First weekend in June means 1 thing to me over the last 7 years...Squaw Peak 50. I seem to get amp'd up every year for the race. This year is no different. So here is an update on course conditions, competition, my expectation for the race and years leading up. Counting down...!
The course is in the best shape its been in for years. Having run nearly all of the course over the last two weeks, its going to be a potentially fast year. The early climbs are shocking smooth. Snow will be a non factor, and Little Valley to Windy and down is as nice as I ever remember it. (I ran from Big Springs to Little Valley and back last Saturday). The Spring is flowing Bozung Hill is a little overgrown since the race didn't go up it last year, but everything else is as nice as ever. Should be a fast year!
The competition should be very good also. Some new younger talent but some veterans as well. Scott Jaime has to be the favorite. After winning here in '09, he should do well. Speedster David Holt ran a very fast time that same year and is back to see if he can top Scott. Allen Belshaw has several wins at Squaw and is returning after a couple year hiatus. We will see what shape he is in when he arrives. Several Squaw Peak new-comers should have great races and compete for the win. Evan Hone is a great racer from California. Mick Jurynec is in stout shape right now and should run exceptional. We will see if he goes 100% with Western States 100 in a few weeks. Several fast road runners have entered the race including Jody Benson, Logan Fielding, and Seth Wold. Should be a fast front pack.
I will be following them in the chase pack. I wanted to crush it this year and am about a month away from being in the shape I want. I was traveling 22 days of April which made it hard to train and then got a large cold accompanied with a sinus infection that was as bad as I've ever had it. So that took away 10 days of training in May. I've had a lingering respiratory thing holding me back a bit as well. Otherwise, I'm in pretty good shape. Should be a typical sub-10 hour year for me. Not the sub-9 I've been searching for. I intend to go out pretty easy and pick off the leftovers from what surely will be a blazing fast front pack.
One of these years I'll enter it fully prepared to crush it. The two years I entered in that shape I didn't make it. The mud year in 2008 nobody broke 9 due to conditions...I took 3rd with a 9:36. And 2010 when I got off course on Bozung Hill which was the final straw to me blowing up and struggling down in my slowest time ever of 10:03. I am in much better shape then my 2009 time of 9:55 so I hope to come in around 9:30.
Should be an awesome year. I am going out and running Timp Trail Marathon 7 days prior but looking to run solid and have fun at both races. Really focusing on Cascade Crest 100 in August! Looking forward to the next week of awesome trail racing.