This weekend we made the trip over to the Grand Targhee 50. Jay and Lisa Batchen put on 50, 100, and trail marathon races that are touted as "super family friendly." After a hectic first week of school the kids were looking forward to swimming, and I was looking forward to blowing off some steam with a glorified "training run" for the Bear. I was excited to be racing again my last race of the summer being the Bighorn 100. The field was small but I was curious to see if I could hang with Brad Mitchell who has been running well-and handle the long 2000 ft. climb in 2 miles up Fred's mountain-twice. At 7 a.m. we took off up the hill. Brad and I talked about race plans and the possibility of running sub-8 hours on the course. The highlight was seeing Lisa's friend Sister (Mary Beth?) running down toward us through the sunshine and wildflowers in her habit. At the top I quickly headed back down trying to use gravity to my advantage without beating myself up too much. It was clear that Brad wasn't his self. For the first lap I felt very good, strong, and controlled. My plan was to run 4 hours for the first 25 and then try to run a negative split for the second. I knew the pace was a bit hot but felt good so I went with it. After the first half I was shocked to hear that my split was 3:40. I slogged up Fred's a second time, still feeling good. On the way down to Mill Creek my toe caught a root buried in the dust and I did a flying "digger." I bounced back up and the adrenaline carried me down the dusty road to the next aid station. I certainly looked like I was in bad shape but still felt pretty good, though my stomach was a bit sloshy. I quickly had them fill my bottle with NUUN and ice and I though down a gel and a couple of electrolyte tablets to east my stomach. I knew that the next 3 miles uphill on the pavement was going to get hot. When I hit the pavement I sort of gagged and all the liquid that had been stirring around in my gut started to come out. I just kept running-doing my best Michael Phelps impersonation. I just turned my head, puked, and ran. I repeated this process for about 1/4 of a mile until my stomach was empty then I began to feel really woozy and bonky. By the time I reached the aid I was walking slowly and I was frustrated and dizzy. I knew I would still win the race but have experienced this way too often in races. At the aid I bellied-up to the table and started throwing down Coke and ice-one after the other. Finally I got my bearings and jogged and walked back through the start/finish area at the ski hill base area. I knew that sub-8 was out of the picture but that I still had a shot at the course record. They filled my bottle with more ice and Coke and I popped a couple of anti-nausea pills Andi bummed off our new friends the Thayne's and I was off for the last 5 mile loop. The remedies did the trick and I cruised in finishing in 8:17 and change. Overall it was a good day. I enjoyed myself and had my "A" game for 40 of 50 miles and the race didn't have nearly the "washing machine" affect that I expected it would. It truly had a family feel and my kids had a great day riding the chair lift, swimming, and playing with new friends. Now if I could just skip the puking part...
Kudos to Scott Griffeth (second male, second overall) and Corena Ricks (second woman, 5th overall) Go Star Valley!!!!
El Vaquero Loco 2014 - Thanks for making this year's race such a success.
11th annual. Saturday, August 8th, 2015. Out and back course on nearly 100% singletrack. Beautiful vistas. Very tough and technical. It has been our experience that you run the 25k if you are not used to running technical trails at altitude.