Cassie and I toed the front of the line of the Squamish 50 miler, ready for our first real head-to-head race together. It turns out we’ve raced each other many times before we ever met. Of course, I was just running those races for fun and didn’t know we were “racing,” so those results don’t count. Here we were, facing off on an international stage, in beautiful Squamish, BC, where mullets remain fashionable.
Cassie darted off at a 7 minute per mile pace, chatting up a storm with the other lead woman. I hung right on her heels, refusing to give her an inch…for the first two miles. Surely she’d blow up at this pace, so I backed off a little bit, always keeping her in my sights. I cruised into kilometer 5 (Oh, Canada!) at 22 minutes flat (my die hard fans will recall my 5K PR is ~20:30).
Blowing through the first aid station, I hit the first climb after clocking nearly 8 miles in one hour. A few dozen fools passed me by, who seemed to think that this was some kind of race. No matter. I’ve been working on my finishing kick and would give Cassie the surprise of her life by winning the thing in an all out sprint finish.
The day crept by. I had my downs and downs. After 35-ish miles, I was beginning to feel warmed up (literally). Confident I could still win this one, I sat on a log for 10 minutes after a climb in the heat of the day got me dizzy.
The final turn was just ahead, where I knew I would catch Cassie. Turning the corner, I didn’t see her anywhere! There was only one logical explanation. She must have heard the buzz going around about my breakneck pace and made the smart decision to drop out.
Imagine my surprise when I crossed the finish line and was introduced over the microphone as the significant other of the race winner, who strolled in two and a half hours ago. I demand a rematch!
All silliness aside, I’m super proud of Cassie on her fantastic win in 8:37:32 and 7th overall! We hobbled off together into the sunset, wondering if this is what it will be like when we get old.