|Mile 7. Photo: Kyle Story|
I once again had a great time running the Blue Mountain 30K. I showed up well rested and surprisingly prepared for a 6-week old father thanks in large part to Leah’s support. I was excited to race, and soon enough we were off. The pace in the lead group felt about right, so I settled in a pack of four, moving briefly into the lead before settling into a comfortable 3rd place, which I would hold for the entire first climb.
At the top of
the first climb, Nicole Hunt and I passed Michael, and I took the lead at the first aid. I
pushed the downhill at a smooth and fastish pace, which I hoped would be enough
to put a small gap on my pursuers, but to my minor dismay, they held in and
even closed the gap a bit on the climb to the second aid station. It was great to see my family at the second
aid, even though I just rolled through.
The remaining climb to Hayes and run down to the last aid went OK, but Nicole remained a stubborn 30 seconds back. Ready to either secure the lead or go down
trying, I decided to push it as we both fired up the last climb. The effort was sufficient to finally
gain a small gap to the top, and I rolled as fast as my legs would go to the
finish. I almost took one spill, and
cramped once, but kept it together, crossing the line appropriately whopped,
about four minutes faster than my previous best. Nicole came in about two
minutes later, having broken the women’s course record (I think). Thanks for Runner's Edge, Mike Foote, and the Hellgate team for putting on another great race.
In terms of analysis, the race went well. The field was small, and even though I had a good run, a similar performance would not even yield a top 30 finish at the Rut. But a win is a win, I guess, and it did feel like race with constant pressure from Nicole. Preparation was a lot different in the past (more biking, more Vo2 max work, targeted strength work on a few weak muscle groups, less running volume, less sleep), but a consistent, extended block of training translated well to good race performance. Looking forward, I am excited to take a little break then return to hard efforts in late fall with renewed psyche.
|Running with the lead group early on.|
|Milton (on bike) was nice enough to provide encouragement and traffic control near the finish.|