LooseCrew-JeffO: SJS50 part 2


Ramblings of an adventurous guy living in Denver and playing in the mountains.
For my trail adventures, visit my Trail Bum blog

Monday, June 23, 2008

SJS50 part 2

Race day, 3:50am, rise and, well, start moving. It was a decent night of sleep. One of the local coffee shops fed me two cups of coffee, a sticky pecan roll, and a sausage/egg/cheese bagel. Yum - but this was accidental. I never eat sausage before a race. Meat, and especially grease, slows me way down.
I started the race with a full Camelbak and a full Ultimate Direction bottle. The full bottle was excessive. So, slowed by the extra bottle, and sausage in my gut, it was all I could do to keep jogging along the flat road. So I ended up smack in the middle of the pack.
Bad news: You have to wait a lot at each roped river crossing. After the race, a woman complained that she waited a total of 45 minutes. I know I didn't wait that long, but it was still quite a lot.
The water was cold. The first few crossings weren't bad. It was the 4th that had my feet numb. And the 5th and 6th had both ankles and feet 100% numb! What a weird sensation running along wondering (hoping) that your feet are doing the right thing. I had my sprain from Estes Park to worry about, but there was no feedback from the feet.
Good news: No pain!

There were "rivulets", run-off, and side-channels. Do those count as "crossings"? You got your feet wet in ice-cold water again.
So there were well over a dozen crossings in the first section of the race. But my favorite was where you cross a stream and head up the - wait, is that the trail or a creek? Well it's not THAT way. Oh, crap, the trail IS a stream. So you go up this ice-cold trail/stream, and then... you get to cross a river! Well the feet must still be there or I wouldn't still be moving, right?
All I could do is laugh at how crazy this whole thing was and how good the company was!
Finally, we started UP! Onto snow. Good, hard snow with decent traction. We climbed up an avalanche chute, then began a series of switchbacks. I brought an aluminum tent stake to us for self-arrest in case I fell. I never had to test it, but I think it was adequate.
Near the aid station, I heard a heave and a growl. The growl confused me. It was a guy puking his guts so extremely hard I thought he was going to break something. But he looked good. Probably just ate the wrong stuff for breakfast (like maybe a sausage/egg/cheese bagel?)
I just patted him on the shoulder and told him he'd be fine now!
Considering the remoteness of the aid station and how they pack
ed-in everything, this aid station was amazing! I grabbed some 'nana and orange and kept
going. Soon
after, I saw Carol Gerber, decked-out in purple jacket and purple hair. She gets the rad-babe award for the day.The views were starting to get amazing real quick. We climbed past treeline, then up on a high ridge, then the ridge
climbed higher.
Wow, then we could see the
south side of Uncomphagre, there was Redcloud, Wetterhorn. What a panorama!
The course followed the ridge up and then rolling across and around, and then it dropped precipitately down towards the Williams Creek aid station.This is the only section where last week's sprain bothered me. Carol Gerber and I were flying down. We're both lousy at climbs and good at downhills, but depending on the angle and the rockiness, I had to put the brakes on to be careful. So we kept passing each other. I was concentrating hard on stepping right and keeping my ankle safe.That's when I looked up and saw Tim Fromm with a camera. Woah! Nice to see him! And my mind took a short hike, and then back to concentrating.
That's when I missed the turn to the aid station. There was apparently supposed to be a guy right smack in the middle of the trail, but everyone has to pee at some point, right? And it's my primary responsibility, but I spaced-out at that key moment. It seemed like a mile. Well, I checked - it was only half a mile of detour, and about 7 minutes lost, but it trashed my race mentality.
Still, I hoped to break 14 hours.
And that is the end of Part 2!


At 9:32 PM, Blogger Meghan said...

Oh yea JeffO, awesome Part 2, especially with the photos! Oh man, the suspense is killing me, and this is so fun to read!


At 5:59 AM, Anonymous Audrey said...

i dig the pics! and i too would have been SO frustrated with standing there waiting...

At 7:59 AM, Blogger Justin Mock said...

Perhaps this was the guy puking (from the Boulder Trail Runners list)?

The BIG story of the day was Zeke Teirnan of Carbondale, who got 2nd place overall with a time of something like 9:26 and change... During the first climb up Alpine Gulch Zeke was puking and having major stomach issues. Then
he recovered from the stomach issues (very difficult in itself!), slowly regained himself, and then he ran from Divide (35 mi) to the finish in just about 2:45, and there is a KILLER climb in there up Vickers Ranch. To recover from puking/stomach problems and then kick it into high gear at that mileage is impressive! Another couple of
miles in the race and he would have won!

I believe (but don't quote me on this) that Zeke's time from Divide
to the finish was comparable (if not faster) than Matt C's Divide to finish split when Matt set the course record (but obviously Zeke
hadn't run as fast as Matt had up to that point!!). Just an amazing
effort by the 2nd place finisher of yesterday's awesome race in my


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