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Garrick Arends Race Report -50 Miler

Updated: Nov 27, 2018

Grizzly 50 Finisher -2018

I probably had no business toeing the line this weekend for the Palisades 50 miler. Still dealing with an injury from a nasty fall at my previous race. But I’m too stubborn to not give it a shot.

I had a feeling this race would be brutal, but still underestimated the terrain. With the first few miles going straight up I found myself bouncing around in the top 6. It felt good and controlled. Once we hit the first decent down I knew racing was not in the cards today, but surviving was. I was having ptsd from my last gnarly fall. The trails had a LOT of overgrowth with rocks hiding randomly throughout. At that point decided to settle in and see how the day went.

Once the sun came out we were treated with beauty all around! This course albeit brutal, was breath taking visually as well. Heading up paradise loop was my favorite part, over a ridge and lupine fields as far as you could see. Shear rock cliffs and big green valleys. I’m almost happy the trails were steep so I could look up and around, enjoying what surrounded us.

Miles 30-40 was the same section we started on, grueling climbs and descents. At this point the sun was hot and heavy. Climb climb climb... I felt decent still. But the first steep down I could feel my knee, weak and random sharp pain. It had finally taken its toll. Now trying to minimize the force had my quads screaming! Things weren’t fun anymore. The last 45 minutes down to aid was miserable, hot and out of water. My knee around the tibia was swollen and i was getting dizzy and lightheaded so I found my way to a creek to cool down. When I went back to the trail it turns out I was about 100 yards from the mile 40 aid station. Haha. Rachael was waiting and ran up to me. I told her I was dropping. In pain, miserable and didn’t think I had anything left. As we walked she told me she had my stuff ready, let’s get you some food and water. Totally dismissing me dropping. I sat there and told her again I was dropping. She was persistent, eat, drink and go finish what you started, you can do this. I’m so glad she knew I had it in me. I ate 8 pieces of bacon, 2 quesadillas a bunch of water and headed out. It was nice seeing our boys as well and there encouragement to finish the race.

That last 10+ miles was pretty terrible. Haha. But it was nice seeing a lot of familiar faces, stopping for quick chats and finishing a race that I shouldn’t have ran. As I got back for the last .2 miles the energy to finish came to, my feet moved swiftly and I was greeted by my son who ran me to the finish. A perfect ending to a BRUTAL day. For walking/hiking about 75% of the course I finished in 13:13:26 (unofficially) and 15th place. But to put into perspective of just how tough of a course this was.

For a first year event the PUTS crew did an AMAZING job. The aid stations where spot on, everyone was extremely nice and helpful and the course was marked very well. If you are wanting to test yourself in beautiful back country in rugged terrain, I’d suggest putting this on your calendar for next year.

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