LooseCrew-JeffO: Leadville Marathon Report


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

Monday, July 07, 2008

Leadville Marathon Report

This is amazing...
Keri Nelson won. Not 1st-place woman, but 1stOA. When I first saw her, she was WAY ahead of 2nd. It seemed like 20 minutes. I don't know if Tim DeBoom is just faster downhill, or if Keri faded, but it was a fairly close finish.
You had to see her! You had to see her run! Wow!
In fact, all the top 5 or so were flying like not-from-this-earth. There was some incredible, tough competitors out there, and I feel I earned my place.

Since I've been so busy, I didn't take the time to look at last year's results. I seemed to remember I finished in 5:19, but that was wrong. Still, I did shave 4.5 minutes off my time. I'm not real satisfied with that, but it was at least faster.
There is one milestone, though. It's the first time in my life that I finished in the top 9%.
Next year, I'm determined to break 5 hours.

For breakfast, I drank a 20oz. coffee and ate Greek spinach quiche.

I ran up 6th avenue and back for a 1.3M warm-up.

My hydration was good, I had done my asthma meds in advance, and I sucked one Accel-gel a few minutes before the start.

I had one Ultimate Direction bottle. Filling it nearly all the way each aid station, I drank nearly a gallon during the race. Still, get this... I peed once before the race, and then not again until a few hours afterwards - even though I drank probably another litter after the race. So including the coffee, about 1.5 gallons and nothing coming out! The dry-rates at-altitude are horrendous. I felt fine, and when I finally peed, it was the right color.
Gee, isn't this fun talking about pee? Where else could you read about this stuff but in a running blog?!?!

I fell. Tripped, whirled, tried to recover, nope-oops-going down. I didn't waste a second and was running again. I figured if it would hurt, I'd find out the first couple of steps, right? So stopping to look at myself would have been a waste of time. I didn't feel any blood trickling down, so how bad could it be?

Anyway - splits! These times won't mean much to you, but look at my "place" at each A.S.! Too bad this wasn't a 50K! (Hint, hint, Ken & Merilee.)

Ven1 . Res1 . MP . . Res2 . Ven3 . Fin
0:50 . 1:50 . 2:48 . 3:17 . 3:49 . 5:05:17
64th . 45th . 35th . 25th . 24th . 21stPl

The guy I ran with during the LT100 Training Camp night-run was John Ramsay. I was knocking on his back door before the last aid station, and he even looked back and said "hey" at me, but John ran away from me to finish nearly three minutes ahead.

Behind me, there had been no one. It looked like half a mile of safety behind me. Then I noticed Neil Blake coming down the home stretch behind me with un-nerving speed. What's an old guy gotta do? I was wanting to coast in, but he made me work.

Two M4 division guys like us -
"My walker is faster than your walker!"
"Yeah, but I have new Nike Gore-Tex Depends!"
"Yeah, but I drank Geritol Plus before the race!"
"Yeah, but - oh, I forgot what I was gonna say!"

I was hurtin' and all I could think near the finish was Monty Python...
"But I'm not dead yet!"
"Well you soon will be!"

Post-race was good, but short of protein like turkey-wraps or PBJ. The air was so dry that the tiny PBJ's where virtually dehydrated into funny-looking crackers.
The volunteers tried their best and did a good job. And Ken K was everywhere cheering us on.

Several of us met at the Provin' Grounds coffee shop and ran up Hope Pass, but because I was reminded of the epic traffic jams on I-70 after a major holiday weekend, I only went up to Hopeless aid station with Teresa, then back. Teresa had gone 36 miles the day before while I was doing the marathon, so we were both pretty slow, and a great match. Afterwards, I gave Teresa a ride back to Broomfield.

Then I rushed home for a shower - and out again.

Because I don't trust what my "reputation" is, I think I should maybe not mention a name. (Seems misunderstandings happen lots these days.) Let's just say I had one of the most enjoyable evenings I've had in years. Great company, dinner, and a trail run at Red Rocks, ending in the dark looking over the lights of Denver and Red Rocks Amphitheater.

There were many friends from last year that don't seem to have returned to the Leadville scene. I miss them, but this year I have the fantastic-est friends! EVER!

Life is currently too good and I'm wallowing in happiness.

The rest of this week is going to be spent healing the bruising on my left foot, and the other bruises from my fall in the race (left butt cheek, right heel of palm, left elbow). Then packing for Hard Rock pacing.
Paul G said I was pacing 55M, then 52M, now he says sorry, it's 58M. Maybe it's good my foot hurts. I need to taper for this pacing job! It takes about 50M to slow Paul down to my speed. With only 42M behind him, I might have a bit of trouble keeping up!
This could be the funnest thing I've ever done in my life.

But how can I tell? Seems like everything is the "funnest" these days. And everyone I meet is SO COOL! And so amazing! How can everything be THAT great? Have I lost balance and all perspective? Or is life REALLY this good? I don't need to die and go to heaven. Heaven can't be better than this! The more miles I run and the more nights I spend under the stars the happier I get.

As Justin Mock pointed out, Colorado Runner Mag linked my blog.
Thanks, Jessica and Derek! You have the BEST mag!
CRM Blogs here


At 8:22 PM, Blogger Meghan said...

Hi JeffO!

1.) Awesome job at the marathon! Especially cracking the top 9%! Congrats. Your race report sounds so happy!

2.) 58 miles of pacing at Hard Rock? Holy crap that's going to be hard. And fun. And hard.

3.) Good luck healing your body/recovery!


At 9:49 PM, Blogger Jamie Donaldson said...

Great race report Jeffo!

Nothing beats Leadville and the people you meet there!

Happy recovery!

At 4:47 PM, Blogger Justin Mock said...

Better take care of Leadville this year cause I'll bet you'll be gunning for Hardrock next year.


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