Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sapper Joe 50k Race Report

I signed up for this race in hopes of getting in a final tune-up run before Squaw Peak. What I ended up getting was a solid beat down from the dehydration gods...

The 50k consisted of a big loop around Camp Williams (a National Guard training facility located in the southwest corner of Salt Lake county) mostly on dirt and gravel roads either gaining or losing vertical all the time. Along with the 50k there was also 30k option available on a shorter loop. From the moment I arrived at Camp Williams I could tell there was a whole different level of organization going on with military precision.

I lined up on the start line next to Karl Jarvis and while we were waiting for the cannon launch to send us off we were told there would be a $50 dollar bill at the top of one of the climbs. A couple of the 30k racers took off in search of the money while Karl and I trailed slightly behind. We quickly caught up to the two guys in front of us on the first steep descent and continued on to the first aid station. I was a little behind on water heading in to the first aid station but I wasn't too worried about it yet. But soon the cool morning gave way to the rising sun and the heat was on. I realized about 20 minutes out from the 2nd aid station that I was already behind on liquids. I quietly started beating myself up for leaving my second bottle in the car, trying not to let Karl see that I was running low.

This trend continued for the rest of the race until mile 23, where Karl ran up a slight incline and i did not. I was pretty frustrated since my legs felt great but that doesn't matter when you're low on liquids. I was able to back-off the pace and hold on for 2nd place in 4:51, while Karl cruised in for the win in 4:41.
Fantastic organization and friendly folks made for a great run in an area that few of us outside the military ever get to see. Thanks to Wasatch Running Center, Darrell Phippen, and Milada Copeland for putting on a great race!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fun Run Results

The 2009 Grandeur Fun Run was as fun as ever. 75 people showed up to test their legs and their hearts. Drew Erickson, Jared Campbell and Aaron Brown set a crazy fast pace from the start and made it to the summit in 48 minutes. They continued their dominance and finished in 1:46, 1:47 and 1:51, respectively, effectively obliterating last years fastest time of 1:58. Results can be found here.

11 or 12 made early starts (some at 4 am) or continued after the first loop to do a double. I won't mention any names, but you know who you are and can walk around feeling proud of yourselves!!

Although a few grumblings and mutterings were heard about "calf cramping ascents" and "quad mashing descents", a good time was had by all, and the pancakes and other treats (the watermelon especially hit the spot-thanks Pat) tasted as good as ever.

Thanks to my Dad for the pancakes, Whit and Jeff Dunn for taking times at the top of Grandeur, and Dave, Spencer and Nate Southam for camping out at Church Fork and handling the aid station there. As always, thanks to Brooke, Sam, Andrew and now Kate for putting up with all this running stuff, and especially thanks to everyone who came out and ran! See you next year.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fun Run Update

Who's excited for Grandeur tomorrow?!

A couple quick notes- 99.9 % of the snow is gone from the summit. There are a couple small patches on the ascent and a couple more on the ridge coming into Millcreek, but it's basically all gone.

The trail (as of this morning) is marked. The flagging is minimal. A couple of flags at the summit, nothing for the last 2 1/2 miles of the descent into Church Fork, and nothing until you leave the pipeline trail and start climbing to get over to the west face of the mountain. Then there is flagging at the major intersections. I'm hoping that it all stays put, and we may have some early starters re flag any areas that are questionable. But the bottom line is look at the maps and stick with someone who's run it before if you are concerned about a wrong turn.

Other than that, it should be a beautiful day and I look forward to seeing everyone.


Monday, May 11, 2009

And It Begins...

After spending all winter and spring running in the foothills between City Creek and Millcreek we were finally able to put in the first miles of year on the Wasatch 100 course. Around 5:30am I met up with Greg and Peter to drop a car at the Lamb’s canyon exit before heading up to the top of Emigration (Little Mountain). The plan was to link up the Emigration ridgeline to the Killyon’s trail junction, drop down into Affleck park campground, then take the Pioneer trail to the Big Mountain parking lot. This extended route would add ~6 miles and a little extra vertical on to the Big Mountain – Lambs Canyon section of Wasatch and hopefully allow me to exorcise some demons…

We were more than happy to leave the headlamps behind as dawn was quickly approaching. A couple miles in we spotted a few elk running over the ridge in front of us, and then as we rounded a bend we saw the whole herd they were joining up with. We stopped in our tracks as we watched the herd of 20 or 30 run off over the next ridge. I really wanted to get the camera out but it was still a little too dark to get a decent picture. The trail was in great shape all the way over to the Killyon junction and even down in to the campground. We finally hit some snow on one of the switchbacks heading up the Pioneer trail.

Upon leaving the Big Mountain parking lot we encountered some serious snow. Lucky for us it frozen solid, unlucky for us we were slowed down a bit by “navigation issues”.

The snow line along the ridge appears to be around ~7300’. In some spots it looked as though it was at least 10’ deep. It was still a bit early for the mule ears to be out, but they’re only a few weeks away from blooming.

Even though the temperature was reasonable, the pipeline section still felt like an oven. We managed to get cooled off on the last stream crossing near the end since there were no logs for the crossing.

~20 miles, 4840’ ascent, 5000’ descent. As far as exorcising demons goes, I would have to say they have been banished, thanks for the indoctrination Leo.