50K, 12 M, and 7M trail race with 90 – 95 % single track trails through aspen groves, pine forests, and rocky ridges. Elevation ranges between 8,000 and 9,500 ft. The 50K course has 12,000 ft, the 12 mile course has 5,000 ft, and the 7 mile course has 2,300 ft of climbing/descending. All 3 courses are loops with soft and fast as well as rocky and technical trails. This is a beautiful course with spectacular views of the Continental Divide.
I signed up for the 7M race and had a change of heart the day before, bumping it up to the 12m.
This was the longest race I had ever done, so I was both excited and nervous. My friends Amy and Bracken also were running the 12 mile. I should have listened to the advice that someone on the start line said “this course is way tougher than most marathons I have run.”
5000ft climb and decent on single track crossing streams with one log bridges. Adventure is where the outcome is unknown. This was an adventure.
I wish I carried my camera with me (any ideas on a super small camera for runs like this?). The entire area was bursting with green, something you don’t see for more than two weeks a year in Colorado.
I didn’t realize how steep the climbs were, or how long they would be. I bonked at mile 5 at the top of a 4 mile climb. Just below this was an aid station that was really a welcome sight. We descended a mile or so more and then had another three mile climb up to a mountaintop. At this point you had to check in with ‘destiny.’
So, a 3 mile climb at mile 9 of a race, and you are told ‘destiny’ is waiting. The group I was running with decided that ‘destiny’ was the sexiest girl we had ever seen, and the entire way up were adding on details of the beverages she held, etc.
‘Destiny’ turned out to be a guy dressed up as the grim reaper.
So it goes.
I bonked at mile 11 on the final steep incline, and found myself half running, half walking down to the finish.
I finished at 3:13 to loud cheers from Bracken and Amy. I don’t know why, but that made my day. A strong finish, good friends, and some tasty food.
The funny thing about running, very few participants actually win. They all face the same course, and themselves in every race. Very few trophies. This race was a bit different, as it raised enough money to put six Gilpin County girls to camp this summer (hey, everyone can win).
I’m on track to put on more than 220 miles this month as I train for a half ironman.