26.2 Miles - 4:46:58,
3500 ft elevation gainSalida, Colorado
It took me a lot longer than usual to get around to writing this report. Part of that was because I was mad at my Garmin for not uploading the data of this race. It had no problem uploading workouts the week after the run but for some reason it has something against his race. After trying to upload the data many times I finally broke down and manually entered the time distance and splits into my running log.
This is my 3 consecutive year running this marathon. I love going back because the course is beautiful The weather is also awesome, maybe a bit cold for some people, I think it has always been between 30-50F. This year was by far the best weather and at the same time by far the worst trail conditions. It snowed a lot a week ago and then it was melting while we were running the race. Finally I love this race because itâs cheap, the marathon is $53. Iâll keep coming back.
Miles 0-8 ( 8 miles @ 10:03 pace)
The beginning of this race is a 2 mile loop on nearly flat dirt roads. I think itâs a great idea because it spreads out the runners a bit before we hit the single track. After a little climb this first section is mostly up and down not too hard. In the prior years I had to walk up the last big climb but this year I cruised all the way up that hill. The trail was a mess but at the time it was frozen mud which didnât slow us down and wasnât slippery.
Miles 9-14 (6 miles @ 10:44 pace)
This next section was all dirt roads and all up hill. The first 4.5 miles of this section alone climbed 1300ft. In previous years I had walked up big portions of this road but not today. Again I was stronger and I powered up the climb without needing to walk. At the half marathon mark I was at 2:15 which was 5 minutes faster than last year and 10 minutes faster than the year before. I thought I was on my way to 4:30 or faster time.
Miles 15-20 ( 6 miles @ 10:48 pace)
The second half of this race is mostly downhill so I was ready to kick some butt. On the back side of the course we encountered miles of snow of anywhere between 6 inches and 2 feet deep. The runners ahead had started a trail but I found myself leaping from step to step. In some place the holes I was stepping into went past my knee. Finally I had to walk 16 miles into the race on a flat section, I was pissed off. The downhill was ruined and it was impossible to find any rhythm or pace. Adding to my frustration I missed a turn and had to backtrack making the race 26.9 miles long.
Miles 21-26.9 (6.9 miles @ 11:18 pace)
Now we were finally out of the snow but that frozen mud had thawed out into a giant mess. Through all of the snow and mud I was determined to keep my pace up which really took a toll on my legs. By the time the mud was over and the trail was clear I had nothing left. I was a little discouraged that I had worked so hard on the uphill only to have everything go down in flames on the downhill. I stopped looking at my watch back at mile 16.
Course Personal Best
Despite the fact that I run ran the uphill part of the race faster than the downhill it was enough for a course best for me. I was about 2 minutes faster than last year and about 10 minutes faster than 2013 year before. I like to think of this race as a preseason check because a slow time here represents a much faster road time in May I think I am in at least 3:27 shape.
2013 - 4:56 -> 3:31 in May at Colfax Marathon
2014 â 4:48 -> 3:27 in May at Colorado Marathon
2015 â 4:46 -> ???