this was kind of a spontaneous trip as my buddy Craig had decided wednesday he was going to run the Leadville marathon saturday and asked if i wanted to do it too. this year i've been running about 30 miles a week average. all roads, not one trail run, no runs over 12 miles. uh...no Craig, i'm not going to go run the leadville marathon this weekend. thanks, have a good time. so he tells me they have a half marathon. i could run that. i could do real well. no Craig, i'm not really running this year, i have no business running a 15.5 mile run that starts at 10,152 ft and runs up to 13,781 feet before coming back down. i'll explode, it will be a real mess. but, sais Craig, they have free bananas. oh well then, yes i'm in let's go! yeah, so made the eight hour drive late friday, slept a little, got up saturday morning and ran. i had absolutley no idea what to expect but i had looked up the previous years results and based a goal time on what the leaders ran, and also how the other 50-59 year old geezers did. using my usual 20+/-% placing that i get at races i figured that if i were trained i could run it in the 3 to 3:15 range. but considering how ill prepared i was for this race, i told myself that getting in under four hours would be an accomplishment.
the race started at 8 am. the first couple of miles or so are uphill, then there's a bit of downhill before climbing again, relentlessly up to Mosquito pass. i skipped all the aid staions on the way up. i had a hand held bottle and the temps were cool. i walked quite a bit of the steep sections but made sure i was walking quickly, and i ran as much as possible. i tried to stay on it and not slack, and i steadily passed people all the way up and most of the way back down. the last mile or so of the climb was pretty intense. not only steep and very rocky, technical. all along the upper part of the course there was water runoff which created a little creek like surface and some muddy sections. finally with a couple of miles left to go my lack of fitness reared it's ugly but legitimate head and i crashed pretty hard. even walking for a couple of short moments downhill. i didn't care, i knew where i was at fitness wise and i was just surprised the crash didn't come sooner. my quads were shot and i could no longer open up on the flat downhill but just had to shuffle along to get it done. it was such a great course and crowd, and a well organized event. i'm looking forward to actually training for this run next time and seeing how much i can improve my time.
slowest mile was mile 7 @ 21:30, fastest was mile 15 @ 8:41. average pace for the run - 12:59
i placed 109/453 overall (24%), 53/257 dudes (21%), 6/30 geezers (20%).
WT 41.5 miles