Leadville Mosquito Pass Marathon
The race marked my fifth time toeing that starting line. I felt ok and ready to run decent. Who would show and contend today? I started the race with a controlled up-tempo pace and soon had a small lead over second. I tried to pay no attention to pace and focus instead on maintaining the up-tempo pace. Finally, at mile 4 going up the Burro Trail on a switchback I was able to get my first look and time measurement on my lead. I had about a 1-minute lead and was rolling along, I just had to keep it up.
Soon I quickly rolled through Veneer Aid and started down Bombardier. I still was not pushing the pace, just trying to maintain. Once down to Adelaide Park I was able to get a second reading on my lead. It was about the same. I made the conscious effort to not push the pace. I had to maintain. 2 miles later I started up Mosquito Pass. I felt a little sluggish. The previous month of training had been decent but it also had been recovery from injury. I was strong, but not strong enough yet. I had to power hike a few more times than I would prefer. This slowed me up a bit but my lead was strong and was slowly growing.
At last the trail’s grade gave way to the pass and I summited in about 2:07. I had a few minute lead now over 2nd place: Chris Mocko. I turned around and started the decent. I was unsure on my lead now as I was surrounded by runners from the Heavy Half. I just had to maintain. This was my mantra.
I ran along clicking off the miles then in Adelaide Park I finally was able to check my lead. It had dwindled down to less than a minute. While I had averaged pedestrian 6:30 miles on my decent Chris had lit 5:30 miles and had eroded my lead down to 150 yards. I headed up Bombardier towards Veneer. 1 mile later Chris passed me. I still felt ok and figured we would be in an all-out race to the finish. Instead, Chris took off and I never saw him again. After making it through Veneer I hammered down the Burro Trail thinking maybe I could catch Chris. Instead a lone runner came running up the trail.
A runner had inadvertently taken a wrong turn and was now off course. Being tired at the end of the race I was unable to grasp this simple concept and wrongly thought that maybe I was now in 3rd. What was I thinking? I slowed my pace and started racing the runner. After 5 minutes of this, I realized it was pointless. I was indeed in 2nd. The momentary lapse in judgement had cost me a few minutes of race time. I soon dropped the runner, who I think was starting to realize his dilemma, and raced down the finish in 2nd place in 3:45.
I wore the HOKA ONE ONE Challenger ATRs. They provide the needed support, stability, and cushion that I need. Feet feel great, although the legs are sore from the 6,000 feet of elevation gain/loss.
Training is going well. I’m recovered from the hamstring injury of April and will now be racing a bunch. Stay tuned for some new races!