Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Imogene Pass Run

This has to be one of my favorite runs in the state. How can it not be… it is run in the beautiful San Juan Mountains starting in downtown Ouray and running on old mining roads, modern jeep roads up and over Imogene pass and then down into Telluride.  At roughly 17 miles the run is long enough to need some major endurance and short enough that you can still enjoy the day when finished. You need both good uphill running coupled with solid downhill skills. This run offers the full package.

I drove over the night before and camped out in Ridgway, asleep within minutes. The next morning we line up and started. I went out with the main pack thinking we were running a tad fast. This would cost us all about 5 minutes later in the race. In addition we missed a turn and ran an extra 50 yards. Oh well, it cost us all. I settled in and settled back allowing the others to push the pace and soon found myself in 5th place with a cohort pushing the pace from behind. As we gained in altitude and miles I found my competitors slowing which slowly I caught one by one until I was in second with 1st place roughly 2 minutes in front. 

I ran hard, which ultimately was a snail pace as I crested the 13,114 foot Imogene pass in 1:46:25 with 3rd place just a minute behind. The views are some of the best in the state however I charged downhill trying to enjoy them while really focusing on difficult footing and trying to hold off 3rd. Kalib Wikinson from Flagstaff charged down after me and had the best downhill race of the day pulling off a second place to Daniel Nally. Meanwhile I ran down and settle for a solid 3rd place. I was quite pleased with this as I ran a decent and consistent race.

Once again I ran in the Hoka Stinson Lite which gave me solid footing coupled with great cushioning.

Race #2:  After the race I decided to race the busses back to Ouray. To do this I would engage in one of my favorite pastimes: Hitch hiking. Hitching went nearly flawlessly as I was picked up by 4 different parties only 1 of which had run the race. For each ride I had to wait no more than 4 minutes. Hitching is rarely this smooth.

Next up Javalina Jundred.


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