Separated shoulder (probably broken) at mile 23. 7th place in 5:32. Awesome event and stout course at 9,000 ft climb all between 7,000 ft and 9,500 ft elevation.
So, the longer version is:
The race started at 6am and it was fast. Justin Ricks, Dillon, and Nick Pedatella had a gap on the rest within the first 20 meters. I settled into the front of the second grouping when we hit the single track. It was a constant climb and I had trouble catching my breath. Some tri-guy behind me commented that we were doing 7:02 pace, which I was feeling in a bad way. He also commented that it was his first ultra. I softly cautioned that he should take it easy ESPECIALLY on this course and, to his credit, he dropped back. Rick Hessik and I ran much of the first 2 hours together and I assumed we'd run the entire race that way but once we hit what I imagine was the highest climb of the day I began feeling good and dropped into the descent with a purpose.
I passed a couple of folks and caught up with Darci Africa and chatted for a couple minutes then I moved on in pursuit of two guys I caught a glimpse of up in front of me. The race was going well after 3 hours and I felt I had a shot at top 5 if I just paid attention and kept.... THUD, SMASH, CRACK!!!!
Yes, on a long washed out steep rock-strewn dirt path/road at about mile 23 I was cranking trying to put more distance in front of the two guys I recently passed. With the descending angle of road I was easily running under 6 min pace and caught a rock with my left toe that sent me flying into the other rocks and gravel. It felt like I had jumped out of a speeding car. I heard a loud crack from my left shoulder and immediately thought it was my collarbone. My hands felt hot with a lot of dripping running down each finger, so I wasn't surprized to see the deep holes in my palms. After dropping a few f-bombs and throwing my hand held bottle, I jumped right back into the same pace before the accident. I had to hold my arm tightly to my body like in a sling or the already heavy-duty pain became unbearable.
The last two hours were a blur between pain, eating, drinking, and running as hard as I could. The descents that I usually fly down were now terrifying. I just kept imagining how bad it would be if I took another fall into the rocks (thinking about it now makes me nauseous).
I ended up in 7th overall and only less that 2 mins out of 5th place, so I was content. My back resembles raw hamburger, knee isn't much better and the hands speak for themselves. The shoulder swelling has set in today and it hurts to cough, sneeze, breathe, and move but otherwise I'm pumped to launch into some heavy training for upcoming races.
[caption id="attachment_330" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="the black things are imbedded rocks and dirt"][/caption]