Struggled to finish another relatively easy 50 miler.
Did the first 26.2 miles (marathon distance) in about 3 hours and 50 minutes, which had me in place 101 out of 700 runnners. But gave up 17 places during the last half of the race, covering about the same distance in almost 5 hours.
At one point-in-time I had been running for exactly 5 hours and 15 minutes when I told myself that I wouldn't look at my watch again until I had been running for a long time more. After what seemed to be an eternity, I looked at my watch again: 5 hours and 17 minutes! Ugh!
I followed Herb Tanzer step by step from mile 38 to mile 48, as the 58 year-old runner told me that he had completed this race 17 times before. What he failed to mention was that he was a former Western States champion! Glad he didn't tell me that as otherwise I might have not had the guts to follow him for so long.
Also ran along side Bill Finkbeiner from mile 48 to 49.5. It was Bill who told me that Herb (who was just a few paces ahead of us then) was a former WS champion. But come to find out, Bill is an ultra-legend himself - a four-time, top-10 Western States finisher who has completed 26 100-mile Ledvilles in a row! As you can see, the ultra community is really nuts.
Perhaps the knowledge that I had been running along the side of two legends invigorated me since I was able to sprint the last 1/2 mile (uphill) and finish ahead of both Herb and Bill (who decided to finished the race together).