Tough Stakes Product Review
See the full review on ExpeditionOffroad.com/blog
With a forecast of rain, overcast skies and a nice 15mph wind, Tyler Toone (check out his tale of the trail) and I stood at the start line of the Amasa Back 15k Trail Run. Ready, set, go and we along with about 40 others were off on our adventure. We ran along the road for a bit next to the Rio Grande and then hit dirt, slickrock, hills and fun. I tired to keep the lead pack in my sites but as my legs staggered up rocks and the elevation increased I slipped back a bit. I was only passed a by two people within that first mile and a half. From there on it was a pretty solo course for me. I did talk to one guy for a little bit at 37 minutes in, 3.5 miles or so and by then we were on a flat almost downhill part heading for the aid station. The race had a 6.5 mi. and 9.5 mi. version. Tyler and I opted for the funner 9.5, or 15k roughly.
After getting a bit of water and trying to mix some gel at the aid station we had another fun climb ahead of us. The course was pretty well marked with pink ribbons, but there was a couple times when I was feeling unsure.
Luckily there was a dude about one minute or less ahead of me during most of the questionable points and so I would just look for him. The views up top were spectacular and I for one loved it. I ran quite quickly downhills but this course was a bit technical in sections and required a lot of focus on the path and were to step. There was many ledges and rocks that dropped off into some sand and then it would go back up another ledge.
Near the end I could see for a ways back down to the cars and the finish line. There was a couple of guys it looked like I was catching but I did not know which course they had done. Either way it helped motivate me through those last couple miles. At the very end was a 12’-15’ creek crossing that was pretty dang cold and got up to most peoples chest. I felt almost like my body was going into shock when I got in. Luckily there was a pipe about a foot underwater that one could hold onto. One cool dude got me on video and I hope to get a copy to post on here. When I emerged form the water my legs instantly went jello and I could barely move forward, but knowing I was at the end I could not stop. The last 10’ was straight up a sandy hill that about killed you off, luckily everyone was cool and cheered and clapped, so that helped.
Overall the race was awesome. Amazing scenery, good people and I was pleased with my time of 1:32. Not first place, which was 1:12 but not a shabby time at all. It was great running it with my buddy Tyler as well. I ran in my Newtons, I used one Hammer gel, elete electrolytes in my water and one RedBull shot.