There are times when you mustn’t listen to the voices in your head. The ones that magnify fears and overrule ambitions. Saturday was a day to ditch the doubts and just move with the masses for the Run Toto Run trail runs (affectionately known by many as Psycho WyCo) put on by the Trail Nerds. More than 30 Garmin associates took part in one of three race distances — 10 mi, 20 mi or the purely psychotic 30 mi. My primary doubt leading into this race was whether I could stick it out for the 20 mi without my partners in pain from last year. Jake had a solid alibi; Ryan was doing the more sane 10 (he’s a dad now; gotta think of the offspring). Pre-race, Ryan and I exchanged weather musings. At what point does frostbite set in? Does the probability of a turned ankle go up or down if your feet are frozen solid? Here are more Psycho Wyco musings from the Garmin team, followed by my race recap.
Cody: Not only was this my longest run ever, it was also my dog's first race and longest run. I did the first lap solo, then had my wife pass off our dog for my final lap. To aid in this transition, I used the Garmin Astro 320 and a couple DC40 collars. I gave my family the handheld and I carried a DC40 transmitter in the back pocket of my jacket. This allowed my family to know exactly where I was on the course and see me in a few spots where the course ran next to the road. It worked great. My dog and the DC40 were ready to go with her official race number and timing chip pinned to it. It was great to have 4 fresh legs to pull me along the hilly course!
Reid: Rolled an ankle around mile four. Started icing at the finish, but I think the ice was warmer than the air around it.
Brian: Redeemed myself from last year's failure to finish. Bruised feet but a big smile. #vibramnation
Lee: Actually had fun in the 20, finished with many icicles in my hair and still very sore, but planning to try the 50k next year.
Rajat: My first trail run ever. Got tested to the extreme against weather, terrain and mental strength. My friends wanted me to declare my will in their favor the night before. I am glad they're gonna get nothing.DaShaun: It was cold, but warmed up quickly after start. Friendly and fun event. The volunteers/staff are the best around. Next time I will do the 50k. [Read his full race recap]
David: Great trail run. My first. Who knew there were so many hills and turns? Legs still trying to recover. Would do it again.
Kurt: Felt pretty good yesterday except for that fuzzy-head I always seem to get after such a run. Sore feet were the worst pitfall during the race.
Bob: Another fun but hard race. Conditions were good but cold. Thanks to everyone wearing shorts to create the appearance of warm conditions.
Sharon: What an awesome morning for a trail race! This was my first time on this course, and my first trail race in over 4 years (having babies will do that). My adrenaline was pumping, especially when a deer came flying across the trail around mile 2.
Rick: Run Toto Run was a blast! A frigid winter frozen blast. Knee & ankle joints made from titanium and Teflon are highly recommended for the frozen, pitted, rocky, trails.
Peg: While I much prefer to run the WyCo trails with a hard-pack layer of snow, but I was grateful to have a solid base for the brutal bridle trails. According to race director Ben Holmes, the conditions were the perfect set up for some fast finishes. And I’ve gotta call out the top female finisher who earned the spotlight in Ben’s race report. I saw this girl at the start, who looked about 16, and I was in awe she was sporting a 50k bib. From Ben’s report: Kaci Lickteig (25), of Omaha, Nebraska blew away the 50k female course record with an incredible finish time of 4:46:19! She is the only sub-five-hour female finisher (so far), in the eight-year history of this race. She had almost perfect loop splits: 1:34:00, 1:35:52, 1:36:27. To add to the scope of this accomplishment, this was Kaci's first trail race, and her first ultra-distance event.
We had some stellar performances from the Garmin crew too, including Dan's 8th place in the 10 mi with a time of 1:24:04 followed by Nathan in 9th place with a time of 1:24:23 and Lee’s 3rd place in the 20 mi with a time of 3:06:39. Pretty sure they’d chalk it up to having the right training tools on their side. And just the fact that we had two finishers in the 50k, true trail runners Kurt and Bill, is amazing. I had a chance to run with Kurt from about mile 8-10. While my Forerunner 610 confirmed I was on track to meet my 4:20 time goal, it was nice to get human endorsement from Kurt. Knowing I had banked some minutes in the first loop, I took time to properly refuel before starting round 2 (lesson learned from my near-bonking crankiness Jake had to endure last year). That dilly-dallying between loops could’ve been my wisest decision of the day, along with walking some of the uphills on the 2nd loop.
My biggest challenge of the race was actually gear-related. Water bottle spout froze up early on, so I just had to take my time and unscrew the lid to take a sip now and then. No biggie. Until about mile 16, when I had to come to terms with a real drinking problem. The ice was so solid in my bottle cap, it wouldn’t screw back on. I wasn’t about to waste electrolytes when I had another two miles to the next aid station, so I did what any trail runner might do. I don’t know if traipsing the trails with an “open container” is against park regulations, but I know it’s certainly not advised. As I neared the final aid station, a volunteer ran up and asked what I needed, then promptly topped off my bottle and knocked out enough of the ice to get me on my way.
As always, the volunteers for this race are second to none and the Trail Nerds once again put on a fantastic race. Thanks to SeeKCRun for all the photos. Check out the course details in Garmin Connect and we'll see you out there next year!