Sunday, July 28, 2013

Speedgoat 50k Grattitude

by Craig

I ran the Speedgoat 50k in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah yesterday. This race, hosted by Karl Meltzer is undoubtedly the toughest 50k in the country. With 11,000 ft of vertical gain and terrain as tough and rugged as it gets even the elites have been known to have tough days. As this was my first Speedgoat I didn't really know what to expect. I've run many of the trails and tagged all of the peaks along the course, but hadn't run many sections and wasn't sure how it would all pan out. The end result was that, once again, I had a horrible race and while my time was respectable, I was in no way happy with my own personal effort. And because I don't want this to be a negative article, I'll just leave it at that.

Even with all of my difficulties I had a hard time not enjoying myself. Three things were so evident throughout my race that I couldn't help but walk away with a heart full of gratitude. I've addressed each below:

1. The Course - Many of the competitors got so caught up in the rugged and steepness of the course that they were too miserable to take a few seconds to stop and look around. And while I was lost deep in the pain cave myself, I found myself often looking around at the amazing beauty that surrounded me. Add an overcast and slightly drizzly day and conditions couldn't have been better. There were moments when it was absolutely stunning. Meltzer has put together an incredible course and I loved being out in the mountains all day.
From the top of Mt Baldy, looking East

2. Volunteers - Generally after every race I rave about the volunteers. However, Speedgoat was a little different. You couldn't come into an aid station without someone meeting you well out front asking if you needed to refill bottles and what food to eat. You never left without being provided exactly what you needed to move onto the next stop. It was incredible. To make it even better for me, I knew people at every single aid station along the course, a perk of racing in my own backyard. Their spirit and support is what got me through that race and I will be ever grateful to them for it.

3. Recognition - I had something happen to me yesterday that I've never experienced before. Many times along the course I was encouraged, by name. I would look up, thinking I was seeing a friend, only to see a face I didn't recognize. I can only imagine that these people knew me through social media and this blog. But to be recognized and uplifted through their personal encouragement was a game changer. Additionally, I had several racers call me by name and introduce themselves. I will be ever thankful for the community that is ultra running and the relationships I continue to build. Thank you.

The Speedgoat 50k is definitely hard. Much harder than I thought it would be. Maybe that had something to do with my poor raceday, I won't know till I run it again and feel better about my performance. However, nothing will change the splendor of the race and how amazing the experience was for me.

Thanks to my amazing sponsors who continue to support me. I hope that soon my results, and not just my posts, reflect my appreciation in the trust they've put in me.
Altra Zero Drop Shoes
Gnarly Nutrion


Brian Beckstead said...

Way to go Craig! Fast or slow, nothings better then a beautiful day in the mountains.

Danny Widerburg said...

I agree with Mr Beckstead , time in the mountains is priceless . Finishing Speedgoat is super tough , regardless of what time or place .

Jon Allen said...

Bummer about the tough race, but at least you saw the beauty and enjoyed it.