Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wasatch 100 2010 - Course Preview Pt. 1

It wasn't my intent to do a course preview leading up to the Wasatch 100, I'm not even doing it this year, but since it's our backyard and I got a new camera I figured I'd give it a shot, I even have video at the bottom.  Erik, Jay, Peter, Rich and Kevin are all in this year, while Greg and I will be heading up to Cascade Crest at the end of the month.  Back to the preview.

On Tuesday evening (August 3rd, 2010) Erik, Greg, Stuart Gleason, Mick Jurynec and I decided to run the infamous last 25 miles from Brighton to the finish.  Setting off at a little before 5pm we didn't really have a clear plan for pace but I decided to bring along Geoff Roes record setting splits from 2009 just for grins.  The start was conservative and there is nothing significant to report about from Brighton to Sunset Pass, it's still steep and it's going to hurt, prepare accordingly.

The descent off the high point of the course (Point Supreme 10,450) was actually quite pleasant.  I'm not sure if I'm just getting used to it now or the trail is just a little less rocky, but all the way to Ant Knolls it was easy cruising.  The fresh legs had nothing to do with it, I swear.
Making quick work of the descent to Ant Knolls
The trail from Ant Knolls over to Poleline is in pretty good shape.  There are portions of the trail on the west side of the mountain that are pretty chewed up and dusty but not all that bad.  We rolled into Poleline and found someone waiting for us.
A little two-point buck at Poleline Pass.  Erik told him to run off since hunting season isn't that far away.
After Poleline the conditions were interesting horrible.  I only have 5 years experience running this trail, but in that time I can confidently say I have never seen the trail in such bad shape.  The throttle twisters (motorcycles) have definitely done a number on it this year, or maybe it's an accumulated effect.  Either way the dust was often as deep as 6 inches from here all the way to Pot Bottom.
Greg, Stuart, Mick and Erik coming around Point of Contention, Mile 86
At one point we came upon a group of three motorcycle riders that weren't moving very fast, but suddenly became motivated when they saw us.  For some odd reason we ended up picking up the pace after this incident.  The Dive and Plunge are just as horrific and still there despite the threat of removing them at the awards ceremony last year.  Perhaps the committee changed their mind after the reaction from everyone.  It seemed almost as though everyone wanted them left alone, almost like a rite of passage to finish the course.  Here's a quick video of The Plunge (mile 89).

Shortly after the Plunge the sun went down and put the camera away.  We finished right at 5 hours, matching Geoff's pace from 2009.  Now if only I could do that with 75 miles in my legs...

I did post a few more photos if you're interested.  Here's one last one of my dirty legs.  I can't remember ever being so dirty without taking a fall.  We actually took turns being in front to give our lungs a rest from the dust.  Should be a good time on September 10th.  Next up: Big Mountain to Lambs Canyon this weekend.

1 comment:

Matt Connors said...

That section from Rock Springs to Pot bottom ate me up this year...actually it was Pole Line to Pot Bottom. Tore me up. The dust was terrible. Part of the fun I suppose.