The temps were a bit milder this year which was nice and as we started out I had little expectations. Having only been putting in 25-30 mile weeks I was not in the best shape for such a race. Bob, from S. Dakota, was a little different. He was running the 50k and had been training like a mad man for the event. As I was talking to him on the first lap I realized that this proud owner of 8 pairs of snowshoes was legit. The course conditions were very fast this year. We clocked our first 10k in under 52 minutes. (would have been the 10k course record prior to this year)The 5k mtn loop we chewed up easily in 36 minutes. I started the second 10k loop strong. Bob was still moving well and then as I did the extra 2k loop he was gone and I was alone. I knew that both of us had our races won at this point. Finishing my 3rd loop my time was 2:34. I had run 27k 11 minutes faster then I had run the same 25k last year! Fast....too fast. As I started up the 5k mtn loop I purposely held back trying to save some energy for that last 10k loop. I ran the loop in 50 minutes.
I was at mile 20 with 6.2 miles to go. It was tough. The last 2.5 miles are all downhill but getting to the top was a struggle. My legs were so heavy, my quads and calves were cramping but I pushed it in to win the marathon in 4 hrs 41 minutes. Challenge accomplished.
Those first two laps were too fast but overall I ran well ate well and frankly had a great time. Miles 21-24 were really tough but it comes with the territory. I have yet to get a blister in myAltra Lone Peaks!! I've put at least 500 miles in them and they are bomb proof! The loop thing isn't all that bad. I typically shy away from such courses but having my drop bag there with everything I needed was quite nice. I'm not sure of the total number of participants but there seemed to be a great group of people out and about. Very fun festival and having run 3 different events over 4 consecutive years, I'll be back next year!
Fun little video about the marathon made by Randall Davis