Sunday, August 4, 2013

Mount Werner Classic 50K - 2013

What an awesome day on the trails at the Mount Werner Classic!

I couldn't have written a better script.  73 runners toed the line and I placed myself about a third of the way down the field.  Everyone must have been in a pretty big hurry, because within half a mile, I was probably more than 50 runners back from the front.  Not feeling overly energetic, I stuck to my pre-race plan and took it slow and easy on the 3,500' ascent up Mount Werner.

I must have been doing a good job of hydrating, because I had to make 3 pit stops before the top.  I also hit the gels and S-caps earlier than usual as part of my never-ending experimentation.  With two bottles, I was able to skip the first aid station, only 2.2 miles up.  After that, the trail was a bit more rolling than I had anticipated, which was a good break from the climb.  The ascent was a combination of gravel roads and trails which mostly wound their way across the ski slopes.  The terrain wasn’t very exciting, but the wildflowers and views to the valley below were.  At the “top”, and the third aid station, we turned off onto some sweet single track.  I was hoping to make up some more time in this section, but it wasn’t quite as flat and fast as the profile looked.  I guess everyone else was feeling it too, cause I was able to open it up a bit and by the time I hit the turn-a-round at the half way point, I was around 20th.

I drank a giant cup of Coke, grabbed a Honey Stinger waffle, and a couple of slices of turkey, which a dog greedily eyed until they were gone.  I next dug into the waffle, on which I almost choked and ended up coughing violently for over a mile.  Then I cranked it up a little more, despite the increasing heat, and counted down from 20 with every runner I passed.  I had just caught up with the Cassandra Scallon, the no. 1 female, at the top of Mount Werner, and without being at all cocky, I figured I would soon pass her, as I'm a pretty decent downhiller.  Boy was I wrong!  This gal was cooking.  I nearly redlined multiple times over the next 5 miles just to keep her in my sights and we didn’t come up on any additional runners.  Eventually, she toed a rock, didn't fall, but it threw her off enough that she gave up the insane pace and pulled off to the side to let me by.

With my mind on the finish and my legs trying to keep up with Cassandra, I skipped the last two aid stations.  I had plenty of fluids, though both bottles were a bit warm for my taste, and I even managed to squeeze a gel down the gullet.  Based on my splits, I didn’t think I had any chance to make my 5:30 goal, but when I ran through the last aid station with 2.2 miles to go, I realized I might have an outside chance.  At this point, I really hit the gas and threw down 6:45 and 6:15 miles, passed no. 10 with ½ mile to go and crossed the line in 5:28, still feeling good!  9th overall and 2nd in the masters division (old farts - over 40).  Maybe I should just stick to 50K's.  But then again, it was those last three 50 milers that made this seem so short and easy.

The post run food was awesome.  That's a picture of the incredible desert platters.  I stayed around long enough to regain my appetite so that I could enjoy quite a few of them (the picture was taken before I dug in!).

Another great thing about this race is that they check every runner in at each aid station so you get time splits all along.  I liked seeing how I was placing throughout the race from the first aid station to the finish; 41, 36, 27, 19 (turn-a-round), 12, 11, 10, 9 (finish).

Garmin Connect

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