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Cimarron Endurance Run - Run

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Montrose, Colorado
United States
Mad Moose Events
36F / 2C
Total Time = 7h 20m 29s
Overall Rank = 10/12
Age Group = F40-49
Age Group Rank = 1/1
Pre-race routine:

We made most of the drive on Friday and stopped in Ouray, CO for the evening. Strolled around town and had a beer and dinner at Ouray Brewing CO.

Saturday we drove the final hour up to Montrose. The first thing we did was drive up to the race location to check out the conditions. It was a muddy, sloppy mess. That gave me some concern that they would cancel the race, or that we would be running in the slop, not sure which scared me more.

After that we drove around our old stomping grounds and saw some friends. As the day wore on we had dinner at Horsefly Brewing Co, I had mac n cheese and a Paso Fino Porter. After that we stopped at the grocery store to get some breakfast supplies and a flat white that I would re-heat in the morning. Then it was back to the hotel to watch the Rockies game and change my mind 17 times about what to wear for the race.

After the game we set the alarm for 0540 at had a good nights sleep. As usual I woke well before the alarm and had two chocolate frosted donuts and some Mud with almond milk. I mixed up a bottle of Skratch and filled my hydration pack. I put some Honey Stinger chews and gels in my pack and a bunch more in my drop bag.

We loaded up the truck and headed up the hill to Cimarron. I drank my re-heated flat white as we drove. This was a really small race so when we got there we pulled in to the lot and there were only a few cars. I walked in to the packet pick up tent and got my bib and a t shirt. We chatted with the RD and his wife for a bit then went back to wait in the truck.

A few minutes before 0700 I hit the port a loo then waited outside with the others for the pre-race announcements. He told us 35 people were registered and 20 people showed up. He said the course was not marked but that we would need to jump someone's fence to go off course. He talked about the aid stations and a couple other things then we were off.

Event warmup:

  • 7h 20m 29s
  • 50 kms
  • 08m 49s  min/km

Well twenty of us started out pretty quietly. Our first task was to climb a fairly substantial hill. As usual the fasties took off like jackrabbits and the rest of us set out at a maintainable pace. There were a half dozen or so of us that stayed fairly close to each other and leap frogged along the way.

The most obvious challenge for us in that first few miles was the constant headwind in our collective face. It. Was. Brutal. As the wind continued mile after mile I started to wonder whether I could do this for 31 miles. I reasoned that it would have to be at our back at some point, right? But could I do 16 miles like that? I talked with a lady from Denver, Tracy, who'd done IM Boulder. She and I even discussed the possibility at turning around at the second aid station with the 30k-ers. I knew I wouldn't, I knew DH wouldn't let me if I tried. I found out later she called her DH, who was out on the course in a minivan for much of the race, and talked to him about turning around.

I guess one positive aspect to the wind is that it had dried out the course. There were only a few muddy spots and they were easy to avoid.

I could hear the first aid station for a mile before I got there. The first song I could hear was the Eagles "Take it Easy". As I pulled in to that aid station the sole worker asked what he could get for me. I asked for a wind block but he couldn't oblige :) Instead I grabbed a cup of coke and headed back out. I was taking in either a gel or chews every 2.5 miles or so, trying to stay on top of the calories. I figured out pretty early on I needed to put the next gel/chew in a pocket next to my body to get them warm enough to consume later on.

Once past the first AS I knew that I'd see DH at the next one. He was working that station and I was looking forward to some encouragement because the wind was still beating us down. Somewhere between AS one and two the wind showed some mercy. There were still times it was gusting in our faces but there were also times, because of a lapse or maybe because of the road turning, it was just a breeze. At that point I could enjoy the run, enjoy the scenery and take stock of how I was really feeling. When the constant wind calmed I was actually feeling pretty good about the rest of the day.

About half a mile before the next AS the 30k runners started coming back at us as that was their turnaround. A couple of them said "you're almost to the turnaround!". Um, nope, but thanks. I looked at Tracy and could tell she was still unsure about continuing on.

I was pretty excited when I crested a hill and saw the white tent of the AS 2. I was also happy to see a port a john. Because this wasn't a typical trail race one couldn't just run off in to the bushes like other races and fortunately that loo was positioned perfectly for where I needed it that day. So I hit the loo then cruised on in to see DH. The wind was calm and there was a light snow falling.

Tracy's husband was also there. He had been leapfrogging us in the car and encouraging us. I was happy to see that as I left the AS, continuing on to AS 3 that she was doing the same. It was about that time I left her but I was happy to know that she hadn't turned back. As her husband encouraged me over the next few miles I asked about her as well. Each time he said she was doing great.

I've heard many times to break a race down in to bite sized chunks. I really found that to be true on this race. As I left DH's encouraging smile the 12 miles out and back till I would see him again seemed too big. So it was two or three miles to another gel, then the next AS. As I approached AS3 it was nice to see some of the other runners coming back at me. I'd been pretty much alone, save Tracy's family, since I left AS2. It was good to see that I wasn't so far behind the others.

I pulled in to AS3. Half. Way. Tracy's DH and kids were there. I told the kids they are great cheerleaders. I got a coke and a bite-sized frozen nearly solid candybar.

Then it was back on the road. I passed Tracy and Madeleine as I left and encouraged them. Now it was 6 miles back to Honey (I don't normally call him that but in my head, on that day, he was Honey). So 6 miles, still too far. Um, a couple miles to a gel, then a couple more miles back to Honey. Then a couple more miles to a gel, then a couple miles to the Music Man.

At this point the weather was mixed. It was warm enough at times to remove my gloves, then it would get windy and cold again so I'd put them back on. I swapped out my ear-covering headband for a smaller keep-my-hair-out-of-my-face RWB headband. Other than that I was pretty comfortable clothing wise. Many thanks to Salty for suggesting the Patagonia Houdini!!!! It was perfect.

I got back to DH again and picked up the last of my chews. That and a kiss would have to get me through to the end. He said I was smiling every time he saw me. I started to sing 99 Bottles of Beer in my head but I got bored with that at about 70. I was talking to animals, and inanimate objects. A large portion of this course follows the fence line of a ranch for which I was an accountant back in the day. So I was also telling Gerald, the owner, spots in his fence that he needed to work on, or places that the ranch was especially pretty.

When I got back to the Music Man the "music wouldn't play". He'd actually been out on the course taking pictures and had probably taken the sound system down to get it out of the elements. As I got there he poured me a cup of coke then offered to walk with me a bit (it was steep uphill after his AS). I learned that he is Charles Johnston, former RD of this race and current RD of the Ouray 1000/50. One of the photos I am posting is courtesy of Charles.

Once I left Charles it was about 5 miles to go. Somewhere around that time downhill really started to hurt. With every footfall everything hurt. I didn't want to walk it in and just told myself to embrace the suck. It's supposed to hurt. If it was easy everyone would do an ultra.

The last couple miles I could see the highway next to which the start/end was located. Finally I could see the trucks, and then the tent, of the finish line!

I guess I was hydrating enough because I started to REALLY need to pee. I didn't want to ruin my finish with rushing off to the loo, but I knew my legs could not squat at this point. Fortunately about a half mile from the finish there was a small parking area with large boulders. Yay. Problem solved.

Then I was able to cruise down that same long hill, with the finish and Honey in sight. The rush of emotions! Momma I did it, sorry it wasn't on your birthday like I planned but I did it!

Also, the Altra Lone Peaks were a-maz-ing. Only a couple tiny blisters!!!!!!!

What would you do differently?:

I don't know
Post race
Warm down:

After I finished and received my gigantic medal, DH handed me a chocolate milk. Love that man. The RD had made enchiladas and I tried to eat some but couldn't.

I waited for Tracy and Madeleine to finish and celebrated with them. While I was waiting DH had to hoist me in to the truck so I could put on warmer clothes. Everyone finished under the cut-off. There were 12 50k runners and 8 30k runners. DH said that someone turned back in that first few brutal miles.

Once we were done we headed back to Ouray and after a nice bath we headed back to Ouray Brewery :)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Genetics. A weird extended taper thing.

Event comments:

Ultras are low key as it is but this one was a small ultra. That coupled with the fact that the RD had taken over for the prior RD it felt a bit phoned in. The t-shirts and medals were leftovers from last year. I hope he can grow this race. The scenery was beautiful, but it was a lonely one.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2016-04-11 12:00 AM
07:20:29 | 50 kms | 08m 49s  min/km
Age Group: 1/1
Overall: 10/12
Performance: Good
Course: Out and back on semi maintained county roads
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2016-05-04 12:00 PM

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Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: Cimarron Endurance Run

2016-05-04 2:22 PM
in reply to: #5180270

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Cimarron Endurance Run

Congratulations!  You did great!  I love the way that you broke down the race and that you have people names (Music Man, etc.).

We are so proud of you!

2016-05-04 3:21 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Cimarron Endurance Run

So much love in this post.  DH cheering you on and having the nectar of the gods, chocolate milk ready for you at the end.  You using him as motivation.  Doing this race with your mom on your mind and in your heart and surely by your side.  Dang allergies - my eyes...

BIG congrats on toughing it out and finishing on a cold, windy day. What beautiful scenery!  50K = very impressive!

Edited by melbo55 2016-05-04 3:26 PM
2016-05-04 5:41 PM
in reply to: melbo55

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Subject: RE: Cimarron Endurance Run

Holy moly that elevation profile is scary!!  Congratulations on tackling not only the distance and the course, but also the elements, very nicely done!!  It is also really cool that you used to work at the ranch you ran past. Yay!!!

2016-05-05 2:20 AM
in reply to: amd723

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Western Australia
Subject: RE: Cimarron Endurance Run
Well done TJ. I am still gob smacked at the elevation profile. I wont complain about hills again (well maybe not until tomorrow)
2016-05-09 11:16 AM
in reply to: #5180270

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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Cimarron Endurance Run

Originally posted by rrrunner

Congratulations on an awesome day! I really loved the final picture of you, I imagine the feeling of completion wa complete joy. 

Way to go!

2016-05-10 8:08 AM
in reply to: cdban66

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Katy, Texas
Subject: RE: Cimarron Endurance Run
Holy smokes, that elevation!! Way to tough it out on your extended taper!! Looks like a beautiful place to run, and sounds like you executed perfectly!! Way to go!!
2016-05-10 11:49 AM
in reply to: #5180270

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Denver, Colorado
Subject: RE: Cimarron Endurance Run
Girl! The picture of you after crossing the finish line is so powerful! Great job!
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