Wednesday, June 17, 2015

RIP Glen Peoples

On Wednesday evening June 17th my dad Glen Peoples passed away from a heart attack that he had while participating in a mountain bike race he was 54.   I learned of this early morning Thursday at work and quickly headed up to Breckenridge.    We met with the race director who gave us all the details of what exactly happened and then hiked us up to the spot where he collapsed.   It was less than 24 hours since the incident and already there was an unofficial memorial created with tons of flowers.   Looking around at the views I couldn’t get over how beautiful it was on this particular trail.  It’s as if my dad knew and picked this to be his last place alive.  We hadn’t seen him in a few months and were excited to see in in a few days at Emily’s birthday party.   One of my biggest fears is that Emily and Xander won’t have any memories of him.   We had his funeral services at Campion which is a school and a church he used to attend in high school.   The day after the funeral services we were back up in Breckenridge with a 100 or more friends and family.  We went back up the infamous spot and then after a moment of silence finished his race,   I was rode his bike with his race number. 

This is my dad racing on June 3rd in Breckenridge

This is the last know picture taken of my dad at the start of his final race

My dad and me at Allen’s park

My dad and sis on the alpine slide

Sunday, June 14, 2015

2015 South Park Marathon

26.2 miles 4:50:09
Fairplay Colorado

0-7 miles avg 10:14/mi pace
This was the first inaugural South Park marathon near Fair Play Colorado. For my friends outside of Colorado yes South Park is a real place although it’s more of a ghost town and museum but Fairplay looks and feels like might imagine from the cartoon. The race started at 10000ft and ran up on the dirt roads out of town from the profile it looks like we spent all of about 15:00 below 10000ft. The dirt roads were pretty easy to run on but they kept climbing up an up as we approached the mountains. The clouds in the distance looked angry so I took my jacket with me which felt too warm almost immediately. I wore my jacket for about 3 miles and then around my waist for the remainder of the race but it was more of a precaution in case it rained or snowed.

7-14 miles avg 13:33/mi pace
Turning off the dirt road we got our first taste of trails around mile 7 and it was hell. It had rained most of yesterday and this trail was a sloppy mess. Running was impossible even walking in the slick mud was a chore as my shoes collected huge amounts of mud. Lucky the mud pit was relatively short and then we had some nice jeep trials followed by only downhill in the first half of the race. After horseshoe gulch we again hit the dirt roads for more steady climbing towards the turnaround on top of peerless mountain. The higher we climbed the more snow we encountered and remember its June. The race director spent hours shoveling a path though some of the snow drifts which was really awesome. Near the top it seemed we were only running on snow drifts that that stretched forever. At one point I fell through the snow waist deep and had to pull myself out by my arms… burr. Eventually I hit the turnaround at 12200 ft, the race organizer had originally planned on going to the top at 13000 but the snow forced them to change the route.

15-20 miles avg 10:04/mi pace
I was pretty happy to turn back towards town also get some downhill running. Up top it was too steep to even run at times and the snow and ice didn’t help either. I fell pretty hard on my hip when my feet went out from under me while walking down what looked like a waterfall. From then on I just took my time and safely navigated myself off the mountain. The dirt road was a much more manageable grade and I actually clocked 4 miles of sub 9:00/mi pace between miles 16-19. That was a ton of pounding on my not so fresh legs. Last weekend I ran the steamboat marathon that has a lot of downhill running. I was actually happy for the 1 mile uphill coming up which was the only significate climb in the second half of the race.

21-26.2 miles avg 10:07/mi pace
Back through the mud pit but going down it wasn’t so bad. My shoes still collected 5 pounds of mud each but I was able to run the entire time. Running on the dirt roads back into town was a lonely but neat experience of its own. I had beaten the mountain and was almost home. I pushed as much as possible but the small ups and downs really had me exhausted. Also for some reason I was really dehydrated, I thought I was drinking a lot of liquids. Finishing the race was cool, there was no fanfare but that made it even more special. I was doing this for me and me alone which I guess means I really love these tough trail battles.


Here are a few shots of South park.  the race stated at the gate also notice the goats roaming the town


The mud pit

Only a mile or two later such a big change

First view of peerless

Shoveling this out took the RD hours and cost him a nice sunburn

Is this a trail or a waterfall?
 So much snow.  Soon after taking this pic is where fell though the snow
Town is way down that way somewhere
AThis mountain was across the valley and made the one I was climbing look like an ant hill (it’s the lower slopes of Mt Sherman)
Those clouds were threating to rain the whole day, I did get a few sprinkles.




Sunday, June 7, 2015

2015 Steamboat Marathon

26.2 Miles - 4:00 Pace Group Leader (3:57:31)
Steamboat Springs, Colorado

I got roped into this race by a friend of mine about a month ago to help the Marathon Maniacs pace the Steamboat Marathon. He was pacing 4:00 but moved down to 3:45 so I could have the slower time. Coming into this race I was beat, 50 mile PR 5 weeks ago and marathon PR 3 weeks ago. My friends are always are calling me crazy but this time I was starting to believe them. I ran the steamboat marathon last 5 years ago in a time of 5:02! Yes you read that right five hours and two minutes which was a PR at the time. That seems like a different life ago which was a little way into my weight loss journey. I believe at the time I was about 210lbs. 5 years later and another 30lbs loss my marathon PR is now 3:26 I have wanted to come back and prove myself on this course that beat me down in 2010.

0-10 Miles, 1:30:26, 9:03 avg pace (1:10 under goal pace)
Being the 4:00 pacer makes you a very popular person at the start of the race. Just standing in line at the bathroom and then eating my PB&J near a trash can I started acquiring runners and answering questions. Most popular questions for pacers are “how many marathons have you run?”, “are we running even splits”, “have you run this race before?” and they kept coming but that’s all part of the gig. I told everyone at the start of the race that we would be running even effort splits meaning a little faster on the downhill and slower on the uphills. People really seemed to like this strategy as we ran about 20 sec/mi fast on the downhill and then gave it back by climbing slower than pace. This race has a ton of downhill but the website fails to mention it has lots of ups too. My group started out huge maybe 20- 30 people but after 10 miles we were down to 10 people who were serious about breaking 4hrs.

11-20 Miles, 10 miles in 1:31:30, 9:09 avg pace (overall 1:16 under goal pace)
Another thing the race fails to mention is the heat. Maybe it’s because the race starts above 8,000ft but that sun seems so intense. Around mile 11 or 12 I saw a girl about 100 meters in front of our group collapse. The shoulder of the road had a steep drop off and I thought she had just stepped off the road and fell down the hill. But as we got closer I saw her try to sit up and immediately fall over 2 times. I sent my group off on their own and stayed with the girl and another runner that had also stopped. It didn’t take me long to flag down a race vehicle and at the same time a bike medic pulled up to the scene. She was in good hands so I left and quickly rejoined my group. Mile 13 featured a big climb on the road and running by even effort we slowed to nearly 10:00 pace. But it didn’t matter that hill took half my runners. And the hills didn’t stop either my pace group slowly disintegrated though as I slowed as much as possible. At mile 15 we were only ahead of pace by about 20 seconds. On the next downhill we again picked up the pace banking a few second per mile, I warned the few runners I had left about one more tough climb where we would give back all our banked time.

21-26.2 Miles, 6.2 miles in 55:35, 8:58 avg pace (overall 2:29 under goal pace)
The heat and the hills had completely imploded my pace group leaving me 1 runner. As promised the 1 runner and I hit that big hill on mile 21 and gave back some serious time. Cresting that hill I asked her how she felt, she was doing great in feeling really good, I told her “well I am not the 4:00 pacer anymore now I am you pacer if you want to speed up”. With a few miles to go we dramatically picked up the pace grabbing a few 8:30’s. Now nearing the end of the race the 4:00 pacer is one of the least popular people on the course, often people were cursing when they saw me but others joined and again our group began to grow. I knew it was a bad sign when I passed the 3:45 pacer, it was so hot and hilly I felt bad for him. Finishing the race was pretty awesome as I remember how much I hurt finishing in 5:02 and today I was coasting in at 3:57.

That puts me at 2-0 for pacing and this time on a tough hot course. When I finished I was surprised to see the 4:30 pacer at the finish, apparently medical pulled her from the race. The other pacers all looked like hell and a little depressed, then I heard that 3:30 missed his time as well and 3:45 still hadn’t finished. The next day at work I learned that I was the only marathon pacer to hit the goal time! After the race the one runner I took from start to finish came and found me to say thanks and get her picture with me. It was her first marathon and she was so happy how it all turned out. That one thank you made it all worthwhile.

I believe this one is early on in the race maybe around mile 10.  The maniacs have an awesome pacer sign very light and the pole has holes drilled,  it was easy to carry for 4hrs.

Finish line photo