Started at the summit of Mt. Lemmon.
About 20 or so people were there - about like last year. Here is Ott giving the pre-race briefing:
Distance: 6.18 miles (the race was really 6, but my Garmin calculated 6.18) You could choose a shorter 4 mile option, if you wanted to.
Time: 1:33 - I was 8th out of 16 people doing the 6 mile (long) course.
Cumulative elevation gain/(loss): 2,070/(2,105) feet
This race is tough. All downhill the first three miles, all uphill the last 3 miles. It goes down Meadow/Lemmon trails, then turns right onto the Sutherland/Samaniego trails. It was an out and back course. I don't know why I look so dang happy - the worst is still ahead - the uphill!
Lots of hiking on the uphill. It sure is pretty, though! Guess that is why I've done it two years in a row...
I thought it was a success! It was Ott's first race of the series since he took it over from Blue Pants Racing. Ott was very organized, friendly, and had tons of great food! I had some of his mini bagels with turkey breast, but he also had apples, bananas, peanut butter, cookies, raisins, craisins, even FRS chews! Anyone who knows me, knows I am impressed by spreads of food!
After I stuffed some food in me, I loaded up my pack with more water and headed out for more. I ran 'my loop' - Radio Ridge to Aspen Draw trail to Turkey Run Rd. to Carter Canyon Rd. (in Summerhaven) to Mint Springs trail to Upper Aspen trail first. Then, I crossed Radio Ridge again, and went back to the truck at the summit. I was very nauseated for more than half of that loop (which is about 7 miles RT from the summit). Mint Springs and Upper Aspen trails are fairly exposed and I got pretty overheated. The landscape is pretty barren in spots - lots of dead, downed trees. However, the baby pine trees are growing fast now! The forest won't be reborn in my lifetime, but it gives me hope when I see the forest starting to return. Nature doesn't give up. Here I am cooking on the Mint Springs trail: I wasn't sure if I was going to do more. I drank some Perpetuem and felt pretty good, so I resupplied, and headed back out.
This time, I just did an out and back of the Aspen Draw and Turkey Run Rd. Needed some SHADE. I was pretty slow coming back up to the summit. It is pretty hard to end a long run with an extended uphill portion. I made it back to the summit, exhausted! That little out and back was about 5.5 miles.
Total distance, including race: 18.1 miles
Total cumulative elevation gain/(loss), including race: 7,707/(7,666) feet
Total time out, including race, not counting break after race or resupply time at truck: 4:53.
Overall pace: 16:12 Seems pretty slow, until you factor in the elevation and trail terrain (bushwacking, hello!) There are a lot of runnable portions on those trails, so I run when I can. However, a lot of hiking going on with the uphills. I try to hike as fast as I can. I feel like I'm getting better.
Not sure why I felt sick in the middle of the run - I think it was the elevation. I've been starting my runs in Summerhaven and going up. This run started at 9,100 feet and headed down. Who knows. (Maybe I ate too many FRS chews? Yummy!)
No, that's not all tan - that's dirt (and lots of little scratches...):
Next week: Cat Foot Racing Summer Trail Series Race #2 in the Tortolita mountains. It really is pretty out there - check it out. We are starting earlier - at 6:30am - to beat the heat. Come join us!