Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Desert RATS stage 5 - 3.23:35

Sitting here at the Holiday Inn Express in Moab - soft bed, warm shower, AC, TV, yada, yada, yada.... all the luxuries of life. Now that I'm acclimated to 100 degree + weather, bathing in the Colorado river, sleeping on rock hard ground, eating camp food, and oh ya running 150 myles in the desert.... luxuries are overrated!

Stage 5 in the books. I won the stage (26.2 myles) in a time of 3.23:35 with 2500 ft of climbing. From the moment I woke up this morning I knew it was gonna be a good day; I was getting nervous and I had no stiffness. The only time I get nervous is when I really think (or strategize) about how I'm going to run.

The stage starts with a 1800 ft climb for 6 myles, not real steep but always going up. Since Allen is such a good climber I decided to put us both above the red line and see who could hold on. I got to the top in 55 minutes with Allen about 5 minutes behind. From this point the trail descends to the Porcupine rim trail 8 myles later. I poured it on! Mile 16 starts an out and back up 700 ft so it gave me a good indication where Allen was, he was now 12 minutes back. Last aid station at mile 20 I was feeling the best I had all day and decided that I wanted to see how fast I could do a 10k after 20 myles - ended up with 42.44 and had opened up a 17 minute gap on Allen. Allen came in around 3.40, which is still a phenomenal time!

In the end Allen wins the race with a time just under 22 hours and I came in 2nd with a time of just under 23 hours. It would have been nice to take home $1000 but my goal was to go under 24 hours - DONE! In that time I set new two stage records (stages 1 and 6). When I get home tomorrow I will reflect on the entire week from the people I met to the amazing terrain. For now though I am safe, I am happy, and I am extremely thankful to all my family and friends who have supported me. In particular I'd like to thank my Dad and nephew Conner who did an amazing job crewing me all week.
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