Leaving the Mayqueen aid station it was beginning to get warm already, so clothes, hat, and headlamp were shed.
Even though I'd only been running for approximately 2:15, by the time I hit the Colorado Trail to begin the climb over Sugarloaf Mountain I already was noticing a couple of hot spots on my feet and toes. I decided these needed to be addressed as soon as possible and I feared the severity of these blisters in another 18-20 hours.
During the long climb I received some sage advice from a fellow runner who I was running alongside: Even though it doesn't feel difficult to run the hills now, I would likely pay for any extra effort expended now, likely after the 50 mile turnaround. Going totally contrary to my nature, I actually listed to his advice... Thanks, Justin!
After walking for about 30 minutes (and actually passing several people who were attempting to run the whole thing) the top was in sight and we began to run again. Plenty of gas still in the tank, but after running down the very steep 'powerlines', the sore spots on my feet had worsened and I came to the conclusion that duct tape around my toes would be the best possible solution. The genius part of this is that I had never attempted to use duct tape before, so why not in the biggest race of my life?
To quote my dad: "WHEN YOU'RE DUMB IN THE HEAD, YOUR WHOLE BODY SUFFERS", and suffer I would.
I arrived at the Fish Hatchery aid station (mile 23.5) at 3 hours and 55 minutes, taped my feet, and attempted to eat solid food for the first time. Next revelation of the day: It is freakin' hard to chew, swallow, and completely eat a PB&honey sandwich and a chicken strip when you are breathing hard, parched, and eager to hit the trail again. Also, I found out real quick that getting started again after sitting down is about as much fun as getting punched in the throat.
J.T. and I left the aid station at the same time and hit the road section of the course. The hardest parts were still to come...