By 7am I was on Tunnel Creek Rd working my way up towards the Flume Trail and then a little further to the spot used for the Tunnel Creek aid station. Climbing strong and feeling good, so far so good. Next up I tackled the Red House Loop. After a long descent I made my way up to the source of the loop's name and continued straight up to the flume which I followed until the final climb back to TC aid station. I was pleasantly surprised when the climb ended sooner than I expected. 10 miles down, 10 to go.
Overlooking Marlette and Lake Tahoe
As I worked my way along the east side of the hill on my way to Marlette Peak I finally found a couple of large snow fields that obscured the trail. However, I knew the general direction the trail followed and it wasn't difficult to get back on track. The 50K racers won't have any problem with route finding on race day but since I didn't go north from Tunnel Creek, I can't speak for what the 50/100 milers might find.
I made my way down to beautiful Marlette lake after sucking down more gels and a bar to flag my waning energy stores and I realized I was going to run out of water. I was 4 hours and 18 miles into my run and still had 8 more miles to go. I figured the outlet from Marlette would be flowing fast so decided to chance it and refill there.
Working my way to Marlette dam
It was along the Flume trail that my energy really started to fade. This was turning into a trail marathon, literally. I have to laugh at being an ultrarunner. Runners spend months training to run a marathon and yet we run marathons to train for our 50's and 100's. But the truth is, I was running 10 miles further than I've run all year and I really didn't want to get hurt. So I walked when I had to and ran when I could. And enjoyed the views on this absolutely gorgeous day.