Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pikes Peak and Trails

It was another gorgeous summer day in Colorado Springs this Sunday - the perfect day for a 12 mile trail race straight up Pikes Peak. And when I say straight up, I really mean straight up. The race starts at 6400 ft and the turnaround is at 10,000ft so 3600 ft of climbing in 6 miles.

The Barr Trail race is one of those epic 'gotta do it once in your life' kind of races...all on trail, beautiful scenery and absolutely brutal. It attracts some pretty serious trail runners and I came second to a girl who was the 10k US Trail Running champion - fair enough. I managed to lead all the way up to the turnaround but of course what goes up, must come down. I got a lesson in downhill running as she schooled me on the rocky, technical decent. I was just shy of the course record of 1:51...for 12 MILES! It was awesome. The coolest part were the Primes (where the leader at certain points on the course gets a bonus, Tour de France style). They weren't announced beforehand so whenever we heard a whistle on the trail it meant that a prime was coming up - nothing like throwing down a few sprints at 10,000ft.

The top of the trail in the photo here is about 1/3 of the way up....

I'm gonna go bathe in a vat of ALCiS now (pain relief cream - it doesn't make you smell like a hospital and its the only thing that I have found that actually works on sore muscles).


John said...

The BTMR is a great race, but that downhill can be brutal. I'm nursing two huge blisters on each of my heels that developed below noname creek. (Next time I need to tie my shoes better when downhills are involved :-)

Even then, you are still a lot faster than I am. A sub 2 hour finish in the btmr would be a dream for me.

So, are you going to throw your name in the hat for the PPA/PPM in 4 weeks? As the first to barr camp with this field of runners, you should have no problem getting a competative entry to either one.

AH said...

Hi Sam,
This is Alan. My girlfriend and I met you in Italy and recommended that great restaurant to you! I just saw you on TV (Iron Lady) and thought I would drop you a note wishing you best of luck in the event! We are rooting for you.

Michael said...

Keep up the training Sam. I'll see you in Kona. - Michael V