The 9th running of the Sage Burner 25/50k was over the weekend. I was not sure if I was going to make it. My wife Lynnette, was due any day to give birth and sure enough Wednesday morning 4 days prior to the race she gave birth to our 2nd daughter Annalise. We had just enough time to drive back to Leadville and settle in for a day prior to me leaving and driving over to Gunnison. I slept at the start: cozy, comfy, and far too short; the day arrived quickly. I got out of bed slowly waking up.
Before I knew it, it was time to race. I quickly took the lead with Josh Eberly and a handful of other runners. I knew Josh would be the greatest threat today. I wanted to stay close and try and wear him down. I kept an up-tempo pace but Josh was rearing to go and took the lead about 2-3 miles in. I hung on to his coattails trying not to be dropped but it was no use. By mile 6… I was dropped. Josh kept hammering. I sat back running hard. In the process, 3rd place, or anyone else, was nowhere to be seen. I kept trying to get closer to Josh but pretty soon he too had disappeared.
I ran on pushing the pace and trying to finish in a good time. I knew I’d be close to the 2 hour mark so I hammered the last 2 miles, never seeing Josh in the process. I ended up finishing in 2:00:15. This was 7 seconds faster than last year. I’m quite pleased with the result. The course is a little harder on even years. The counter-clockwise direction has a little more climbing later in the race and you have to run an extra 200 yards.
Solid day! Next up Mt Evans Ascent.