Another race in the books. Finished 2nd (in my age group), 16th overall. It was a small number to enter only 39. Official time was 6:30 which I am okay with I was hoping for 6 hours but until I get some good climbing legs races will continue to hammer me when going up. I feel good with running flats and downhill but going up, well that’s a whole other story.
The race started at 6 am and had a great feel to it. Kelly Bradbury, race RD, did a great job. This event in its 2nd year is a must do. She keeps it very personable and puts a lot of time into it. The course was marked extremely well. I was nervous about the course and getting lost being the first time on it but once I got going and saw the marking I had nothing to worry about.
The run starts and you go up for what felt like forever. I struggled with early shin splints and due to my week leading up to the race (eating burgers and brats and no sleep) I couldn’t blame my body for feeling like crap. (With Melony’s family in town from Texas, we had a fun week outlined with a trip to Lava Hot Springs and lots of Bar B Q’s……not good to combine with a race but it has been a blast.)
I really struggled going up for the first 5-6 miles. The trail was great and that part of the course was awesome. We hit a flatter section with some rollers and it was great to get the legs going. The shin splints eventually went away and things started to feel normal.
Once we hit the aid station before we went to Logan Peak I was prepared for some big time climbing. As I was going up some of the lead runners were coming down. One guy was coming down and said “I hope you like snow.” AGAIN! First Squaw, then Logan Peak. It was slow and go through much of the climb to the towers on Logan Peak. As the lead runners came down I tried to look at my time to get an idea how far I was behind them. At this point, things felt good and I was just looking forward to the view on top. Once I got there it was nothing short of perfect. Views all around. I decided not to stay long and quickly starting sliding down the mountain. Fun times. I had a good pace all the way to the aid station and actually caught up to about 3-4 runners. I didn’t stick around long and was on my way. I knew by the map that from here on out was pretty much down hill. I made a conscious decision to let it loose. I knew it would hurt and knew I would most likely bonk with the temperatures rising but this is a training run…right?
As I caught up to a few people I decided to play a game with myself. If I saw a runner in front of me and they turned around, I felt like it was my obligation to pass them. The game worked. I forgot about certain things and went for it. I passed about 9-10 in all on the way down and felt good.
The final aid station had me catch about 3 guys. I said to myself, “I need to finish in front of these guys.” It was about 5 miles to the finish and all down hill and pretty technical. I got a good pace going and caught up to another runner. He let me pass and then just stayed right on my heels. He really pushed me down most of this. I didn’t want him to pass me so I set a pace that was border line red line for me. He didn’t budge. Then I remember a quote (not sure from where) and it goes something like….I know they are hurting as bad as I am but I can take the pain. I decided to see what he had. I shifted up one more gear. I know felt like my knees were going to pop out of the skin and my quads were ready to blow. I kept telling myself that I could endure what I felt but with the dogs barking and the knees screaming I was about ready to concede when I heard a few noises I haven’t heard before. I thought, well he may be struggling, so I pushed just a bit more and then I heard nothing. I took a glance and there was nobody there. WHEW! I backed it down just a bit to catch my breath and ran the rest of the way to the finish. 6:30 finish but I felt good.
What a race, what a day.