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Mt. Werner Classic 50k in Steamboat, CO – Race Report

August 5, 2012

6:02 for 16th overall, 6,300′ of gain, much of race at over 10,000′

Matt Wiencek, a marathoning veteran but ultra newbie, and I headed out to Steamboat Friday night, trudging through over 4 hours of un-air conditioned air and quite a stretch of bumper to bumper traffic.  Once we rolled into town, there was only time to down some food, catch a bit of Olympic coverage, and crash out.  We woke up to ideal race conditions – about 50 degrees and sunny at the start.

The race went just how both of us hoped it would.  The field of 60-some very fit looking runners quickly stretched out over the initial 7-mile, 3,500’+ climb, which brought us to over 10,000′, where we’d run most of the race.  There was everything you’d want in a mountain race:  single track cutting through huge stands of Aspens, then massive pines, with long views and scurrying critters.  And we avoided all the stuff that can make trail running less fun/more punishing/uncomfortable: cold water crossings, heat, rain, cold, overly-technical terrain.  Matt was able to share some good pictures and do a solid write-up with stats on his blog post you can check out if you’d like to see/read more about the day.  For the basics of the race, Matt’s Garmin readout gives a pretty close account of my day, as we finished just a handful of minutes apart.

In short, everything went right.  The only hard goal was to get through the day feeling good.  While I didn’t dawdle through aid stations and tried to be efficient throughout the race, I wasn’t exactly racing it.  Fortunately, no injuries, no real falls, no bonk, fairly even energy and effort, and a strong finish.  It was again a new milestone for most climbing in a single run – in fact, in just 31 miles there was about 85% (6,300′ vs. 7,400′) of the climbing that I’ll face over the entire 100-miler in October.  I ran pretty hard the last few miles to try to break into the top 15 – once my Garmin unbreaks itself (it conks out and doesn’t like to charge after long days) I’ll be curious to see (and post) my mile splits.

Matt was impressive, seemingly running more easily than me and still able to finish just after me in his first time ever running more than 28 miles.  We both felt so good, in fact, that we skipped the recovery night in Steamboat and just headed back to Boulder after the race.

The race was just another step in training so, though a bit sore today, I’ll be heading back out on the trails this afternoon for a couple hours to see how my legs respond.  Mentally, I’m all over it.  My body may or may not be too happy about it.

Splits:

1 11:32
2 13:05
3 13:51
4 11:23
5 13:46
6 11:27
7 10:07
8 17:00
9 15:24
10 13:22
11 12:04
12 11:05
13 10:42
14 12:18
15 10:20
16 10:23
17 12:41
18 12:25
19 11:08
20 12:06
21 14:02
22 11:27
23 11:33
24 9:53
25 10:15
26 9:34
27 11:32
28 12:00
29 10:34
30 8:20
31 7:30

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2 Comments
  1. Great job Mike. Imagine how much better you would have run had my AC been working and you weren’t so dehydrated 😉 Seriously, looking forward to another.

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  1. A Bear, Moose, Scott Jurek, and Me: A Wild Day in the High Country « Kind of Like Fun

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