At one of the aid stations the volunteers remarked, "You're slamming those shots like a Russian sailor!". By this point in the day the 50K runners were sharing the course and I was happy to have people to chase and exchange "good-jobs" with for motivation. I came in at the end of the third lap with an 11 minute lead, nearly identical splits to lap 2, switched over to my "drop the hammer" playlist and rushed out of the aid station so quickly I forgot to drink any Coke. About a quarter of a mile down the trail I came to a screeching halt...ponies in the trail!
The Idaho Centennial Trail seems like a distant memory at this point and with school underway again I have settled back into my regular training regime. Some of the highlights of the last training block include mountain biking in Crested Butte, exploring trails in Ouray (Bridge of Heaven and Bear Creek), running the Desert Championship 10K put on by the Striders, taking 3rd at the Silverton Alpine 50K and seeing big improvements with my MAF/Maffetone training.
After spending a week or so training back at home and after a great weekend down in the San Juans with my conservation corps buddy Brad Knipper and Jess it was finally time for my first adventure in the Wasatch Mountains. I have spent months of my life guiding trips in the Uinta Mountains in Utah but had never been to the Wasatch so I wasn't sure what I was in for. The smooth granite cliffs, waterfalls and top-notch wildflowers blew me away and the two days before the race I enjoyed a little shake-out run to Cecret Lake where I found a spot away from the wedding photographers and crowds to just sit for hours enjoying the alpine, and getting a few more moments at altitude. My parents arrived on Friday and I headed to bed early in the hotel room while they went out for dinner. I don't know if it was pre-race jitters or the endless barrage of fireworks that went off until 2 am, but I only managed to get ~3 hours of sleep before I was up, eating oatmeal and donning my race kit. I drove to Snowbird early and checked in right at 5am. The race didn't start until 6:30 so I set up the back of my car and took a quick 45 minute nap to try and make up for the night before. By 6 am my parents were at the starting line, Karl had us chant that we would not trample any meadows and the countdown was on.