Saturday, June 29, 2013

2013 Leadville Marathon

While I've run in Leadville a whole bunch, I was yet to check the marathon off my running bucket list.  This year made it a no brainer as Tanya had signed up for the Heavy Half as her first mountain race. We've never run in the same trail race together, and I was excited to see how she'd do after running the Bear Chase Half Marathon as her only previous trail race.  She trained very hard for the Pb Half while increasing her mileage and rocking weekly long runs at Mt. Falcon and Deer Creek Canyon.  She was ready and ran a 3:45!

Pre Race Smiles.
The marathon was a bit challenging for me.  I went into it thinking I knew the course and got surprised a few times with some unexpected twists and turns.  I didn't realize the trail wrapped all the way around Ball Mountain as I thought it followed a similar path to the Silver Rush course.

I'm somewhere in the middle of that pack.  This is the marathon/heavy half course split.
Photo:  Leadville Race Series
Regardless, I had a blast.  Lots of fun folks running up there.  We had three friends from our neighborhood running as well, so it was cool giving shout outs along the way.  I tried to catch Tanya before she summited Mosquito Pass, but she was just too dang fast.  I passed her about 500 feet from the top as she was coming down.  I made quick work of the turnaround and flew down the rocky goodness that is Mosquito Pass and caught her a few minutes later.  I stealthly pinched her right butt cheek and snuck a kiss...but had to keep moving.  My next goal was to catch her before the finish.  Ha!  Fat chance.  I seemed to have forgotten about the lovely climb back around Ball that awaited me.

There was no denying the struggle I had on Ball.  It brought a new level of respect for the challenge of this course.  "Just keep moving" was the mantra.  As it always does in these races, the bad patch passed and I was back to running downhill and tasting the finish.  I got in a good groove the last few miles and probably made up a little bit of time I lost hiking.

As I ran down 6th Street, I noticed Tanya and our neighbor Amanda sitting in chairs on the side of the road.  It looked like they had been there for hours!  More like 35 minutes, but at least they looked relaxed and happy.  I crossed the finish line in 4:21:56 and immediately went to celebrate with the ladies.  We all hung out for awhile until Amanda's husband John came running down 6th to his first ever marathon finish!  What a sweet one to call your first!

Post Race - Hey we're still smiling!  That's a good day.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

2013 Golden Gate Dirty Thirty

Photo:  Rob Timko
Um, I'm over two months late in posting this!  The Golden Gate Dirty Thirty played out much like last year's race.  I went out a bit too fast and then managed to hold things together just enough to get to the finish in one piece.  The cooler weather definitely played a big part in notching a slightly faster time.  5:17:40.

Coming down from Windy Peak.  Happy that climb is over!  Photo:  Trevor Williams