Ran the Corner Canyon 50k this past Saturday. In its inaugural year, the race I believe has been in the works for awhile but recently spurred by fellow ultrarunner John Maack's recent diagnosis with cancer. It's now a race to support John and his family as they battle against cancer. John was there at the race with a smile! His pre-race briefing left no eye un-watered. I was touched by his attitude and optimism. I'm certain he will "win his race against cancer" as he put it.
I was happy to sign up for this race last minute as my last long run prior to Cascade Crest in 2 weeks. I desperately needed a long run and this provided an opportunity to tune my legs. I started slow but due to the small field, so did everyone else. After a mile I was sitting 100 yds back in 2nd place. It was clear the competition was limited. I purposely stayed back in 2nd so as to not be tempted to push it early. After all, this was a tune-up run...not a race for me. Soon we were climbing higher and higher. I could have sworn we would have turned south but Harrison (the guy in 1st place) was in front and I was following. After 13-14 minutes and seeing no flags, I surged ahead and yelled out to Harrison. He and I conversed, continued up to the next bend, and then agreed we would turn around.
Sure enough, we had gone a solid mile off course and added 500+ feet of vertical. The chase pack of 9-10 runner's also went off track but quickly realized the course markings must have been tampered with and fixed the markings. Of course we were too far ahead, but when we saw the markings we thought we were idiots for missing the turn. I vowed to take it easy and not rush to catch up however I was feeling so good that I ran the next 7-8 miles very quickly. I felt incredible and it was fun passing people. I'd heard rumors of a "widowmaker hill" but I didn't know the trails enough to be truly scared....man it was brutal! Hot, exposed, steep, and rocky it made me second guess my surge. However, by the top I'd caught the leader! Coming down the hill I was 20 miles in and on a runner's high that would last for 10 miles!
The out and back was actually very pleasant and heading back around to Corner Canyon I flew. The trail the race used to take us down the hill was questionable at best but ultra to the core...rugged and no turns. I laughed knowing the smooth singe-track around me but bombed down the mountain. I was surprised by how down it was...as my quads were getting tired! I kept thinking that the finish was 1/2 mile away. Finishing was great and I was very pleased with my effort. 36 hours later I feel ready to run tomorrow! Considering how runnable Cascade Crest 100 is, I think this 34 miler (including my detour) was a perfect last long run. My official time was 5:21.30. Results here.
Considering the spider-web of trails, I thought the race was incredibly organized and a huge success. Thank you Troy, Troy, John, and all of the volunteers. I had a blast. Highly recommend this race. Not only is it great pre-fall 100 prep but its for a fellow ultrarunner and great guy.
Altra Superiors (our new lightweight trail shoe that releases late-Sept) They are incredible!
Drymax Max Pro socks
CEP compression sleeves
UltraSpire Revolution Pack- My new all-time favorite race hydration pack! I hate bladders so this pack is awesome for me. I use it with a 10 oz flask in the front pocket--heavily concentrated perpetuem.
Altra Run Better Tee- yes we now have shirts!
Pearl Go Shorts- I bought 4 pair when they discontinued them 4 years ago. They are still rockin.
2 servings of Hammer Perpetuem, 6 VI Endurance Gels, 12 Salt Sticks, a glass of coke, and a couple of banana's. Lots of water...
Corner Canyon Ultra Trail Run