I started out a little too fast as I wanted to keep up with the lead pack of 25k racers. After a couple miles of running the excitement wore off and a clearer head prevailed. I remembered that I was running twice as far and should take it down a notch. I settled in behind the first four 25k runners up to the turn where they took a left and us 50k racers took a right. Until this point I kept eyeing a runner about 20 yards behind me, moving in a very cool and controlled manner. Shit, I bet he's running the 50k with me. Sure enough he was. Shortly after the 25k/50k split he passed me, we chatted a bit and I was pushing it a bit more to keep up. I had to go check out the bushes and never saw him again until the finish.
|Hartman Rocks - race location. |
photo by llama
I was pleasantly surprised to read that the dude won the 50k and smoked me by 11 minutes, Marshal Thomson, has the course record at Collegiate Peaks 50M and is a stud in the skimo arena. While I wasn't close enough to reel him in, the 3rd place finisher, Dustin Simoens, was a minute behind me for the last 6 miles! I kept looking back, unable to shake him. In the last mile he crept within 10 seconds or so, but lucky for me we hit a steep and technical downhill and I was able to stay ahead just enough to finish in 2nd place. Looks like we'll be facing each other again at San Juan Solstice and Run Rabbit Run.
Our friends from Montrose, Erin McMahon and her fiance, Chris Marcinek did well over in Gunnison at the Sage Burner Races as well. Erin finished 2nd in the 50k and Chris finished 2nd AG in the bike/run/bike. Stoked to run San Juan with those two in a month. Congrats to my Hoka teammate, Timmy Parr, for placing 2nd in the 25k. Good luck at the Mt. Evans Ascent tomorrow!
Overall, I think I paced myself well, and put forth a decent effort. I don't think I was quite fit enough to go all out and truly race like I wish I could have. Everyone has their lame excuses. But rather than write about those, I'll mention what I'm going to do to prepare for San Juan Solstice: I'm going to start getting in more vertical gain/loss in my runs, slowly increase my mileage, get more comfortable with being uncomfortable (suffer more on workouts), and lose a couple pounds.
|in every single way...|
Sponsor Shout Outs:
Hoka One One: My Clayton's were the perfect shoe for this fast course with lots of rocky sections. They're super light and I dig their softer heal and firmer forefoot.
VFuel: Without any drop bag aid stations, I decided to wear a waist pack stuffed full of 8 gels. Since I didn't bring enough to take one every 20 minutes like I normally do, I ended up snacking too much at aid stations and combining all kinds of stuff together in my water bottle. Got a bit nauseous, dry heaved a bit. Next race I'll go back to my tried and true formula of water and a VFuel every 20 minutes, works every time. Lesson learned. Would have packed more, but that would have required wearing a pack, didn't want to do that, oh well.
Drymax: Thin running socks worked very well as per usual.
Julbo: Zebra Light photochromic lenses on Blast frames are my go to. Worked well in the sun and wind.