Howdy Folks. I really enjoyed meeting so many people this weekend in Fruita. Increasingly, Annie and I enjoy this sport and the travel more and more for the sake of meeting and talking to people at these race weekends. So; thanks for aiding in making this so much fun for the both of us!! The Spring Desert Ultra was fantastic.The website: www.geminiadventures.com. (approx. 4000′ of climbing per 25 mile lap!)
Our trip was short, about 30 hours door-to-door, but man, was it great. Annie and I went down with our friends Scott and Liz. Scott is: Dr. Scott Drum, professor at WSC, HAPL director, and GEP director as well. He is my coach, friend, and former professor. Anyway, we went down and had a super weekend. We left about 6 inches of new snow in Gunnison; and made it down there to some great weather in Fruita. Saturday’s high was 62 degrees and there was a light breeze and clear skies. Perfect! This weather was in stark contrast to the horrific snowfall that shut down I-70, and prevented many from not being at the race. I hope everyone made it home safe!
The 25 mile event (both Scott and I were running this one) took off pretty fast but quickly settled into a manageable pace. We ran as a train for about 5 miles until I decided it was time to ‘hurt.’ It was weird; right around mile 5.5, I just decided to roll and on a good climb I took off. At that moment, I knew I just had to go for it, and push hard. I ran very hard for the remainder of the race, and made it clear that I was feeling pretty good. Once I opened up a gap; I entered a ‘flow-state’ where the running felt almost effortless. It has been a very long time since I have felt that way. Around mile 19.5, at the base of a very big, steep climb, I knew I would be close to Justin Mock’s course record from 2007. I pushed it as hard as I could; never backed off, never fell off the pace; but just did not have enough to get the course record; and as it turned out, I was a couple minutes slower than his record. I ran a time of 3:10:55 which was faster than I had anticipated, and I was very happy with it. Scott Drum ran a very solid race in 3:24:30, and finished in 2nd place in the men’s race; 3rd overall. A ‘Team La Sportiva’ athlete, Anna Pichrtova, ran a very fast race to finish 2nd overall in 3:24. She broke Anita Ortiz’s course record. Also representing Gunnison and the GEP was Keri Nelson who was slated to run the 50 mile race, but decided to call it quits at mile 25. She finished 2nd in the women’s race in the 25 miler in a time of 3:35. She will recover, and be a threat in everything she enters this summer. It was a good day for Gunnison and the GEP with 3 athletes on the podium in the 25 miler. I love this group of teammates!
Again; it was great meeting so many people; Dale, Mike and Mike, Karen and her husband, Dave, Nick, Sean, Alec, Dave, etc. The list goes on and on. It was also great to talk with both Andrew Skurka and Tony Krupicka. Great guys who can both run really fast. Andy actually won the 50 miler and broke my previous Course Record with very fast time of 7:28:30. Way to go man! Tony had to drop around mile 31 with a bum hip. He will be back at it in no time. I wish him luck in his quest for a Western States 100 victory this June. Thanks all for reading. This sport is great. Keep it in balance, stay healthy, and meet some people! See you on the trails. DC. Oh; and check out the link for the 2009 SageBurner 50k/25k in Gunnison, CO on May 23rd: www.western.edu/sageburner. Great race, great people. See you there in one month!