Scout Mountain Ultra Trail takes places in the rugged mountains just outside of Pocatello, Idaho. For as close as I've lived to Idaho for the past eight years, its kind of ridiculous that I've barely stepped a foot in the state. Formerly known as the Pocatello 50, Scout Mountain Ultra Trail has a reputation of being a tough Idaho run with great scenery. Luke Nelson and his army of cheerful volunteers did not disappoint as the race organization was as smooth as, well, some of the single track.
|They even had a kids race! Ella is back there in her "Run Run Run" shirt, as usual.|
"I'll be out on the course, and if I see you went out too fast I'll be cussing you out." That was the pre-race message from my coach, Ty Draney. Duly noted. You don't have to tell me twice! The other advice was to take the "small" climbs after the Big Fir aid station seriously. I kept that one in the back of my mind as well.
|Gibson Jack aid station|
As I descended into the Cusick Creek aid station at about mile 19, I was surprised to see the leader just in front of me. Apparently I made up some ground as I frolicked through the flowers. We left the aid station together, and on the climb out he quickly moved over and told me to lead. I took it easy and enjoyed the company as we meandered along the trail and eventually descended down the mountains to the edge of Pocatello. I got the feeling he was working hard just to keep up, so I kept the pace really mellow, still no need to push it. Besides, around mile 25 is when things started to get hot.
|All systems go|
|Rock star volunteer keeping me iced|
I met Jenny and the girls at the City Creek aid station at about mile 25 and I felt great. Jenny was like a Nascar pit crew at each aid station and had me back on the trail in no time. Think about that for a second: she sent my butt back on the trail in just a minute or two while managing a four year and a 10 month old. If you've never crewed for an ultramarathon before, what she did was incredible!
|As I was getting re-fueled at the aid station Cora was just chilling in the grass|
|Heading back up hill after City Creek|
|All the race volunteers were amazing at keeping runners iced and hydrated|
|Almost to the finish|
Eventually the fear of second place overcoming me in the final mile or two was enough for me to drag my butt over the last climb and down the road to the finish. I felt completely cooked the last couple of miles but managed to scamper in just under 11 hours. Turns out the next 100K finisher was almost exactly an hour behind me. Better safe than sorry.
|Ella had been wanting to dump ice water on my head all day long and finally got her chance at the finish line|
It was always going to be a memorable day running through the mountains of Pocatello, chatting with other fantastic runners, and camping with my girls. But, of course, winning is fun, and I was absolutely elated to finally get my first ultramarathon win. It was about time I put it all together and had a great race. Another highlight of the weekend was that the majority of the post-race meal was gluten free! As someone with celiac disease, this is the first time I was really able to enjoy the post race meal, and the baked potatoes with white chicken chili and broccoli was delicious!
|My Dream Team|