So I'm a liar. I said in my last post that I was done with race season. That wasn't all together true. This past weekend I ran the first annual Dugway Isolation 50k. My plan was to run the entire race with my brother Brent, but that isn't quite how it worked out.
Hanging from the start/finish guns during a training run
Everyone started off pretty conservative. There is a 700 ft climb in the first 1.25 miles of the race and Brent was smart enough to walk most of it as he would have to do it another 2 times before the day was out. I ran the whole thing just to prove to myself I could do it and waited and shot photos at the top as people came by. Brent was moving well and many of us stayed together as the course descended down single track toward Little Davis Mountain. Once we hit the back half of the course the racers spread out and other than a couple of other people around us, Brent and I found ourselves alone. After doing the first of our bonus loops we thought it might be a good idea to get the 2nd one out of the way so that we didn't have to worry about it on the next full lap. While it was a good idea from a strategy perspective, all of the vert was starting to take it's toll on Brent. By the time we were coming around to finish the first full loop (about 13 miles at this point) Brent was hurting really bad and was not super confident about finishing out the whole race.
Everyone at the start
When I dropped off the last bit of single track towards the road I could see Jen up ahead approaching the start/finish aid station. She was still there when I arrived and after a quick bit to eat we left together. It was fun to run with her. She is a very strong racer and a good friend. It was nice to chat about our race and have fun for a bit. Part way up the climb, however, she told me to push on ahead and catch up with Aaron (who was leading). I wasn't really interested in winning the race, but I thought it would be fun to run with Aaron and help him push to the finish.
Aaron cresting the top of the first big climb
When I finished the climb up Little Davis I looked back and Aaron had dropped back considerably. Now my competitive juices kicked in and I figured if no one wanted to run with me I'd push hard to the finish and see what kind of gap I could put on them. I only had about 4 miles left, which meant I didn't have that big of a cushion. If I started cramping (which I did) and Aaron started feeling better he could definitely catch up and pass me for the win.
Running down awesome single track
Aaron, Jen, and me. Top three