Friday, June 5, 2015

Jemez 50 Mile

Elissa and I took a road trip through Arizona to New Mexico a couple weeks ago to run the Jemez Mountains Trail 50 Mile race.

The day before the race, race director Tom Stockton and crew went out to make sure trail markers were up.  They got to run through a fresh dusting of snow seen below.

photo from Jemez FB page

Hunh, I thought.  Looks like conditions might be a bit wet and muddy tomorrow.  I decided to wear my new Hoka Speedgoat's for the race given there uber grippy Vibram outsoles and stability in technical terrain.  They worked flawlessly.  I will definitely be wearing them in the San Juan's next month for my next lil' race.

Hoka Speedgoat's - a refined Rapa Nui

The race started in the dark hours of the morning.  I turned on my Petzl NAO headlamp and made my way to the start line.  We took off and I hoped to follow some fool that would jump out too fast.  I found myself in the lead right away, hmmm.  We quickly turned off a dirt road onto single track as the world slowly lit up around us.

Nick Clark, Joe Grant and I ran through the aid station at mile 5 together.  Then they gapped me.  My lofty aspirations of winning the race seemed to burn off with the morning dew.  Surpisingly, I caught up to Joe halfway up the first climb up Pajarito.  We ran together for four miles or so, what a nice guy.  I'm excited to follow him at states later this month.  

Decending from the top of Pajarito to the Ski Lodge AS
photo by Elissa

We left the Ski Lodge aid station nearly together.  Soon after I ran through the next AS, Pipeline, and dropped down into the caldera.

Portion of the13 mile wide Valles Caldera
photo by Elissa

The course went a little cross country to climb out of the caldera then decended, following a tiny creek for miles of gorgeous mountain running down to Pajarito AS.  From here we climbed 7 miles back up to Pajarito mountain.  But this time, after dropping to the Ski Lodge and back out to the Pipeline AS, we turned East and ran the ridge back to the start in Los Alamos.

I ran fairly conservative all day and got me to the finish line in a decent time and 2nd place behind Nick Clark.  I didn't have a great day, but felt good and maintained a consistent pace.  Full results.

Elissa warming up for San Juan Solstice

Jemez is a classic mountain 50.  While 10k' of climbing isn't a ton for this distance, that much climbing all between 7-10k' elevation made for a challenging course.  Great preparation for Hardrock =)  Not only was the course nice, but the organization and volunteers of the event were outstanding.  From the pre-race dinner, to the race briefing, to the aid stations.  Everything was top notch.  I highly recommend this race to anyone considering it.


Sunglasses:  Julbo's - Blast frame and Fire Flash lenses

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