Monday, March 15, 2010

Salida Run Through Time Marathon

Finishing the marathon.

It was time for the first race of the year: The Salida Run Through Time Marathon. In case you are wondering this is a half road half trail marathon with close to 3500 feet in gain. I had been wondering for several weeks what the conditions of the course would be like. Two years ago we were running through knee deep snow and last year the course was dry and fast. In the last week it was evident from course condition reports that the race would be muddy and snowy.

Thoughts prior to the race: I wanted to go out and have a solid first half effort. At the very least I could compare split times with last year. I wanted an honest effort.

The race started and I found myself running a tad faster for the first mile than I had anticipated… whatever happened to me warming up? Oh well… I thought, and kept the solid pace going. By 2 miles in I had only 1 runner in front of me (the eventual ½ marathon winner). I made it up to the second aid station (6.5 miles in) right around 50 minutes which was about one minute faster than last year. I knew it was solid, yet I also knew that the course would be muddy and snowy slowing me down later. I did not really care I wanted a fast first half.

The road conditions only got better: the road turned to a sloppy mud fest. Oh Boy! I enjoyed running along. Mud splashed my legs, I felt fantastic. The course veered off the main road and up a snow covered jeep road. I was expecting to be slipping a bit on the hard pack ice but it was not bad. It was just warm enough to melt the top layer of snow enough to provide traction. I kept an honest pace knowing that I’d be rolling into Turret in a few minutes (mile 12.1). I hit Turrit, in 1:25. This surprised me as I was about 2 minutes ahead of last year’s pace. I left and timed myself back to second place. I had about a 5 minute lead.

When I say second place it was actually a battle going back there. There was Andy Henshaw (4th at Leadville last year), Nick Clark, and Ryan Burch (13th at Leadville) all battling it out. I kept a solid pace going back to mile 17.2 (2:03, I think) where the course took a nice turn into the woods on old jeep roads. It was around here that I decided to just finish up the race. I had pushed it enough and the snow, ice, and mud were slowing up the running. I had a 5 minute lead and mentally I did not want to push it any more. I’m in the middle of some solid training and know when it is time to call a good day of racing done and just finish the race. I did just that: kept running without pushing the pace anymore.

I had about a mile to go and quite suddenly I realized I would indeed need to make a quick pit stop. I jumped in the bushes examined some rocks and left. I finished in 3:13:17. Andy was second in 3:18:15, closely followed by Nick in third 3:19? and Ryan in 4th in 3:20? These times are estimate as the website: is a little off. Congrats to Keri Nelson who won for the women running 3:30ish?

(The picture shows the legs after the race... and after i've had a minute to remove some of the mud.)

After getting back to Gunnison I took Cody out for a walk the next day and i taught him how fly. Even if only for a 1/2 second. Proof is in the picture:

Next up is THE Boston Marathon. I’ve got the endurance now, I just need some solid speed.