Wow, that was unbelievably tough. I will write a race report once I can get my head around it. Much harder in that direction. Much harder than I expected. Much, much harder. Andy Jones-Wilkins (who finished 5th, just 2 weeks after Western States!) described the Hardrock course as a series of ramps and walls. In the clockwise direction we climb up the walls and run down the ramps. In the counter clockwise direction, like this year, we walk up the ramps and run down the walls. Which I thought would suit me since I can run OK on steep downs. It just didn't work in theory, the long, long climbs killed me. I was lucky to have the help of Beth who was crewing/pacing Larry for a few checkpoints and Jim Sweat did a great job helping out everyone while waiting for his runner. But even with this help and well stocked aid stations I couldn't get enough food in and suffered badly because of that. But I hung on and finished in 40:50:28. They say you're not a real Hardrocker until you've gone both ways (which means you have to come back John!) so I told Dale Garland, race director, at the finish: that's it I'm done. While I've already worked out ways to save a ton of time if I ever came back, right now that's the last thing on my mind!
A truly amazing race. A truly humbling experience. One very proud finisher.