Red Mountain 50k 2015 Race Report

Pre

The Red Mountain 50K I was told was a totally new course for the year. Looking at the map it is kind of like etch-a-sketch lines going randomly everywhere (luckily not anywhere) the lines appear to be on purpose.

The Course

The Course

Reviewing the run it consists of 5 colored sections and matching ribbons. It looked fun and relatively flat (less then 4,000ft of climbing, I think). I thought this will be fun and possibly fast and as long as I can figure out which loop to do in which order i’ll have a good time.

I thought this will be fun and possibly fast and as long as I can figure out which loop to do in which order i’ll have a good time.

After signing up we decide to make a family trip out of it. The start time was 6:30 and I figured that I may be fast and told the fam to be to the finish by 11:30 just in case. They did not make it there that early, but that was ok because neither did I , but i’ll get to that. At the start on some bridge in Santa Clara I met Matt Ricks and his son Connor. His son, 13 I think,  was running the half marathon. They both were sporting jerseys featuring Twinkies.

Photo credit - Me

Matt and his son Connor – Photo credit – Me

Pre-race  Photo credit - Santiago Photography

Pre-race Photo credit – Santiago Photography

We chatted, the RD – Steve yelled some directions and off we went, right as the sun began to rise (pretty sunrise btw).


Green (7.7)

This first section climbed a little up dirt roads until we came to some single track. All the runners were here, halfsieis, 30kers and the 30 or so, of us 50kers who singed up for the full enchilada.  The high school kids were having fun, hooting and striping off their shirts as it reached a balmy 50°. The rest of the old guys were shooting the breeze and trying to reserve energy. I kept my speed steady until the downhill section, before the aid. And then I just had to let fly, it was fun, exhilarating and oh so enjoyable. I had to have some fun, I mean isn’t that what this is all for anyways?

Face of determination or the sunlight is right in my eyes, you choose.

Face of determination or the sunlight is right in my eyes, you choose. Photo credit – Santiago Photography

Upon reaching the aid station (the only one setup for access through each loop) I grabbed a couple of GUs. The crew there was eager and helpful, they made sure to check my number each time I came through. Refueled I was pointed toward the Blue loop.


Blue (5.7)

Early in the race I could feel the bumps and bruises I took to my body a week previous while playing racquetball with the boys. Specifically my hip really hurt. I leaned into the uphills to get that hip swinging. This was a big concern to me the couple days before the race. I was fearful of a DNF and even considered dropping to the 30k. But the day before I decided to just go for it. That was a good choice, one that tuned into the theme for the day. Long story short, I was feeling my hip early but luckily I found a friend to help distract me for the next 10 miles.

I was fearful of a DNF and even considered dropping to the 30k. But the day before I decided to just go for it.

My trail friend was Rachel. She is a Yoga instructor down in St. George and she was one tuff-as-nails chick! I was super intrigued when she told me about her stage race she had done in Mexico and the one she was planning this year in Iceland. What fun, I can’t imagine. I am still jealous. I was also super impressed with her recent come back from a car accident she had had two years back. And here she was leading the Women on a 50k race. Dang!

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Photo credit – Santiago Photography

As we chatted about yoga, breathing and ruining I began to realize the spectacular beauty of the surrounding landscape. I stopped a few times to snap a picture and take it all in. Really a spectacular place to run.


Pink (4.3)

After aid station stop #2 we took a stroll down the Pink loop. This was the shortest of the loops and I looked forward to the mental boost that it would bring. Conversation with Rachel made this little loop fly bye. She was familiar with most of the course and told me that the section coming up (red) would have the steepest and likely most technical sections. She said to be patient with myself and just understand what was ahead. It was nice to get a locals knowledge of the terrain ahead.

My trail buddy and I heading out for a loop. - Photo credit Santiago Photography

My trail friend and I heading out for a loop. – Photo credit Santiago Photography


Red (10.2 if you stay on course, 5-ish if you don’t like me)

GUs, Oranges, bananas and as much water as my little pack could hold and I was done with aid stop #3. And began the huff up Red loop. It was good uphill with some switchbacks. I snapped some more pics along this early section as Rachael slowly moved further and further ahead. But I kept glimpses of her from time to time further up the bluff. Pushing up this hill was the first time I had to take little breaks on the steeper sections. That was nice to catch my breath but it was almost more painful on my hip to hike then run so I pressed forward. As I neared the top a dude in a red shirt came flying down. I then reached to top of the plateaus and enjoyed the well-earned view. With head down, feeling the pain I soldiered on. The trail took a left hand turn and I began heading back the way I came. I looked over my shoulder and noticed Rachael was zig-zagging up another bluff to the South. I figured the turn off must be a head a bit. I went until I came back to where I was just coming up. Other runners were heading up in the distance and I ran off the side of the trail for a bit trying to see if I had missed a turn off or where the trail was that lead to the other bluff. I could not see it and I asked some of the runners heading up, they of course did not know. When along came a runner from where I had just came. I figure this was perhaps the guy behind me. I tried to ask him about a trail that headed down to the other bluff. He said that there was one or something. I was not sure and thought It might be back down and then South, so I followed him.

I felt like there was no way I could climb back up and make the correct turn. I gave up and with my head down I walked back to the aid station ready to tear off my bib and DNF.

I thought that there were two trails and hoped I was going down a different one then the one I had come up. I kept looking to the south for a turn off but it never appeared. A mile from where I first took a wrong turn I realized my mistake, that is when I mentally lost it and physically responded in suit. I was about a half mile from the aid station and realized that I made a terrible mistake. I felt like there was no way I could climb back up and make the correct turn. I gave up and with my head down I walked back to the aid station ready to tear off my bib and DNF. As I approached the aid station Steve asked what was wrong. Before I could tell him he asked if I missed the sharp right hand turn off. I said yeah, and that I was going to just quit. I was so bummed I just collapsed on a chair and consigned myself to my mistake. Steve told me that it was ok and that another dude with a red shirt had just done the same thing. And that he sent him off on the Pink course again to make up the missed miles. He offered me the same option. As I sat there thinking about it the rest of the aid crew egged me on, “Its a ultra” they said, you have to dig deep and get past the setbacks. I decided that finishing was way better then a DNF, even if it took me longer the I had hoped, and I knew that it would bring my emotional state back from the dumps. So I said alright, i’m going for it, and I scooted on down the Pink loop, again.


Pink (4.3 again)

This looks familiar. Not more then half-a-mile into the loop I ran into the man in red, my wrong-turn-compadre. He asked me if I did the same thing which I acknowledged. He said doing this loop again sucked, but I thought at least it was better then backtracking 2 miles. We parted ways and soon I was the lone wolf on the mighty pink loop.

Honestly with the thought that I did not have to drop out and could still finish I was back to good spirits.

Honestly with the thought that I did not have to drop out and could still finish I was back to good spirits. And I did not mind that this was the shortest of the loops, it would pass quickly and I would still be somewhat on course to finishing at a descent time. The half mile walk at the end of red took its toll on time and my emotional state but at this point I figured I would have to finish the last section anyways, so why not throw in 4 miles and get a finish. My thoughts and pace were not terrible on this loop, though the last bit to get to the aid station for the 5th and final time took a bit of digging.


Orange (5.4)

At the aid station for the final time I refueled on chips, oranges and bananas again. I did what I could to choke down one more GU and with that went for the final push. This section started good as it was downhill and I could faintly see the dude ahead of me (im now paranoid of missing a turn). But all good things must come to an end. As we got to a paved road I felt all the physical pains and multiplied it by the heat, I had not brought enough cold water. The course luckily veered off the road after a half mile and there I was all alone running through the desert. I was getting rather fatigued by this point. I tried closing my eyes on some of the flat straight parts and recall thinking that I was going to fall asleep and fall that way, so I kept my eyes open and just trucked along. The final miles were pretty uneventful, one last run on the road leading up to the finish line. As I got there the kids saw me and ran over to me, we all held hands and crossed the finish together. That was a sweet finish.

Done. Photo credit - the misses.

Done. Photo credit – the misses.

Perfect finish support.

Perfect finish support.


Post

Recounting my tale of highs and lows I enjoyed a bowl of cheese potato soup, fruit leather, yogurt, a roll, pickles and other goods. How tasty it all was. My official finish time was 6:02:48 about the same as my first 50k.

Some of the consumption.

Some of the consumption.

This was my 3rd 50k. I am hoping to complete 2 more this year. We’ll see what craziness those races bring. My strava post. A shout out to the RD, Steve and all the support, the aid was great. The photographer (Santiago Photography) was awesome, he was like everywhere somehow.  I can’t wait to see the rest of his pics. I would recommend this race. It was fun and challenging and well put on. I really am sure that missing the turn on Red was my fault, just not paying attention and that is how it goes sometimes.


Khatoola 25K Snowshoe Slosher 2015

I knew this was gonna be no good snow. We had not had much snow this Winter and I was a bit reluctant to run this race this year, but since my buddy Adam was in for it and I was looking forward to doing better this year I mustered up will and went for it.

I started up front and after John said “go!” I took off. One dude ran in front of me and kicked up wet snow in my face, so I passed him. And ran on. It was quickly apparent that indeed the snow was soft, wet and mushy. The first lap was not too terrible but as the day warmed up and more tracks went across it got worse. Think running in sand. Double your effort, double your fun. Somewhere up on the first 10k loop I passed a couple of girls doing the 50k (craziness). They saw me and thought I was a 50k lapping them. I informed them that I was the first of the 25ks and then they disliked me less.

The Course and some splits.

The Course and some splits.

Running down was actually rather fun as it took a sort of sliding technique. I tried to land on the ends of my snowshoes and slide a bit into a full foot landing. On the way up the 5k loop I passed a couple marathoners and felt really good, knowing that I was close to hitting my peak goals, despite the rough conditions. As I began to descend the 5k loop I felt some tightness and cramping in my calves from the hike up but it subsided as I got back down. I again enjoyed the fast and sloppy downhill and almost tripped twice but luckily I stayed up.

2015 25k WInner Acceptin Trophy form RD John Bozung

2015 25k WInner Acceptin Trophy form RD John Bozung

Final 10k lap and I had no idea how far ahead of the 2nd place I was but felt good, ate some salty potatoes, swigged a bit of Red Bull and kept pushing along. This last uphill loop always puts the dagger in my heart, but I was determined to keep running this time. And thus I did. A few of the more steep sections I power hiked through but as I reached the peak and started down I felt a surge of the victory, how sweet it was. Last year I came in 2nd place (2:59) after a leap-frogging battle during the first 18k. But in the end I ran out of steam. Three years ago it was all about actually finishing. So when I won this years race coming in at 2:57, somewhere around 10-15 minutes ahead of 2nd place, I felt the pride of a race well run. And a personal best accomplished, plus I got some good swag!

Good times were had by all, Adam came in 4th – nice job brotha’! After the race I chatted with DJ who took 2nd. He is training for a 200 miler! Dangnation! I ate some good ‘ol Tomato Bisque and crackers provided and enjoyed the cozy fire as I waited for Adam. We’ll see what next year brings (if any snow at all).

Gallery

Another Snowshoe Race is in the Books

The famous Bigfoot

The famous Bigfoot

Before Start with Adam

Before Start with Adam

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nice selfie

nice selfie

sweaty

sweaty

perdy

perdy

with John the Race director

with John the Race director

Another snowshoe race is in the books. This year I ran the 25k again along with Adam “SlimJim” Hurricane-Buster. The weather and conditions were about as good as I could have asked. The trail (10k loop) was nicely groomed. But I digress, the fun began at 9:10 a.m. with a”go!”. I ran the first 10k loop at a descent pace but not too fast. I walked a fair amount of the steep hills. First -place winner (Kandice) and  I passed and re-passed each other often through-out.

I ate a few gu’s and Sports beans, checked my name in at the loop end and headed up the steep 5k loop. Quite the climb, and most of it in shade. That caused me to cool down a bit. About the top the calves began cramping (no!). But I trudged down as fast as I dare. I had my pockets too full and had to cinch up my pants at the bottom. I tried to adjust my snowshoes as well since the left kept turing pigeon-toe. But whatever I tried never worked so I just went with it.

I checked in before my last loop, filled me bottle with heed (sick) and sat in the snow for a while, until I saw Kandice coming,then I hopped up and scooted away, I knew it was only a matter of time before she caught me. I also knew we were sitting at #1 and #2 respectively. She did eventually catch me on a slight 8% grade hill and I tried to stay with her for a bend or two then gave up. She was tough as nails running up every hill.

I got to the aid station and grabbed a Red bull and some potatoes. As I went on I thought that there was no way I would catch her, until near the top when I saw her, I kept track and saw I was about 4-5 minutes behind her. But I had little steam for the downhill and never saw her again.

The last 2 miles I knew I was close to my goal of sub 3 hours. But I had to put the hurt on and dig deep. I tried hard not to walk much but the exhaustion was killing me. The last .5 mile I just gritted my teeth and finished it off. Getting an official time of 2:59:55! Although I looked at my Garmin watch and it says 2:59:51, but whats 4 seconds?

End result is I got 1st place Male, and 2nd place overall, woopt-de-doo! I can’t wait to suffer all over again next year. But really this year was much better. I kept my feet dry for 75% of the race and cut 26 minutes from last years time, so who’s complaining?

Here is the exciting map #”s : http://www.strava.com/activities/108979759

Gallery

I Went for the 25K Distance this Year

For my third year at this event I opted to run the 25k distance. Previous two years I ran the 10k. Here is last years photos report. This year I was accompanied by my friend Adam who ran the 10k. As you can see in my last year pictures I wore shorts and had forgotten gloves, so I was rather cold and under prepared. This year I was going to be better prepared. I began by picking up a Airhole face mask, which was light enough that it worked well for running. Although I found I was warm enough with out it about 4k into the race. Next I acquired some super-light, nice race snowshoes from Northern Lites. These shoes were awesome and delivered to me expectations. I noticed a few other competitors rocking the Northern Lites, in fact at one point there were three of us in a row, all in the top five positions wearing them, go team!

My big mistakes were, one, not wearing waterproof shoes and /or gaiters. I knew this would be an issue and I thought I had prepared well, by brining two pairs of running shoes and three pairs of socks. But alas my feet were wet about 75% of the race. It was good to have gloves however and pants to keep my legs warm. The only other thing I would have done different is to get more calories at the aid stations, I think I kept my self just under the level I needed to be at to keep going strong.

As for the race itself, the course consist of a 10k loop and a brutal 5k loop, so for the 25k I did one 10, one 5 and a final 10. I likely pushed to hard on the first 10k as I was around a top five finisher of that. Then the 5k was a punishing climb (I forget the elevation). I enjoyed the chance to chat with a fellow competitor up the climb.

I have to give mad props to the marathon and 50k runners, I felt so out of shape I could not have gone another 10ft further then the 25k distance. A couple of dudes doing the 50k helped me pull through my last 10, so thanks to them. I look forward to next year where I plan to compete much better.

Gallery

Gib Wallace 10K Trail Race Report

Some sweet action photos Emily took from the 10k Gib Wallace Trail Run (part of the N.U.T.S. Series) I did this morning. It was excellent weather, (a bit on the warm side) super-excellent marked, some dang good elevation (1100ft), great atmosphere and support plus I picked up some sweet schwag. 

And I was pleased with my time 0:50:45 (or there abouts) and placed 5th – woot!

Up-n-Over 2011 10k Trail Run Report

Another fun 10k race up in North Ogden this morning. The Up-n-over 10k Halloween race was my first race I did exactly one year ago. What a first race it was. This year I ran with my bro-in-law Dave and my father in-law Gaylan. The up-n-over is a fun small race, well enough supported and some good chili at the end.

The route goes 1500ft up the North Ogden canyon and then back down the other side, finally finishing at the Wolf mountain ski resort. Last year I got a time of 1:00:27 and was well pleased.

My goal this year was to get 0:55:00 or under. Pre race I jogged for about fifteen minutes and downed a 5 hour energy knock-off. I put a powerbar gel in my pocket and went to the starting line. I felt good as a ran, I had told myself that I would do no more then 5 minutes of walking up the steep hills and I think I kept myself to it.

The uphill climb felt shorter then what I had remembered. Once I got to the top I let gravity take full control as I flew downhill, trying to keep my feet under me. At that point I was really enjoying the run and managed to catch a couple of people.

The last part of the run is actually on a road and gives you one last good long sustained climb up the the finish. I was happy to finish at 56:26, shaving four minutes off of last years time. It is always fun to have some friends or family at a race and some support, I even got my daughter to run the last 30ft with me to cross the finish line together. Good times.

Amasa Back 15K Trail Race 2011

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.

Tyler also put together a little video about the race >