trail-running

Who signs up for a 50K trail run only 4 days before the event?  Yep, that happened this week.

Received a promo email for The Bear Chase Trail Race last weekend, Friday before New Hampshire.  Generally I delete these (my run schedule’s set 6 months out) but was out-of-town/travelling soooo the ad stayed in my Inbox.

Home sweet Colorado Home.  Cool & overcast all week, highs never topped 60 (GREAT weather).  Didn’t have a great run in Keene (REDEMPTION).  Short miles this month in my Run the Year challenge (Sept 30th race) AND only 45 minutes from Home.

I know, I know – crazy ‘healthy‘ addiction.  Paid FULL price & promised Ro we’d hike tomorrow 🙂

Saturday morning.  Hydration vest outta the closet, packed a drop bag – pickles/watermelon/chicken noodle soup, change of clothes (shirt/socks).  I’m my own crew today.  Socks?  Yep, NINE water crossings – 6 of those, knee deep water.  LOVE LOVED it!

Missed bib pick-up night before (work obligation).  Arrived half-hour early in Lakewood’s Bear Creek Lake Park.  FREE parking ($10 fee waived for runners).  Volunteer handed me a Bib, 4 safety pins & my Bear Chase tech shirt.  BAM, done.

2nd time in a month, I’d be running the event’s low-mile race.  100K, 50 mile or 50K – that’s it.  First time since April 2016, I actually registered for a 50K (ran 3 last year).  Marathon 6 miles.  Baby steps.  I see a 50-mile race in my 2018 future.

Sun rose pink over Bear Creek Lake, hats off for the National Anthem & we were off.  Bunched up at the first water crossing, then hiked UP the first of three big climbs.  Backside of hill?  I flew.  Since REVEL Rockies training this Spring, I’m a much better downhill runner.

Easiest trail terrain to date – rolling hills, root-free course (my trail nemesis).  Ran strong first 14 miles.  Lost my mojo during the sun-exposed 6.9 miles ‘round Fox Hollow Golf Course.  No tree, no shade, no wind.  Popped in the ear-buds, tried to flood my head with sound.

Last loop (18.8 miles in), half marathon distance to go.  Dilly-dallied 10 minutes at Bag Drop.  Re-clothed (dry shirt/dry socks), bathroom break, swallowed a half-thermos of chicken noodle.  Departed with a fresh bottle of electrolytes.

Last climb UP, right quad cramped.  Unfamiliar territory.  Nearby runner asked if I needed salt tabs.  I thanked him, swallowed both & hoped for a miracle.  I’m a puker, not a cramper.  Limped/walked the climb, limped/jogged the backside.

Clouds rolled in, temp dropped 10-15 degrees, winds kicked up.  No sun, no headphones…no need.  Quad cramp ceased.  My miracle.

Slow pace – 12/min mile – but I kept moving.  Shoulders back, no walk, no slog.  Head voices stopped.  Focused on a guy in white, later a couple both dressed in red.  Approached, paced closed behind, then passed/moved ahead.  Ninth & final water crossing.

Less than a mile to go AND… I lost the trail.  Are you kidding me??  Bush-whacked thru high grass & willow thicket.  Crossed a paved road, met a 100K runner.  Had run past the Finish by more than half a mile.  Disappointed…but back on trail – I kept moving.

Actually came up BEHIND the Finish.  7 hours – that’s a looooong time but I FINISHED.  32 miles total.  WOW!  ALSO surprisingly, compared with 2016 results – cut more than an hour off my best time.  Today’s run a 50K PR.

Out like a LION (September), in with a ROAR (October) – starting tomorrow with a high-altitude hike.  Gotta, hafta – promised the pup, right?  LOVE LOVE my Colorado life ❤

 

The Bear Chase

Running @ Lakewood, CO, 50K 9/30/2017, by HAL Sports

 

Keenan Haga

Bib #732  CHIP TIME  07:04:43

 

 

meanwhile far, far away in Germany…look who’s celebrating Oktoberfest!

 

 

3 weekends of high mountain hikes, tough to get the marathon juices flowing again.

Saturday’s trail run one of 3 last-minute selections needed to reach magic #100 in Dublin.  My third consecutive trail race – Tahoe, Steamboat & the Hawk.  Better known for its grueling 100-mile race, 26.2 miles the shortest distance one can enter.  100 miles, 50 miles or Marathon.  Seriously, that’s it.  First time, I’VE been the late start at an event.

Organized by an upbeat group of local trail runners, the Lawrence Trail Hawks.  What’s not to love?  Direct flight (Denver to KC), cheap airfare, entire trip/in-n-out < 30 hours.  ‘though Kansas in September, probably gonna be warm, really warm.

Hotel check-in, bib pick-up, dinner.  Early to bed, early to rise.

Race Morning.  Packed up the rental – not expecting to squeeze in a hotel ‘finish’ shower.  No worries this day, scoped out a $5 shower at Clinton State Park (campground showers), 10-minute drive from today’s race Start.  Like a Boy Scout, always prepared 🙂

Last minute race announcements, BAM – started on time.  Similar to Steamboat last month, well organized event.

Whole lotta up & down.  Root & rock trail, large leafy trees provided much appreciated shade.  Special for Marathoners: an extra 1.2 mile loop thru fresh-cut grass, then UP Sanders Mound.  Roughly 25 miles ‘round Clinton Lake.

Middle/back of the pack first 3 miles.  Settled into pace by the first Aid Station.  Sooooo much FOOD – FAVE difference vs road marathoning.  Sweet, salty, crunchy, energy gels, granola bars – and PICKLES.  Love me some pickles.  Good on the stomach.

Single file track.  Ran with an older guy first 12 miles.  Military, his first marathon.  Quick steady pace.  Daughter was running 2nd female, inspired Dad/Chuck to hit the trails.  Conversation passed the time (no headphones this race).  Second pass by West Park Road Aid Station & we said our goodbyes.  Think he went out a bit too fast (first marathon).

Tough race – maybe all trail runs are?  More mental for sure.  Zone out & risk going down hard (aka 2nd leg Steamboat).

Last Aid Station stop, 7 miles to go.  First humans I’d seen in quite a while.  One deer, one snake – but no peeps.  Wouldn’t see another runner ‘til the Finish.  Pushed hard last mile, just missed 6 hours.  Should have gutted a little sooner.  Ho hum.  Wasn’t ‘til Monday morning (checking results online) did I find I finished 11th overall.  WOW, I’ll take it.  Eases the sting of missing 6 hours, right?

2pm Finish, came in hot.  Laid long on the grass, folks brought over ice.  3rd finish in Kansas, ironically 2 on trail.

Campground shower, early evening flight home, church in the morning.

Marathon next (short 2 weeks away): Clarence DeMar in Keene NH.  LOVE LOVE Autumn in New England 🍁

 

 

The Hawk Hundred

September 09, 2017

Lawrence, US

 

Race Summary

START TIME  8:00:17 AM

DISTANCE  26.2 Miles

 

OVERALL

 

Timothy Hazlett  M Bib 1025 Lees Summit, MO 4:40:11

Carsten Giessmann M Bib 1021 Irvine, CA 4:49:33

Suresh Nagarajan M Bib 1048 Grover, MO 4:52:50

Nathan Goertzen M Bib 1079 Hampton, NE 4:54:03

Justin Douglas M Bib 1014 Lawrence, KS 5:01:28

Katherine Martyn F Bib 1040 Lawrence, KS 5:02:10

Jim Cozzi M Bib 1012 Geneva, IL 5:38:17

Randy R M Bib 1022 McMinnville, OR 5:46:52

Daniel Auten M Bib 1001 Colorado Springs, CO 5:48:50

Brian Forbes M Bib 1017 Spring Hill, KS 5:57:50

Keenan Haga M Bib 1023 Louisville, CO 6:00:46

 

Steamboat’s Yampa River

Bib pickup for tomorrow’s trail marathon cutoff at noon.  3 ½ hours door-to-door, Louisville to Steamboat Springs.  Early Saturday a.m. trek, breakfast stop in Georgetown (fave diner tradition).

Arrived at BAP, aka ‘the Little Red House’ on Oak Street with an hour to spare.  Steamboat-based Honey Stinger sponsors 2 races: Mountain bike Saturday, Trail marathon Sunday.  ALL proceeds to charity – the ultimate giving-back event.  10 minute walk to Howelsen Hill ‘Start’.

Last Saturday, ran my first 2017 trail race at Echo Summit (Lake Tahoe’s high Sierras).  Tomorrow would trek-up another ski summit.  Similarities: high elevation, 4000ft+ vertical gain.

Bridge-walked over Steamboat’s Yampa.  Early dinner/early to bed.

RACE DAY: UP UP UP Howelsen Hill, one of Steamboat’s 2 major ski resorts.  Unlike last week, first 7 miles were a CLIMB.  ALSO caliber of runners today, a HUGE notch up.  Pushed hard, lotta energy expended before Angry Grouse (First Aid Station).  Refueled, breathed deep, settled in.

UP UP UP thru evergreen & Colorado Aspen.  BIG HIKE up Stairway to Heaven, series of switchback climbs thru No Mo’ Blues & Wild Rose, HALF-marathon turnaround/2nd Aid Station.

Again, stopped/refueled/breathed.  So different from road marathoning/super humbling.  Mentally ON all race or risk tripping/going down hard.  first-HALF GOAL: under 3 hours.

[7-hour time limit today, an hour faster than last weekend’s ultra finish.]

5 miles to Cow Creek (Aid Station to Aid Station).  ALL downhill, fastest splits of the day.  Flew past tens of runners (June’s REVEL Rockies training).  ‘On your left’, jumping over rock.  ‘On your left’, bending with tree-limbs as I hugged mountain curves.  11 miles in, 15 minutes under the 2 hour-mark.

Mile-half on dirt road, water stop – then 6 ½ miles of warm trail UP.  More hike than jog.  Switchback return’d UP to Aid Station 2, ran outta water this leg.  Refueled, good 5 minute stop.  7 miles-ish to go.  Not a lot left in the tank but well ahead of goal.

2 miles up/over Quarry Mountain then DOWN.  Steep rocky drop: ‘Little Moab’, but remainder of the course, easy rolling trail.  Let gravity carry my heavy legs forward.  Exposed meadows last 3 ½ miles, quarter-mile past the rodeo grounds – marathon SUCCESS!

2nd trail FINISH in 8 days.  Just under 6 hours.

 

2017 STEAMBOAT STINGER TRAIL MARATHON

 

88 HAGA K R  5:52:18.29  Louisville CO

 

POST-MARATHON:  Strawberry Park Hot Springs.  Surrounded by Aspen, soaked for HOURS in 104-degree mineral water ❤

 

 

 

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