Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Collegiate Peaks 50 mile - 7.26:36 1st place

Sorry didn't bring the camera so all you get is the race logo.

It was a quick trip. I watched the boys while Nicole played soccer on Friday night so I left late. After that I picked up Brian Fisher and we headed up to his cabin in Leadville. Leadville is about 1/2 hour from Buena Vista but worlds apart. Buena Vista is part of the banana belt so often times they get wacky weather, having said that I was sure we were gonna being running in snow because it had snowed in Highlands Ranch two days before. To my surprise as Brian and I showed up in Buena Vista @ 6:10 race morning, no snow in sight and the ground was completely dry. The race started @ 6:30 so Brian and I were scrambling to get checked in and get to the start line in time, we made it and we were off. Going into the race, Brian had decided to make this a training race because he hasn't done any races or longer runs up to this point. I had other ideas because I HAD been racing and feeling very good going into this race.

CP 50 is a two loop course that is composed of a little more than 3500 ft of elevation gain per loop (7000+ total) with an average elevation of 8500ft. There are two races going on at once, 25 mile and 50 mile. Having said that it's really hard to tell who is racing which race, other than a few really fast guys off the front immediately.

Here is how the race unfolded:

Brian and I are pretty evenly matched as far as pace goes so I was really surprised 5 minutes into the race Brian was nowhere to be found.... guess this really was a training run for him. I saw a pack of 6 guys way out there and a string of others 400 yards in front of me. As hard as they were running up those hills I had to assume they were all 25 milers. For the entire first loop I felt completely relaxed, not breathing hard at all. I had no idea what my splits were from 2005 so I just had to go on feel. I wanted to do the first loop in 3.30 to ensure a 7.20ish finish. Well I came to the turnaround @ 3.25 - yikes! A little fast! 5 minutes doesn't seem like that much but it was enough for me to slow up and cruise the first 5 myles on the second loop. The second loop is in the opposite direction which in my mind was easier. I came to the 50K mark in 4.35 - happy because I still felt relatively good. I thought in 2005 I went through the 50K in 5.05 but as I got home and looked I actually went through in 5.25, I was nearly 1 hour up on my time from 2005 (7.55). Looking back if I would of held on I could have broken 7 hours. Still feeling good through mile 36 the last big climb begins and that's where I started feeling it. With just about 12 myles to go I had a sudden feeling of nausea which slowed me down for about 10 minutes. I'm not sure why that happened because I was on top of my eating, drinking, and electrolytes. I knew I'd come back if I just took it easy for a bit. I got into a nice rhythm as I started the last big downhill and felt like I was making up time. As you will see from my splits I was actually going slower than I thought. I'll list my 2005 and 2008 splits side by side so you can see I really slowed down the last 12 myles, guess I didn't come back as much as I'd like to. One caveat here, in 2005 I was chasing two guys the final 13 myles so that might have been the reason for faster splits. Yesterday I had not seen anyone all day so it was kind of De-motivating. Anyway here are my splits:

  • 2005 2008
  • AS 1 mile 5.7 - 50.32 46.26
  • AS 2 mile 11.7 - 1.43 1.35
  • AS 3 mile 14.6 - 2.07 1.58
  • AS 4 mile 17.9 - 2.44 2.29
  • AS 5 mile 21.8 - 3.15 3.00
  • AS 6 mile 25 - 3.44 3.25
  • AS 7 mile 28.2 - 4.35 3.55
  • AS 8 mile 32.1 - 5.32 4.36
  • AS 9 mile 35.4 - 6.06 5.05
  • AS 10 mile 38.3 - 6.35 5.37
  • AS 11 mile 44.3 - 7.23 6.35
  • Finish 7.55 7.26
I just mentioned I hadn't seen anyone all day well I stand corrected. As I was coming into the final aid station this guy comes walking up the road in the opposite direction I was going. He mentions to the aid station that he got off course, pointed at me, and said he was about 20 minutes behind me. How does he know he was 20 minutes behind me? I guess the only way he would know that is by the people at the previous aid station, which was a complete guess. Anyway the aid station guy told him to run back on the road 10 minutes and come back. Who knows what really happened, he ended up finishing behind me by 22 minutes. Kind of a strange deal because I later found out that guy has run this race several times. I've run the race twice and I knew exactly where I was going the second time.

All in all it was a good day and I'm very happy with my time. I think if I had a perfect race I could get in the 7.15 range, nowhere near Tony Krupicka's record of 6.53. Brian ended up finishing 4th overall with a time of 8.13 - not bad for a training run Fish! Afterwards Brian and I sat around and drank a couple of our favorite beverages. Great way to spend a Saturday, hangin' out on the trail with good buddies and washin' it down with the good drink.

Next race - Desert RATS stage race. Here comes the heat training!
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