve aqui há duas semanas. O avô paterno dela faleceu; já estava muito doente… Devo encontrá-la de novo no casamento do Matheus… Bj. Dê notícias!

  • Gabbie September 27, 2007, 6:04 pm


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