Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Salida Run Through Time Marathon

Me, Super Ultra Running legend Bill Dooper, and Ryan Burch (photo by Burch)

Hi everyone. After some much need time off from the unknown blog world I have returned. I’m fit and ready for a great season. I’ve raced twice this year. Last month I ran the Moab Red Hot 55K. Without too many details I ran hard but hydrated poorly and bonked with 2 miles to go. I hobbled in the last two miles being overtaken by Dakota Jones who won in 4:02, while I came in second at 4:06.

This last weekend I ran the Salida Run Through Time Marathon
The race had some difficulty getting the proper permits for their traditional run therefore, they had to change the course. New this year was a fantastic 5 mile single track addition.
Lynnette and I drove over in the morning with Cody and the race was soon underway. It went out relaxed compared to previous years. By mile 1 there was the front pack consisting of Nick Clark , Ryan Burch , Dan Vega, and I.

Nick and I were leading the procession. We hit the incline, which is really a 7 mile long hill with 2000 feet gained. From here I started an up-tempo pace. I was able to gain about 20 seconds on Nick but no more. At the 2nd water station somewhere near 7 miles I hit an almost identical time compared to years past. I was at 51 minutes. I grabbed a quick drink and left only to see Nick was right on my heels. I pressed on a little harder trying to put a gap between Nick and I. I got to the modified and early turn around (because of the modified course) at 1:14:20. I then timed the run back to Nick. It was 40 to 45 seconds which meant I was 1:20 to 1:30 ahead. This was a small lead but I’d take. Dan and Ryan were in close pursuit. I started hammering back to the aid station (the one I went by in 51 minutes). I felt great. Then ½ a mile before the aid station I got a side cramp that slowed me down considerably. I felt like dropping out of the race.

I slowed up and regrouped mentally. I got to the aid station took more water and left. I could see Nick now again. He had caught up and was only 20-30 seconds back again. I decided not to worry and just take it easy. Over the next 3 miles the side cramp would come in go with less intensity. Finally it left. At bends in the trail and roads I’d see Nick. I was slowly gaining on him.

I hit the 20.1 aid station at 2:19. This was where the trail deviated from past years onto the new single track. I was in my element on it and figured I had a 90 second lead over Nick. It was hard to maintain a quick pace as the track meandered constantly. The single track ran down the front of “S” Mountain in Salida and the race finished. I won for the 3d year in a row with a time of 3:05:50 about 3 minutes ahead of Nick, who was closely followed by Dan and Ryan.

At the Finish (photo from Ryan Burch)

My time for the last 3 years is as follows:

2009: 3:03:42 Course Record, fast day
2010: 3:13:17 Slow muddy slick day
2011: 3:05:50 Fast day slower course though, great time

I got to break 3 hours there one of these years…