Shortly after the Bear I still had a racing itch that needed scratching so I contacted my Patagonia teammate Clark Zealand about going back east to participate in the 30th running of the Mt. Masochist 50 near Lynchburg, Va. I had some points accrued for a ticket and my sister Taya, who lives in the DC area was gracious enough to shuttle me around and crew during the race. Before I knew it I was on the plane and headed back for one last race before shutting it down for the winter. Fortunately Hurricane Sandy didn't delay any of my travels and I made all my connections. I arrived at Reagan Thursday evening and Taya and Jon took me to their favorite Chinese restaurant. Their specialty is roast duck and it was spectacular.
The next morning Taya and I began the drive down to Lynchburg. On the way we stopped at Manassas to visit the battle grounds and see the visitors center. It was my first visit to anything Civil War and I was amazed at the reverence it inspired. Eventually after our traditional pre-race stop at 5 guys we made it to Lynchburg. After a little trouble we found the pre race meeting. It was good to see Clark, AJW, Krissy,my Patagonia teammates and Mark, and George who were there on behalf of Patagonia and Patagonia footwear.
The morning of the race we followed the buses out to the start and at 6:30 a.m. we headed out in the dark. I knew that the course was runnable and would be fast but I had been trying to convince myself that I would take it easy the first half of the race and then move up. Perhaps it was my extended "taper" or maybe it was the huge drop in altitude but I quickly found myself with the lead group of Gary Robbins, Chris Reed, Eric Grossman, Frank Gonzalez, and Brian Schmidt.
It was cool and I was running through most of the early aid stations. I carried a flask of Kona Mocha EFS liquid shot and a 26 oz. Ultraspire Isomeric Race filled with Fruit Punch EFS. I knew were moving well and it felt very easy. After about 15 miles Chris and I fell off the pace a bit, but even then through 1/2 way we were on CR pace, and the others weren't even in sight! About mile 30 my wheels really started to come off. I simply wasn't used to "running" so much in a race. My back and hamstrings reminded me of my neglect as I climbed up to run "the loop." I knew at this point that we were finally leaving the fire roads and getting to the good stuff. It turned out to be even better than I thought:) Due to Sandy there was snow on this part of the course. This allowed me to use some different muscle groups and allowed me to slip, slide, and even hike a bit. Mid-loop there was an out and back section. Just before I reached the junction, Gary came tearing down hill towards me. I asked him if I was headed the right direction and he assured me that it was the out and back section. He had missed the junction and added a few miles to his day...
Once we were on the rocks and the snow people started dropping like flies and I began reeling people in. I was smelling the barn and was ready to be done. The last few miles I had the pleasure of running and chatting with Adam. We helped each other along and it made the end pass by quickly. The last couple of miles I tried to get him to come with me but his hip flexors were shot due to the snow. I rolled into the finish in 8:37 and change for 7th place. Adam rolled in about 90 seconds later.
Like always I had a great experience at one of Clark's events. It was nice to reconnect with some old friends and make some new ones. Thanks as always to my Sponsors, Black Diamond, Patagonia, and Patagonia Footwear, and my sister for crewing and refusing to join the pity party.
Patagonia SS Gamut Top
Patagonia 3" strider short
Patagonia Thermal Flyer Top (the hand mitts are awesome!)
Patagonia Evermore (Spring 2013)
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.