LooseCrew-JeffO: Salomon Equinox 12 Hours of Frisco

LooseCrew-JeffO

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

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Salomon Equinox 12 Hours of Frisco

This was another last-minute sign-up. I heard about this race Monday and signed up Tuesday. I prepared Wed/Thur.
This is a loop-race. See how many loops you can go in 12 hours. If you finish a loop after the 12Hr mark, that lap didn't count!
The website was out-of-date. There was no hint of a new course. It said it was 6M.
I figured there was actually a chance in hell I could win this race - because there aren't many other entrants!!!! Is that pathetic, or what?! At least my age division. First-place in every division gets a free pair of Salomon XT Wing trail shoes! I WANTED THOSE SHOES! So that was my goal for the race - win a pair of shoes!
I drove out Friday night and drove up Tiger Run until the road petered-out on federal lands. I didn't sleep as well as usual. I woke with the upper resperatory feeling you always get right before a chest-cold. "Oh, crap," I thought, "I've got what all my running friends are getting, no matter how healthy they are."
I'm not a morning person, so I liked the late start: 8:30am. I had plenty of time to get breakfast, COFFEE, and gear-up.
I didn't know many people. I met Jamie Donaldson, and a few others I knew.
I visited a similar race at the Frisco Nordic Center a couple of years ago, but was mostly confused where to stage from. I actually put my stuff about 15 feet too far away.
The race started on time. We ran across athick grassy field, and then into some crappy marsh/rock field/clumps of grass/holes. Then onto a road.
The course heads into some hills on a penninsula that juts into Dillon Reservoir. The first lap seemed to go up, and up, and, well, how was a mountain hidden on this little penninsula? Are we going to break treeline?! Geez. The odd thing was, all the other laps seemed the opposite. Even when tired, it seemed somehow that I spent more time coasting downhill than chugging up. What a great feeling! But the bad news was there was tons more climbing than I anticipated. Also, the course seemed longer than 6M. I chalked it up to all the climbing, descending, climbing again, descending, climbing, etc., etc., etc.
We had to swipe a bar-code card at the end of each lap. They gave us two cards, "because sometimes they don't work". So right off, I wasn't confident in their little cards. The first lap, someone was behind a glass door and nodded at me. The second lap, there was no one, and I had no solid way of determining that my swipe "took". Same for the third lap. So when I swiped the fourth time, and the lady behind the glass held up three fingers, I held up four, and said, "Right?!" She just shrugged. Oh, great - now I REALLY have no confidence!
My first lap was 1:09. Yikes! There went my plan. How could it take me that long to go 6M?! It must be the chest-cold. My second held steady, but I had to waste time moving my stuff closer.
The Nordic Center was set up for racers to eat, drink, etc., but I didn't set foot in there until the race was over. I had a BIG gym bag full of everything I would need. I had peanut M&Ms measured out and put into baggies (18=~210cal.). Several bottles were full of water - I forgot to mix sport-drink powder into them! Mistake, but I had easy-poor flasks ready, and a 2qt bottle pre-mixed, and a store-bought bottle of Gatoraid.
Each time through, I took a long swig of my V-8, grabbed gels, grabbed bottles, and took off.
I peed right before the race, then during the first lap, then the third lap. Then I didn't pee for five hours. So I slowed down and started grabbing extra - a bottle in each hand - at aid.
When it became obvious I was going to be barely too late for an additional lap, I kept running strong. A woman going the same pace asked my why - I looked like a man-on-a-missiomn. Heck, downhill is my thing, and why not push hard? That's what I'm there for.
I lapped a guy. Wow. Then I got lapped - Christian Hendrickson. Crap, if he's my competition, I've no chance for first. I quickly calculated that at the rate I was fading, he would lap me again before the end of the race. Then I lapped another guy. Then I lapped the first guy again, but this time I actually had to reel him in, unlike the first time when I blew by him. Then just about the time I expected Christian to lap me again, Jeff Beuche passed me. Oh - they were a "team" - not my competition. Yeehah! I still had a chance at some new shoes.
The weather had been ideal all day, but after 5pm, it started threateding. On my last lap, it started raining, and the sky opened up with fury. I STANK! There is very little this planet can produce that stinks worse than me after several miles of ultra. It was grand to get a free shower. I could taste the salt running down across my lips as it washed away. It was dark, I had my headlamp around my waste, I was running fast downhill, and lightening was striking all the higher peaks in every direction and the thunder was loud. Even though the lightening was only hitting the higher peaks, there was fair potential that it could strike anywhere on the course.
When I got back to the Nordic Center, they told me the race was called-off. No awards - but we each got a consolation prize of free shoes.
So I achieved my goal - free XT Wings! I just didn't do it the way I'd hoped.
The stats are posted. I came in 4th out of 12 runners, so not so great. Heck, first finished 11 laps. How did I not notice him passing me - three times?

4 Comments:

At 8:21 PM, Blogger Jamie Donaldson said...

HI Jeff!

It was great to see you out there! I was very surprised with the course--hilly and over 6 miles per loop. Glad you got your goal! What's next?

 
At 6:24 PM, Blogger Sunshine Girl said...

Yay for free shoes! Yay for being spontaneous!

 
At 2:20 AM, Blogger Meghan said...

Dooooood you scored the shoes, nice! I'm wondering the same thing that Jamie is, what's next? ;)

Meghan

 
At 6:56 PM, Blogger JeffO said...

Jamie, Meghan - I'm off to Aspen for an easy downhill half-marathon. Feeling somewhat tired and beat-up. They have gourmet food at the finish.

Jamie - Forgive my spelling in my post, teacher! What a hack-job, huh?

Leslie - You know it! Swag, food, and great company! That's what I'm talking about!

 

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