This past holiday weekend Ashley, Braden, and I drove up to Laramie Wyoming to spend the Memorial Day weekend camping and running. The goal was to have a great little vacation and I was to run the Wyoming Marathon on Sunday.
We left Denver Saturday morning to drive up there and set up camp. We found a great location right around the turn around for the marathon, it was called Vedauwoo Rocks just off of I-80. Here is the link for more information on this area: http://www.vedauwoo.org/intro.htm I would recommend it for a short weekend get away. There are some cool things to see around here.
This was a great location to set up the 8 person tent and make a home camp. It was right next to a bunch of really cool rock formations and beaver ponds. With camp set up the next thing on my mind was eating a good dinner of salmon and veggies while getting ready for the marathon tomorrow.
After not finishing the 50 in Buena Vista 2 weeks ago I was going to try and do the 52.4 mile double marathon but decided that it was not a good idea with Squaw Peak 50 coming up in 2 weeks. It was better to run the marathon as my last training run for Squaw Peak. I kept telling myself all week leading up to the race, "It is a training run, it is a training run." Hopefully it will sink in. As I was getting ready I discovered that I had forgot my gels and race fuel at home. Tomorrow is indeed going to be an interesting day.
Before I get into my report to much here is a little bit about the race itself.
Hilly out and back on mostly dirt and gravel roads (100% for the Half and 77% for the Marathon) in Medicine Bow National Forest. Begins at 8,700 feet and drops to 8,000 feet at the turn around. Please see the course profile and map below.
You would read this profile left to right for the 1st 13.1 miles and then right to left for the second half of the race. It ends on a big climb which was a bitch.
Was 30-50 degrees with constant wind of 20 mph and some stronger gust to deal with.
I had a really hard time getting out of bed on race morning to go. Ashley had to basically kick me out of bed and make me go. I was a complete ass to her, I kept say I don't want to get up, I am going to skip the race, ect.... She kept after me and I finally got my butt out of bed. Thanks Ash for making me get up!
We drove over to the start line about 10 miles away to get checked in and ready to go. We arrived there around 5:45am for the 6am start. It was a cold morning and I decided to wear running tights with long sleeve shirt and my GoLite jacket. I also had on gloves and a fleece stocking cap which I would take off later.
The first 6 miles were pretty much uneventful as I just went on auto pilot and ran along. I took off my jacket and gave to Ashley as I hit the paved part of the course.
This part of the course from about 6 miles to 10 miles is the worse part of the whole thing. We had to run about 4 miles down the frontage road to I-80. There is nothing out there to block the wind and was hilly, it was just brutal. At about the 10 mile mark we jump back to the other side of I-80 and head towards the turn around and our home camp. Up to this point, all that I have had is water and half a cookie that I got at an aid station. After turning around at 1:53 I stopped at home camp and made a bottle of Heed and got some candy and a fruit leather. From this point to the finish this and some more water is all I took in. Needless to say when I hit the last big uphill to the finish in the course profile above I did some walking for I ran out of energy and the legs were heavy.
On the way back to the finish I decided that I also needed to slow down and this was a training run. I went with a 10 min run/ 2 min walking plan so that I would slow down a bit and feel ok when I was done. Doing this I ended up passing about 4-5 people while still feeling good and relaxed. It was a great way to get through the brutal frontage road section on the way back.
Even with the run/walk plan and the walking that I did on the final 3 miles up to the finish I still finished in 4:09 for 8th place overall in the marathon. Not a bad training run if you ask me. Results: http://results.active.com/pages/page.jsp?eventID=1488061&pubID=3
After the race we drove the course and cheered on the 50 milers. We saw some amazing people do some amazing things. I think that both Ashley and I learned a lot this past weekend. Here is a race report from Jamie who got second overall in the 50 miler. It is a great read. http://altitudeultrarunner.blogspot.com/2008/05/rocky-mountain-double-race-report.html
Well if you ever get the chance to go up there for a race it was a great experience.
Here is the link to the race website: http://www.angelfire.com/wy2/marathon/