|2012 Quad Rock 50
This year, I decided to run the 25 mile option. I set some pretty lofty time goals for the race, with a hard C goal cut-off of running under 5 hours. Mostly though, I just wanted to run as hard as I could, not blow up, and have a great time. Lindsay and I got to the race start right around 4:50AM, got our bibs, stashed our drop bags for the finish line, and generally milled around waiting for the 5:30 start.
|2013 Race Start
Photo by: Michael Hodges
Coming in to Horsetooth Aid, I saw Rob Erskine straight off, being basically completely awesome in his role as aid station captain. Even more awesome, though, was the cooler parked on the bench next to him, marked "Liddle/Wilburn" and filled with bite-sized snickers bars, icy cans of coke and coconut water. I snagged a handful of snickers and stuffed them in my pack, downed a few mouthfuls of a coke and took off again, up the 2 mile climb to the Westridge junction.
|Mile 19 or so, heading up Howard. Photo by Erin Bibeau
Cruising down Mill Creek, I caught up with, and passed, a couple of runners I knew. Kristel caught up behind me, and shouted forward that I'd better stay ahead of her. I found another gear and picked up the pace a bit. Crossing one of the gushing springs that had popped up after weeks of rain and snow, I passed by two men who were limping along pretty badly, waiting for some crew to come and help them out of the course. The course crosses over from Horsetooth Open Space into Lory State Park and turned down the Mill Creek Link towards the Arthur's trailhead, and I approached the Arthur's AS at mile 18 or so to find Mindy hiking up to help the guys I'd passed. It was so wonderful to see her, and to hear her encouragement that I was in a "really really good place, keep running hard!"
|Running down Mill Creek towards Arthur's AS.
Photo by: Michael Hodges
|Finishing. Photo by: Shannon Price
I spent the rest of the day gorging on the delicious food at the post-race barbecue, and drinking Mountain Lightning. I finally made my way over to the Arthur's Aid Station around 3PM to help out, just in time to see most of my favorite Fort Collins and Boulder runners finishing up the 50 miler! It was great to have a chance to cheer people on and bask in the race atmosphere without still running. I know quite a few of them didn't have the races they'd hoped for, but despite that, they all were moving well and looking strong (despite a few good-natured flip-offs at the news that they were still 2.5 miles to the finish).
A huge thanks needs to go to Pete and Nick for putting on such a great event, as well as one to all of the incredible volunteers out on the course and in the shadows for helping things to go so smoothly. And with that, bring on the next few months of training for my first 100!