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2008 USA Trail Running Championships 12K - 1st in - RunOther

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Steamboat, Colorado
United States
80F / 27C
Total Time = 1h 10m 48s
Overall Rank = 13/150
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 1/14
Pre-race routine:

This was a last minute decision to race. I wanted to run a closer race in Breckenridge but I had a feeling that it might have been canceled so I decided to trek to Steamboat.

Woke up @ 2:30 on 2 hours sleep... Left Denver for Steamboat at 3:30 and arrived just before 7 am to register and get ready to race. Looked at the first climb (what I could see of it) and felt a knot in my stomach tighten as I knew I would be climbing that beast three times in the race! See the course details!

Usual pre-race breakfast: Cinnamon Pop Tart and coffee plus half a chocolate chip muffin.
Event warmup:

Sipped my Gatorade and jogged to the bathroom - had about 1/2 a can of Red Bull 15 minutes before the race.
  • 1h 10m 45s
  • 8.07 miles
  • 08m 46s  min/mile

A very deep field, including defending USA Trail Champion Rickey Gates and two time winner, Clint Wells. To put perspective on just how deep the field was, Ricky Gates came in 9th place and Bernie Boettcher came in 10th.

So needless to say, I am thrilled with my 13th place overall finish (1st AG).

This course was just kooky! The race starts off fast. The women run two laps instead of 3 so they jump on it causing the men to run harder than they might have at the start. After the initial 250 meter sprint, we hit a hill that is said to be a 35% grade. Bernie Boettcher was right in front of me at this point and he began speed marching. Knowing that he is considerably faster than me, I start speed marching too. This was probably the most efficient way to climb this 400 foot wall. Some people were 'running' but they were not putting any time into me. The other thing that made this climb difficult was that it was not on a trail, but straight up a grassy ski slope and my racing flats were not getting a good grip. I was happy to finally crest the hill and begin running. Immediately I started passing people. I knew that there were at least 2 people in my age group ahead of me and I needed to be patient. Before too long I was behind the 3rd place women and the 2nd place guy in my age group. I stayed right behind them for most of the single track and then on a very technical downhill passed them both with a totally Evil Knievel kick and surged hard on the uphills to keep them behind me. When I made the final turn on the first lap I had about a 25 meter lead on both. Now I could see the 2nd place women and the guy who was leading my AG. I ran hard into the 2nd lap and mentally prepared myself for the return of the big climb. I did the same thing. Some guy didn't like it when I passed him so we battled back and forth on the climb. This helped me gain a bit on the leading guy in my AG... Before too long I passed the 2nd place women (I did not catch the 1st place women, but might have if they ran 3 laps too), and I was right behind my guy! I was feeling really strong and passed him. He quickly passed me back on a short steep climb and I thought that maybe I surged too quickly... So I just stayed on his heals through the single track and rollers. Again when we got to the technical downhill, I employed another Evil Knievel move and surged ahead. I wanted to really pour it on now to try and demoralize this guy... It didn't work, I ran all of lap two really hard and every time I looked back, he was right there. I knew lap 3 was going to be tough, but if I could get to the top of the big hill before him, he would not catch me on the technical descent. I did get to the top before him. And although I was confident, I was tired too. I missed a turn following some guy on his second lap and luckily some mountain bikers told me I missed my turn. When I looked back, my guy was now ahead of me. I ran as hard as I could to catch him and knowing he knew that I had to run hard to get back in, I wanted to impart to him that I wasn't tired and I surged right past him. with a lot of running left this was risky but it seemed to work. I built a nice cushion on him and cruised in to win my AG easily.

What would you do differently?:

Not much. Stay on course...
Post race
Warm down:

Chilled in the Sun... Ate some Qdoba burrito - nice post race offering!

Hung out with Katie. She kicked butt too. She did an Olypmic Distance tri on Saturday and this monster trail race today.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I ran well. I was tired going in and very stiff as I got out of the car, but putting on a race number always seems to change things.

Event comments:

Great event. Stacked field of runners. Not your typical running event. I liked post event food, and I especially like winning a free pair of Vasque shoes! I need them.

Last updated: 2008-06-30 12:00 AM
01:10:45 | 08.07 miles | 08m 46s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/14
Overall: 0/150
Performance: Good
AVG HR 161 MAX HR 189 Mile splits: 11:12, 7:21, 7:54, 10:51, 6:49, 11:24, 8:07, 6:53, 5:49 (last tenth of mile).
Course: The course has moved from the ski resort to Howelsen Hill for a 4 km loop course. The race route which boasts an 11 percent average grade, starts at the NW corner of the rodeo grounds at 6,705 feet elevation. Runners will head out on a flat path for approximately 250 meters to the bottom of the big hill. The first part of the hill is a steep service road while the second part is up an even steeper ski run. Overall, the climb is approximately 420 feet in just over ¼ mile to the top of Howelsen Hill, the ski lift, and ski jump. After cresting the hill, runners start down the ridge and turn right down a very short, steep single-track, and then down a gradual descent on a dirt road. Next, a sharp left to climb on single track trail approximately 130 feet in a little over ¼ mile. A sharp left at the top of the trail, down a dirt road to a very short and very steep hill. At the bottom of the hill, another gradual climb on a wide, smooth path to the highest point on the course at 7,230 feet. A moderate descent follows on a narrow single-track, with some tight turns. The rest of the loop includes climbing and descending complete with switchbacks.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2008-06-30 10:15 AM

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Conifer, Colorado
Subject: 2008 USA Trail Running Championships 12K - 1st in

2008-06-30 10:56 AM
in reply to: #1498656

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Denver, CO
Subject: RE: 2008 USA Trail Running Championships 12K - 1st in
Nice work, way to kick some a$$ out there.
2008-06-30 10:48 PM
in reply to: #1498656

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Subject: RE: 2008 USA Trail Running Championships 12K - 1st in
Way to go, champ!!! You almost lapped me, jeez It was such a very fun day...
2008-07-01 6:41 AM
in reply to: #1498656

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Centennial, CO
Subject: RE: 2008 USA Trail Running Championships 12K - 1st in
congrats on another ag win.  You rock.
2008-07-01 9:25 PM
in reply to: #1498656

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Westminster, CO
Subject: RE: 2008 USA Trail Running Championships 12K - 1st in
awesome race!  nice way to cap off your monster month of June!
2008-07-02 7:44 AM
in reply to: #1498656

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Madison, CT
Subject: RE: 2008 USA Trail Running Championships 12K - 1st in da' man.  What a great month of racing!  Way to stay strong on the last lap.  I'm sure that guy was so pissed he couldn't keep up with the Dime.

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