So, no Western States for me. Frankly, I'm relieved. Hardrock means much more to me and now I don't have to worry about running both. I liked how the 50 mile races on back to back weekends last May worked out, so I'm planning on doing Miwok (yes, choked down that chicken bone price of 175.00), if selected in the lottery on Monday (dec 12th) and then Ice Age 50 again (super event). Then I'll probably be running around Tahoe Rim Trail in sections for both recon and training. Once Hardrock is behind me, I'll either be going after the unsupported FKT of the Tahoe Rim Trail or assisting Gary Gellin in his supported attempt in August. That's as far as I've gotten with the schedule, so need to figure out what's up in the last few months of next year. Here's the schedule thus far:
1/8/12 Epiphany 50k, CA
3/10/12 Way Too Cool 50k, CA [lottery]
3/17/12 Rucky Chucky Runabout 50k, CA
4/21/12 Diablo Trails Challenge 50k, CA
5/5/12 Miwok 100k, CA [lottery]
5/12/12 Ice Age 50 mi, WI
7/13/12 Hardrock 100 mi, CO
8/14/12 Tahoe Rim Trail 165 mi unsupported attempt, NV/CA
Headed down to Santa Clara County to run the Summit Rock half marathon organized by Brazen Racing. Tough course! The first 3 miles have 2,000 feet of climb. Since it's an out and back, I was looking forward to those last 3 miles on the return trip. By mile 1 I had edged up into 2nd with Leor Pantilat a mere memory as he slammed the climb and was out of sight. I've lost no cardio fitness but my power is dull. I couldn't shake the pesky runner in 3rd, so finally he bridged up to me at the half way turn around, which we hit in 1:01+. He gapped me on the climb out of the next aid station but I just stayed conservative and steady until around mile 8.5 where the trail levels into rolling single track. I turned it up enough to feel comfortable that I was probably gaining on 2nd. I hit the beginning of the last three miles of mostly descending technical trail and let it rip. I caught a glimpse of 2nd place's red shirt and slowly reeled him in, finally catching him at about mile 11. He bursted into a new gear and we were flying down the steep trail. He fell twice (yes, Rick M, I stopped to help him up). He was no match for my atomic monkey drop ability in descents. I gapped him over the last mile and grinded the last couple short climbs to the finish in 1:50, 18 minutes behind Leor. With a 1:01 first half and 48 back in, I feel I was a bit too conservative in the first half. Regardless, I'm happy with the effort after only logging 130 miles in November. Results Here
Patagonia tech shirt
Race Ready shorts
I hung out at the race for another two hours, chatting with Leor, the RD-Sam, and other folks. Beautiful day in the woods.
It's all about training now. This year has been a test of endurance, fortitude, and mental vs. physical. Next year the focus is on performance and quality. Oh, and organizing big, fun trail events!