Monday, May 28, 2012

2012 Sage Burner Race Report

Quick Stats
25K Trail race(actually 16.5 Miles)
2:38:40 (9:37 pace) over challenging Terrain.
Avg HR 162 (Averaged 158 HR in my 3:27 marathon)
17th place overall, 4th in my age group

Mini Vacation Summary
Monday - 25K Race
Monday – 12,300 Summit
Tuesday – 12,000 Summit (twice, once on the way out and once on the way back from the 13,000 ft peak)
Tuesday – 13,200 Summit

25K Trail Race
On Sunday night I drove up to my friends place in Gunnison Colorado. The next morning we got up early and I was very surprised that it was only 27F outside. By the time the race started it had warmed up to about 30F. I striped off all my extra clothes and started the race in shorts and short sleeves. I knew that I would be warm in a mile or two.

I may have started too fast on the first climb. I was quickly in the red zone and spent most of the first downhill recovering. During the first downhill was the only time I was passed in the race. I was still not sure how well I was going to feel since I had run a great marathon just one week ago. I was taking the race more as a fun training run and I was just out having a good time and the views were amazing.

I took it easy till about mile 9 when I took my only gel of the race. I ran the first 9 miles at about 10:00 pace mostly because I wasn’t sure how I would feel on this terrain. But mile 9 was a huge turning point in the race for me because that’s when it became a race and not a training run. It’s a good thing that I felt really good too because starting at mile 9 we had to climb 1,300 ft over the next 3 miles.

I ran the last 3 miles (lots of downhill) as hard as I could and I passed a ton of people. The entire race felt like a long acceleration. Some of the downhill were so steep I was afraid of falling on my face but I was just in mad man mode. My watch said I ran the last 0.5 mile at 7:00 min pace.

Monday after the race
My friend that I was staying with won the race and set a course record. We ate lunch and then went to the next town over Crested Butte to see a movie (Gunnison doesn’t have a movie theater). After the movie we decide to go hike Mt Emmons (12,392 ft), we parked at about 9,000 so we ended up climbing 3,000 ft and adding 6 miles round trip to our day. The hike was really tough on my battered legs. The last bit of this climb was really technical and steep. There were sections about 5 feet tall of vertical rock that we had to climb. In between these verticals it was so steep that I only felt comfortable crawling. The view on top was really awesome view but the wind made really cold. The sections that I thought were scary on the way up were terrifying on the way down. Nearing the car my knees and feet hurt so much, Tim and I had cover 22 miles on foot for the day.

Tim and I were both feeling a little beat up so we called off our original plans of hiking a 14,000ft peak for an easier hike. The easier hike was actually 2 peaks Terrible Mountain at 12,012ft and Fairview Mountain at 13,214ft. Terrible was an easy climb that we had to pass on our way to Fairview. It wasn’t much of a climb except we had to climb it on the way back to the car too. Fairview was an awesome climb and much easier than yesterday’s crazy technical climb. I didn’t feel like I was in danger at any point on this climb. The last few hundred feet looked like we were on a giant pile of rocks, it looked really bizarre. On top was another awesome view of the neighboring mountains. Again the top was so cold that we didn’t stay long. The hike back to the car was pretty painful my quads were shot and I could feel my toes hitting the front of my shoes with every step. This hike ended up being about 5 miles round trip and another 3,000 ft of climbing. Every time I visit Tim we have had similar endurance adventures.

That was my weekend of attempting to keep up with an elite ultra-marathoner. Tim has won some prestigious ultra-marathons including the
Leadville 100. And now time for some pictures.

Me near the end of the 25K race

Tim and I after the race

Tim with 12' snow behind him, on Mt Emmons

On top of Mt Emmons, Crested Butte in the background

Tim on top of Mt Emmons

Climbing down the hardest section of Mt Emmons

Near the top of Fairview. We are headed towards that fire lookout that you can barely see

Top of Fairview

Top of Fairview

Last one of the view from the top of Fairview

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