After spending an entire summer preparing for the 100 mile attempt that didn't pan out, i've been dealing with gallons of disappointment. After talking it over with my GF Lyssa, it was decided the best thing might be to get back in the saddle one last time before the winter fully settled in. After a few weeks of no running and another few weeks of very low mileage, i flew out to Phoenix to take part in the Pass Mountain 50K.
Pass Mountain is part of Aravaipa Racing's Winter Desert Series, put on by the Coury brothers, Nick and Jamil. Both seasoned runners, their race direction is a well-oiled machine and this race course was top notch.
i don't like overly lengthy race reports, so i'll just say it probably isn't very smart to race 5 weeks after your body experiences an epic blow-up that took place because you were playing mad scientist with your body's chemistry. i will take the time to say this -- i liked the course. we were treated to an epic sunrise as we meandered through the desert floor and the single-track through the Tonto National Forest was really NEAT. The course's variety surprised me with a good portion of technical footing through Tonto as well as an enjoyable mid-lap climb.
As for the race itself, i took off too fast and led the first bit before i was sucked back up into a group of 3 other fellas. the four of us were together for the first of two laps, and then my body hit its current limit. i think i heard Schwartzenegger's voice from terminator 2 say "the vehicle has reached it's maximum speed" in my head. i slowed 'er down and jogged it on in for 4th.
i recommend putting this race on your radar. It was a hoot. i also recommend drinking 4 or 5 Kilt Raiser Scottish Ales at Four Peaks in the Phoenix Airport before your flight.
Now, it's on to winter.
This winter will be spent hiking, swiss-bobbing, skiing, snow-shoeing, and swimming. The running i will do will be in preparation for the Monumental Link-up, a running project i will tackle next year that will link all of the trails in the Colorado National Monument in a single running.
Enjoy some pics below of last weekend's race, all courtesy of Aravaipa Running's website.
start of the course
about two miles into the course, racing like a moron
entering the Tonto National Forest
finishing up lap 1 of 2...feeling like a pile of GIANT DOO DOO