I ran a very good race today. This course is the toughest terrain I've ever raced on, there is probably 1/4 mile of near-vertical hand-over-hand climbing and most of it continuous. The downhills, and even the flats are treacherous, at any moment you could plunge to your death off a cliff. Today we ran the second half of this course in a sudden Thunderstorm, complete with 1/4 inch hailstones, high winds, and flash flooding from the torrential downpour. Lighning struck continuously, and near enough to split your eardrums. A tree was struck yards from an aid station, the volunteers were nearly scared to death. It was incredible, a total blast (no pun intended). I got my fueling and electrolytes right and ran a strong race, with a great finishing kick through the last 5 miles. I passed most everyone who passed me, and then some. This was a total rush like it never has been before, with the added adrenaline of the lightning. I fought back fear by hooting and hollering at each blast and was totally pumped, energy came out of nowhere and I was flying through the last 2 miles. I may have earned a 'passing grade' of 65% to the winning time, and await the results. The course probably has about 5000-7000' of climb, the 10,000' estimate is one that includes downhill and the RD admitted it's been measured as high as 13,000' total. This is undoubtedly the gnarliest of trail races shorter than the marathon, the difficulty is inconceivable without enduring it oneself.