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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Squaw Peak 50- 12:44

Whew. What a day! I guess I was a little off in my earlier post, Squaw Peak 50 pre-race. I said the race will really start for me at mile 33. WRONG! The race starts at 5 am. Phil and I pulled up to the race, got out of the car and woo-hoo, the race was under way. We sprinted to drop off our drop bags and get to the start. Not only were we late but it was raining pretty good too.
I clocked some PR down the first 3+ miles on the paved path. I knew I had to get ahead of alot of people to keep my chances of a sub 12 alive. Once you get off the path, you start going up and I didn't want to get pinned behind everyone. I ran with Phil until the pavement ended and he stopped for a potty break and I kept going.
The rain has made for an unexpected experience. MUD! The trail was a mess. We were going straight up and the mud was brutal. People were sliding an falling everywhere. I later found out a few people broke bones on this part. Yikes. The rain got harder and heavier as we made our way up the muddy single track.
I was definitely behind in my splits and was trying to adjust mentally to the fact that after 7 miles I was off on my times. Things turned for me surprisingly enough when it started to SNOW. Yep, wasn't expecting snow in June. Started off as a flurry and while others were complaining I thought, hey-this is pretty cool. My feet were soaked which is a huge peat peeve of mine and the snow just froze them. As we trekked along, we had entered a blizzard. The snow was now falling sideways due to the wind and I would guess there was at least 3 fresh inches on snow on the ground.
The views were spectacular and the snow made it surreal. I chose not to pull out the iPod and just enjoy nature.
I came into AS #5 and was feeling the effects of a long decent. Once we hit Hobble Creek road, I was pretty beat up. I used alot more energy than I was expecting with the slick conditions and my feet felt pretty bad. Once on the road, i wanted to see if I could make up any time but I just didn't feel it. I was sputtering along and came across Jaime and Ron Remkes. WOW, talk about speed walking. Without them there I would have really struggled but talking with them helped me forget how I felt and they really pulled me on the road.
We hit AS#6 and I was in and out quick. Just a few hundred yards past the AS, I stopped and took my shoes and socks off to clear them out. Good move on my part. The sun started to come out so I stopped and pulled off my Pearl Izumi Fly jacket which saved me thus far. Once I took off the jacket, it revealed the Team Pearl Izumi-Smith race shirt. Talk about an adrenaline rush! I felt so proud to wear it and once I saw it I had to get moving. I am just the manager, not an athlete so I couldn't let them down. I passes quite a few people up the road to AS#7.
In and out of AS#7 quick and headed toward #8. This is my favorite part of the course. It is beautiful. Aspens, creeks and groves of trees everywhere.
Hit AS#8 and got in and out of there quick too. Walked all the hills and caught up to a couple guys who were running so I thought, what the hell. Stayed with them all the way to Windy Pass.
Windy Pass beat me last year but I will be a little cocky and call it a draw this year. It cheated and decided to be covered in snow. It was a crazy rough climb but I kept on keeping on. It wasn't as bad as I thought and I actually passed a few people going up which is a far cry from last year.
Ran with Kasey, Billy and Joel until AS#9. In and out quick.
Time to haul off of Windy.....wait-tons of damn snow. Took longer to get down but knowing I would be done soon I flew. Got to AS#10 and there was my family. Surprise! That felt great. I took off my Nathan vest, grabbed a handheld and hit the road.
I ran the entire road to the finish which for me felt great. As I turned the corner to the finish I knew I would finish sub 13 which was nice. I picked up Aspen and grabbed Sami's hand and headed toward the finish. 12:44! I will take it. Considering the conditions I feel good with this. I cut out almost 2 hours from last year and overall I felt good. What a difference a year can make.
Thanks to everyone who helped me through this.
I left a few things out but didn't want to write a novel. If we talk soon I will share a few "war" stories.

5 comments:

Christian said...

Aric,
Way to go with a strong effort in difficult conditions. If you can do that you can certainly do Wasatch.
-Christian

FastED said...

Proud of you man! You've put the work in and it's paying off! keep it up!

Scott said...

MANNERS MY MAN!
Uhh Huh....Ready you were. You did great. Can't wait for some stories.
PS I have seen you all muddy and I must admit you wear it well.

Anonymous said...

Great job Mr. Manners! It's always nice to know all that hard work pays off.
Cheers,
BFish

Manners said...

Thanks everyone. Much appreciated!