Seeing the top of that hill and starting the descent was bittersweet since I was well aware that all the elevation I lost, I would have to gain again on my way up to the highest point on the route, Mt. Constitution (2,400′). This highest point in the San Juan Islands also came at mile 26 of the race. This was cruel. This was wonderful. The last long hill push to the summit was one of the most difficult mental and emotional things I have encountered while racing. My legs were just shot from pushing too hard in the opening climbs and descents and from being undertrained on hills. It felt like I had run out of gas and instead of coasting into the filling station, I had to push my car (in this case, a dump truck full of cement) to the only gas pump around that just so happened to be at the top of a damned mountain.