Thursday, November 6, 2014

Celebrating Old-School at Indian Creek Fifties

Celebrating is a great thing. The connotation of the word "celebrate" is typically positive, but it can also reference "pain". How? Think back to your freshman year of college, when you were celebrating with buddies and brews, and then suddenly you hit the dark side of the moon, everything spinning. Next thing, you're hurling your brains out in the bushes. My end of the year celebration was to run a 50K I knew would be difficult on sub-par fitness. Not surprisingly, I ended up in a similar situation to my afore mentioned freshman scenario.

"I'm going to give the signal to start the race by hitting this rock, with this pick axe." "Sherpa" John Lacroix grabs hold of the handle and adds, "Fun for me. Not for you."


Everyone looks around for a second before realizing that was the "go", and then we were off into the dark. That was the start of 5 hours and 40 minutes of "celebrating" my year, by running the Indian Creek Fifties 50k, a first year event on the Front Range of Colorado. The RD, "Sherpa" John Lacroix, is clear about the mission statement of his races; to create old-school, throw-back ultra events of the early years of the sport. No frills. With 7,600+ ft of elevation gain in 32 miles, only 4 aid stations, primo single-track and a perfectly marked course, what we got was a pretty great event.

My celebrating started with a few fun miles with some good folks, followed by more miles of trail by myself. Around mile 21 I could tell I was reaching the threshold of my fitness and braced for impact. And then I got dizzy. I came to the dark side at mile 29 when I grabbed hold of a tree and yakked on it. (Please see Freshman scenario above). I came down the final mile of road to see my fiancé Lyssa, who'd been nice enough to wake at 3:30 that morning for my "celebrating", and immediately felt relief. I crossed the line, happy to have given it all I had on the day and to be done with my 2014 season.

"Sherpa" John's Indian Creek Fifties is a first-class event with real staying power. I wouldn't be surprised to see it quickly become an end of year classic.

Enjoy a few photos of the race, all courtesy of Human Potential Running.

One of the rock features on the course

running about an hour in. Got spooked by the camera fella

beginning the climb around mile 20

sweet single track heading toward the Colorado Trail