One reason I signed up for this event was to visit my cousin's the Mechams. We rarely get up to Logan and this was a good excuse to visit family and take part in a new race. So Friday afternoon my wife and I drove on up to Logan (If you live in Davis County I am sorry because the traffic there truly sucks). Our incredible hosts hooked us up and first thing Saturday morning I was off to the event. The start was uneventful for the most part. Once the race started we all got in line behind Leland. Leland knew everyone was relying on him for pacing and course directions so he dutifully became the rabbit. The climb up Dry Canyon was brutal. My legs were more sluggish than I wanted and so I purposely went up a little slower then everyone else. I talked quite a bit with Jon Allen as we motored up the mountain. The terrain rose quickly and with it the mountain vegetation changed as well. Wildflowers, lush vegetation, aspens, and pines. It was gorgeous. Before I knew it we were at AS#1. The aid station was limited since they have to pack everything up on mules. I was in 7th place and had 4 guys directly in front of me which put me in an awkward position. I wanted to place well in this event and I made a ridiculously stupid move since I was already a ways back. After standing and watching the others fill their bottles, I got impatient waiting and decided to blow through the aid station. IT WAS SO STUPID. WHAT WAS I THINKING?!
The next several miles were amazing! The trail became a rolling singletrack of near perfection. I easily caught up to the front pack which would have happened even if I had taken 30 extra seconds to fill up on water at AS#1 (I'm quite bitter at myself for this if you can't tell). Anyway this section went quickly and was wonderful. The pack was thinning out and the trail runnable. Luckily there was a small water station at mile 10 which enabled me to finally fill my water bottle. By this point the front pack was down to five and nobody wanted to make a significant move past Leland. I was feeling pretty good through this section and then AS#2 crept up on me. I was in fourth place with all three guys right in front of me and I didn't want to get back logged like I did at AS#1. I had most of my bottle still full and without thinking I blew through this station as well!! STUPID! I don't know what I was thinking but next thing I knew I was in the lead and had spiced things up a bit for us frontrunners.
The climb up Logan Peak was relentless, snowy, and/or muddy. Jon Allen and Leland responded quickly to my move and together we climbed up the mountain. Knowing my downhill abilities I let them pass me to the top but caught them on the downhill. I polished off my water and filled up once back at the aid station. However, less than a mile down the road I started cramping! It was bad too. I had felt a few twinges earlier but this hit hard. I quickly took some electrolyte caps and drank a bunch of water as I slowed down moving into 4th place. The next 5-6 miles were pretty bad. The cramps dissipated but I knew they would come back. I drank all my water to fight the onset but there were no stations and the temperature was rising. I did everything I could to stay relaxed and within range of the front runners. The trail was amazing and the views incredible as I struggled on. I passed Greg Norrander who provided all of these fantastic pictures and then stubbled upon a spring at mile 23! I quickly filled up and decided that it was now or never to make my move. Off I went drinking as much water as possible trying to catch the leaders.
Shortly thereafter I reached the final aid station, filled up my bottle, and took off. I soon caught and passed Leland as I speedily made it downhill hearing that the leader was 2 minutes ahead with less then 4 miles left. Sadly the water was too little too late and I cramped again coming to a grinding halt. It was awful. I polished off every drop of liquid and my last electrolyte pill in a desperate attempt to keep running while hobbling down the trail. Leland caught and passed me in the climax of my pain at which point I then decided that I was going to beat that old man if it took everything I had. The next few minutes were painful but that water and pill kicked in just in time. Leland and I ran the next mile together at which point I decided to take a chance and pass him. Yelling and hollering I challenged Leland to catch me and off we went. That old bugger is tough and for the last mile I kept looking over my shoulder yelling at Leland to keep moving. He would holler back that he was cramping bad. We must have been quite the sight running as hard as we could on cramping legs. With 200 yds to go I knew that the worthy running legend wouldn't catch me as I kicked it in yelling and hollering to a second place finish in a time of 4:53:38. I think I might have driven Leland too hard as he crossed the finish line 14 seconds later and colapsed due to his cramping. Check out the results here: http://www.loganpeakrun.com/
To be honest I had so much energy at the end of the race but my poor legs took the brunt of my stupidity with the cramping. Dehydrated with too little sodium I was a mere 2 minutes from the winner Jon Allen. Wade McFarland ran an awesome race and finished 4 minutes back from Leland in fourth place. All-in-all it was a great course and a great day. I needed to get out and push myself again and what a perfect challenge. Plus there was cash prizes! For second place I got $60 cash and a great pair of Smith sunglasses! Note to self- don't blow through 2 of 3 aid stations on a 90 degree day. It's painful. Here's to the next few weeks of early morning high altitude trailrunning. Yahoo!!! Happy trails.