I wasn't sure how the cold would affect my lungs, especially after Thursday's failed attempt at running in it. But surprisingly my Buff was enough to warm my breath and I didn't need to use Jake's crazy mountaineering balaclava.
READY. SET. GO!
I decided to jog to where it got super steep, you can almost see it in the picture above as that peak was number one to climb, Democrat. About 2000 ft elevation climb to over 14,000 ft. Pretty much walked the entire time up and had to take quite a few breaks from my calves burning. My shoes did really well with steep cliffs and all the rocks. But we hit some slippery river rocks and patches of ice and it was a matter of slipping as gracefully as possible. The trail was almost all entirely rocks which was really hard for me to navigate down even though I usually rock at technical terrain and downhills (still have to work on my knees though).
At the top we received our first token. One token per peak which was entered into a raffle at the end for a lot of cool shit.
Two ladies passed me here and I was shocked, because it never happens. But then I passed about 5 people and felt okay after that. I knew time was getting close though so I really pushed. More trips and falls, especially with ice, but finally we got to a point where the wind was blocked and started to warm up. I took off my Buff finally and felt a little more balanced so I trudged through faster. I was soooo happy when we finally hit normal technical single track dirt and really ran after that. It felt amazing!
Finally hitting the starting trail, crossing two rivers (without falling into water each time woot!) I hit the tent and called my time: 3:33. Awesome! The limit was four hours and all I cared about was finishing under that! I had no idea how much I'd b able to run and I even had it in my head that it was possible I couldn't do more than one peak. I mean, this was my first attempt at an altitude climb because before today, I'm pretty sure Mammoth was the highest I'd ever been at 11,000 ft. And I went to run it! Wasn't able to do a whole LOT of running, but whatever, I've only started this trail running business 3 months ago! I'm proud of myself and how exciting will next year be when I've got a year of running under my belt?!