Coyote 2 Moon 100…well, 78-miler

Well, what can I say, the C2M adventure was a good one, even though the “fun run” got cancelled in the middle of the night…a 78 mile training run with 22,959 feet of climbing was well worth the adventure…

Thursday training run on the 7-mile Ray Miller Trail, just south of Ventura, CA overlooking the Pacific. Patagonia teammates Clark Zealand, Scott Wolfe and AJW in tow. © 2011 Stephanie Helguera

Mother Nature won this bout with some pretty darn strong weather. Bottom 3,000 feet of the course had heavy rain and the top 1,000 feet of the ridge was covered in a soup cloud with some snow and high winds. Visibility was challenging (3-10 feet at times), especially once night hit.

The Coyote Two Moon 100 Miler has a staggered start with the early folks starting on Friday evening at 6pm and the last group (my group)  started at 10am on Saturday under cloudy skies and upper 50s temps. I went out  with Karl and Padre up the first climb. Karl and I hung out on the lower 2/3s and chatted with Padre up ahead 40 meteres or so and finally toward the top I caught back up to Angle and we topped out the climb together and hit the first downhill. Karl ended up getting a yucca sticker in his IT band on the first climb, so he dropped off the pace a bit.

Justin soon gapped me and he stayed a few minutes ahead of me until about mile 28 on the climb out of Rose Valley. It was starting to sprinkle up that climb and by the time I climbed out of Rose Valley the 2nd time, it was raining down low and snowing up on the ridge. Not really sticking, just bad visibility going into night time was total junk. By nightfall I had about 15 minutes on Angle and 25 on Karl.

The weather really turned as I was heading down into Cozy Dell at about the 100k mark. The rain got really heavy and the clay section the last 2 miles into Cozy Dell aid station was like grease. I fist planted my bottles a few time in the mud skiing down to the aid station. But, kept feeling great and by the time I hit Gridley Top aid up top at 72 miles I was up by 30 minutes on Padre and 40 on Karl.

When I stepped out onto the pavement at Gridley Bottom (mile 78), Sheryl Meltzer was standing there with a giant umbrella and my drop bag with the news that the “fun run” had been cancelled. I guess a few folks were coming in to Gridley Top a bit hypothermic and the weather was really buffeting Gridley Top. Bummer. But, conditions were hard enough that after sweeping and getting all the runners off and checked out, they abandoned that aid station and vehicles and hiked out until the weather subsided.

Awesomely hard course and would love to run that course when there were clear skies and big views. Would be sweet. Definitely some of the most challenging conditions I’ve been in during an event. I was ready for the elements. I had cold hands a few times, but it wasn’t that cold…low 30s. Warm compared to what I’ve been training in the past few months. I had plenty of good layers (little shout out to Patagonia, nice duds y’all). I have to say, the two days in Ventura and running the Ray Miller Trail on Thursday were stellar and gave me a taste of the nice weather there. Great hanging at Patagonia HQs…good times with the team. AJW is always in rare form and bowling on Thursday was hilariously entertaining.

Good job out there C2M folks. Great aid stations, great volunteers. All in all…giddyup.

Bronco Billy and  Nacho Delgado at bowling night. © 2011 Stephanie Helguera

Heading into the evening after grabbing my lights and new Ultraspire Spry pack. Had been raining on and off at this point. Real weather hasdn’t hit this valley yet. Heading right into it on the way to the next aid station. © 2011 Stephanie Helguera

Getting some calories down in the calm before the weather socked in. © 2011 Stephanie Helguera

Chillin’ after Ray Miller Trail run. © 2011 Stephanie Helguera

Most of the Patagonia Ultrarunning Team outside the original “tin shed” where it all started at Patagonia HQs in Ventura.

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