Check in (already cold, see how Sustina Steve is bundled up. Sam said no campfile)
Shuttle bus (the only warm area)
Took off from the bus. A long line already formed in front of two bathrooms.
We often see sunrise at the start, but once we go higher into the mountains, the weather sometimes becomes unpredictable like today when it was mostly overcast with wind and rain that we didn't see any sunshine until the last mile before the finish.
Looked clean - shoes (Montrail Masochist, have only 50K), socks (Skyline 50K, plus black toe socks), and legs.
Ready for briefing.
Hi Brian (Koo)!
Started to climb and experience the mild mud
Not that good, but footing still good compared with later.
Downhill where mud showed off its power.
Runners soon knew to stay at the grass (see how a runner on the mud had hard time to balance herself)
Crossing one bridge, but it looked like the only one because we felt like leaving the civilization from here and had to cross every creek on foot.
Now everyone stayed at the grass.
Cattle watching us while on their breakfast meal.
The single trail on the left is what was used for the first year two years ago (a muddy year but today was worse)
The first cattle gate we had to cross and there were many. Even there was one right before the finish.
Kirk was always right to stay on the grass, so I just followed him.
Beautiful Round Valley, but it was a landfill before. Thanks SMD for its 40 year effort to preserve the land.
First water crossing, so you had to get wet feet.
In a min or two, we had the second water crossing. There were simply too many to count.
Guess which way they were heading?
Started another climb to what used to be the first aid station at mile 3.6, but it was canceled due to the mud that prohibited the vehicle to come in.
Working hard on the climb
MountainMan Steve soon caught up
Shoes and socks started to get mud. Legs were OK for now.
I was a min behind and closing on Kirk, so he got a cow blocking the gate (the small one on the right) when I was approaching it.
Safely crossed the gate. It was a nice cow as a matter of fact.
Finally caught up with Kirk. Did not ask him about the cow for fear of interrupting their lively 100 miler conversation.
Now decided to stay ahead of Kirk - first to take a picture and second to avoid his other tricks :-)
We both agreed that we won't do this mudfest in real life, but since we had paid to do it, we decided to LOL!
Freezing windchill at the downhill into Morgan Territory
After taking off my jacket and long sleeves on the long climb prior to this, my Ohlone short sleeves was apparently not warm enough that I felt the icy cold all over my body and had to keep my arms behind from the gusty windchill.
Arriving at the first aid station today - Morgan Territory Rd at mile 8.2
Morgan Territory Rd aid station at mile 8.2. It was still raining in low 40's, so on seeing me soaking wet wearing my trademark yellow Ohlone short sleeve, a volunteer suggested me to stay dry for the freezing windchill temps at the ridge.
OK. Now this is what mud will do on you - from shoes, socks, to legs. And later I'd take a fall twice.
A volunteer showed us the right trail when we began the Old Finley out and back. Thank you!
Seeing some runners ahead of me at the out and back section.
Save Mount Diablo Dave (Husted)
MountainMan Steve, about 5 min ahead of me.
Picture a little blurred but still can spot the smiles because the aid station is right there.
Old Finley Rd aid station at mile 15.6
Kirk showing off his patented wings in order to correct mine.
Fear the beard?
A water crossing with a steep slippery muddy climb right ahead.
On climbing out of Old Finley Road, felt good at smelling fragrant my favorite cilantro that was essential in Chinese cuisine. They were everywhere and wild. Some were pretty big like this one (shown compared with my water bottle). Tempt to chew one but didn't want to take the risk. But why I was not successful in growing one at home?!
When suffer, just produce a smile! And me suffered too - starting to have quad cramping.
Another volunteer, braving the wind and rain, showed us the right trail. Thank you!
What pretty trail shoes/legs should look like.
The back of shoes and legs looked even adorable!
Horseshoes aid station at mile 23 - hosted by Forward Motion Sports. Thank you!
I came for fun!
All the water puddles with thick mud - all the footprints. I would add some more!
(lens started to have a foggy spot)
This runner must have taken a bad fall.
Icy cold water - excellent in relieving pain in hot weather, but now only to numb my feet in today's low 40's.
Some wild flowers. Still a few weeks before its full bloom here.
Burma Rd aid station at mile 28. Only 5K to go and no more (big) climb!
Bye! Thank you for braving the gusty wind, cold rain for us nuts.
Thank you and Bye! Now on my way to the finish. Woohoo!
Yes, no more climb, but this downhill half mile after Burma aid station was the worst ever. It's long and steep. Even the evil grasses slid you down! Wished I could do butt-slide.
Water crossing fun [HQ]
Had fun in a water crossing at Diablo Challenge 50K.
With the ultra legend Rocket at the finish.
Saw this stable on the half mile walk to my car. Even the horses wore sweaters and here was not windy.
Hmm. Their sweaters were somewhat stylish.
Felt the pain at the finish and saw only one cut among mud caked on my legs, but now can see them all after the shower. Must have happened on my second slide fall on rocks and mud. Had two falls and the second one was worse.
Goodies (Now play "I spy...")