Sunday, June 26, 2005

Golden Gate Canyon, Denver 6/26/05

You know you're in for a tough race when the website is and the motto is "When in doubt, run uphill." Now, I've never been a fan of uphills, much less running up hills, but this race was part of the Trail Runner Trophy Series and I needed the points, plus I had a free place to stay that included home cooked food (thanks Dale's Mom!!!) This 12 mile race started around 8,500 feet and included 2,000 feet of climbing (I live at sea level). The course was well marked and it included a little bit of everything: pavement, single track trails, dirt roads, meadows, forests, and some vertical rock climbing. The weather was perfect, although the air was a bit thin. The first five miles were probably some of the toughest I've ever encountered. In fact, I don't think I felt anywhere near "good" until about mile 9. After two hours and two minutes, I crossed the finish line and was shocked to receive a third place medal (women age 34 & under division). There were 95 finishers, many were local to the area. Afterwards, a fellow runner and I were discussing street marathon races vs. trail races and she asked me which one I liked better. I replied, "The ones with oxygen."

Click here for the 6/26/05 Golden Gate Canyon race results

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Shadow of the Giants 6/4/05

If there is a record for farthest distance traveled in order to run the shortest race, I'm fairly sure I broke it. Friday night: I played in my women's league ice hockey championship game which we won in overtime. I got off the ice around 11:00pm, took a quick shower then hit the road to Yosemite with two really good and kind-hearted friends. I managed to get a few cat naps in during the five hour car ride. We arrived at Dale's room about an hour and a half before the race was scheduled to start where I took another short nap. Then Dale drove us to the race start while I napped yet again. This event is really about the 50K which started first. Included in that race were many familiar ultra faces such as Errol "Rocket" Jones and Catra Corbett. After their start, about fifteen less hearty souls lined up for the 11K, my sleepy self included. Dale and I ran the race together while we talked about the Trail Runner Trophy Series (which he is leading), and enjoyed the spectacular scenery. The landscape reminded me of the movie "A River Runs Through It" probably due to the two river crossings. Normally, I am not a fan of wet feet, especially freezing cold wet feet, but the views were magnificent. Being from Los Angeles, I rarely get to run on nice soft dirt covered by a layer of pine needles, so I really savored those sections. Baz, the race director was terrific, the aid station was well stocked, and the race left me wanting more. Next year... except maybe with more sleep.

Click here for UPDATED Trail Runner Magazine Trophy Series Standings