Monday, February 21, 2011

Moab Red Hot 55K 2011

I guess I love this race more than I remember.
I got my ass kicked this year. Maybe I'm a masochist, but the more a race kicks my ass, the more I love it. No doubt, the scenery is a lot of why I love it too, though.
I was trying to PR, so I didn't bring a camera.

I averaged about 9:55min/mile pace through the first 19 miles. In order to PR, I needed to average 10:32/mile. Since the finish was far below the mile-19 mark, I figured a PR was in-the-bag. My Timex GPS watch decided to die at this point, with moisture inside it, so I wasn't sure how I was doing the rest of the way.

The race started with a cold, windy rain. The rain stopped, sprinkled, quit, restarted, all day long. The wind never stopped. It was nice when the wind pushed us uphill, but a pain in the ass climbing with a face-wind.

About mile 29, my asthma was kicking up. When I was going through the last aid station, I was gasping like a dieing man and staggering as fast as I could, hoping not to lose my PR, which seemed to be fading. I was so hypoxic, I simply followed the people ahead of me. But they missed a turn. I suddenly noticed them ahead - milling in confusion. Where I was, about 60 feet away, I also couldn't see any pink ribbon markers, no jeep-trail white paint, so I turned around an threw my arms up in the air to warn the people behind us to stop and find markers. We all started running back towards the last marker. Someone saw one, and about 10 of us that went the wrong way got back on course. Some lost only half a minute, but others maybe a few.
I couldn't get my blood-oxygen levels stabilized until about mile 32. In spite of being pretty sure my PR was toast, without a watch, I had to keep pushing 100%.

Finished in 6:07, 3min over previous PR.

In light of my asthma, the missed turn, and the weather, I think I equaled my 2008 PR performance. While disappointing that I missed it, I'm glad that I have a solid race that proves to me that I'm every bit as fast as I was.

An awesome time. At he finish: beer, and bread-bowl potato soup.
Dakota Jones, Tim Parr, Ryan Birch, and Dylan Bowman did an incredible job. Tim led the whole race. Dakota passed Tim near the end. All the people who finished faster than 5hr are freakin' amazing!!

The wind and rain REALLY pummeled the later finishers. OMG, it was crazy. The next morning, the porta-potties at the race start were blown over. Very impressive winds. There wasn't much rain. The Moab area is prone to flash-flooding, and there was never enough rain to make anyone worry about that. It's just that the wind could blow what little rain there was right through all your layers.

The next day, I did the FIsher Towers trail.

The shady sides of cliffs still had snow, so it was nice to see the canyons, buttes, and cliffs with additional highlights.

I finished with a dark hike up to Hanging Lake, east of Glenwood Springs. It's mostly ice and snow, so I was wearing my snowshoes.


  1. I heard you saw my sweetie out there! Sorry I couldn't make it down. I was working.... I LOVE the pics from the next day!

  2. Nice job. Get under 6 hours next year!

    How far is the Frasier Towers trail? I'm heading out there for a few days next month (doing 24 hrs of Moab) and I'd like to hike around a bit. Looking for some cool trails that show you a lot and aren't too far.

    Do you mean Hanging Lake?

  3. Meghan - It took me a while to figure out who he was. I kept thinking Geoff Rose nut knew that was wrong. I figured I knew him, but I'm getting senile. Wasn't until the race was over that it dawned on me. I'm not just a slow runner - I'm slow every other way, too.

    Jon - The part of my brain that deals with names and numbers never developed. I got both wrong. It's Fisher Towers and Hanging Lake.
    Fisher Tower trail is only about 5 miles. Although the trailhead says 4.6, I'm pretty sure it's all of 5.


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