Herded the cats (i.e., Family) up Friday morning and headed northwest out of town. Got about 30 minutes away and had to turn around because we forgot the good camera and who wants to be in Red Rock country without a camera, not I. We washed rinses and repeated and finally got out of town with everything. We rolled into town around dinner time and met up with a bunch of other RWOL runners at the Moab brewery, enjoy some conversation and beer and dinner. I had fish tacos and a couple stouts and was feeling OK about my race prep and the sinus cold I was fighting. We said our goodbyes and I planned on meeting some folks for breakfast early in the AM.
Woke up with my eyes glued shut, turns out I had conjunctivitis (i.e., pink eye) and immediately started to think about how it would effect my day. I already thought it wasn't going to be a great day for me so I just chalked it up as another obstacle and moved on. Went and ate some breakfast with a some folks, and then returned to pick up the family to head out to the race start.
Got out to the start with 400 of my closest friends for the day, took a couple quick pictures with the family and off we went. The first section of the race was snow pack jeep trail up a small hill and then descended into a nice smooth jeep trail for the next couple of miles. I was feeling good and holding a pretty good pace and thought either I am really slow or there are a bunch of fit people in this race because it seemed like I was standing still to some of the folks passing me. I hit the first turn that climbed a small hill and then leveled off and met up with a couple folks at the first aid station. Ran the next 5 miles with them until I had to take a detour to piss. After that I ran the rest of the race alone. Needless to say the next 12 or so miles were uneventful and smooth sailing except for falling somewhere between mile 13-14. I just scraped up my knee and got a little dirty but hey whats a trail run without some blood and dirty.
At about mile 18 I looked at my watch and it said 3:00:00 and I was feeling good that I was half way through the race and still feeling OK. Then I was reintroduced to SLICK ROCK. This is were my ASS was kicked. The course took us up slick rock, down slick rock, up slick rock, then up some more slick rock. You see the pattern here, the slick rock is brutal on your legs and if not prepared with definitely kick your ass. For the last half of the race I did what I could to run, hike, walk, as fast as I could. I am sure there are plenty of adjectives to describe the slick rock and what it can do to your legs but the statement I think of is "F*** ME!".
All that being said my goal originally was to come in close to 6 hours however fighting the head cold and getting my ASS handed to me I played that roulette game we all have played before while on the course with ourselves. I finally settled on at least having the hour still be a 6 and the rest didn't matter to me. I finished up in 6:51x with my daughter in my arms and pretty pleased with my finish. At the end of the day I was happy to be out on the trail with a bunch of really good runners, friends, and new acquaintances. I was asked if I would do the run again and I had to stop and think about it, but in the end I will be back for some more slick rock torture and will train differently for it next year.
Hope to see some of you out there next with us!
Le professeur de trail
That first picture is great! Good job on pushing through the sickness stuff. And I have to say I am jealous that you had your family there. Other than my first marathon finish in 2008 (where the finish line was less than 10 min from our house) my family doesn't care to be at any races.
The incarnation of peacefulness and patience
great job! thanks for the RR....I love to live vicariously through everyone's reports of far off races.
That first photo of the La Sal mountains is awesome. It was great seeing that throughout the day.
I really like your description of the slickrock.
Trail and Ultra Running User Group
Thanks for the RR dpc3. It's nice to read different RR's from the same race. Everyone usually has a different perspective, except for this race where everyone seems to hate the slick rock.
thanks for the story Dan..glad you are feeling better.
02/25/2016 Salmon Falls 50K
08/19/17 Marquette Trail 50 Miler
running under the BigSky
thanks for the report and congrats on the finish!
I'm planning on running this next year (despite the last three RR's I've read ), sounds like I had best be in good shape