Race day finally arrived on Sunday, July 20th as team captain Dave Lattin and the rest of our Foley Dream arrived at Cuvaison Carneros Winery (Courtney was unfortunately called to a last minute Pinot conference in Oregon). The excitement in the atmosphere was contagious as we were surrounded by roughly 3,500 other participants and warmed up along the scenic rolling vineyards at Cuvaison. We couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather as the morning brought cool temperatures, cloud coverage and a slight breeze. Water stations accompanied the incredible scenery and general good mood from fellow racers carried our spirits to the finish line at Historic Sonoma Plaza where we were greeted with a rare summer shower and cheers from hundreds of supporters. After the Race we enjoyed the Wine and Music Festival and recovered at the VIP tent with massages, sparkling wine and delicious food!
As for the run, I felt reasonably prepared the day of the race. I ate at 4 am to be fully digested before start time, and I only really felt hungry at about mile 10. I started in a mob of orange-jerseyed Crones and Colitis runners near the 3.0 hour pace runner thinking this is where I needed to be. For the first seven miles, I passed (albeit very slowly) more people than passed me. At around 7-8 miles, I held constant with those around me. When I saw the final turn, came to it, and looked up the long last mile, I wanted to stop but kept pace. Even when I was just a few feet from crossing the finish, my only thought was 'please don't let me trip over the timing bars!'.
The champagne and VIP massage was a great touch and much needed. I ate and rehydrated fully from what was offered in the VIP area. After relaxing at home and two bowls of fried rice later, I felt pretty good for having run almost twice as far as I'd ever run. Even my cross-country training 17 year old son was impressed!