If you’re lucky enough to be in the mountains, you’re lucky enough!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Good Times at the Greenland 25k

We headed out early this morning to the Greenland 25k trail race that we've had on the schedule for quite a while.  This year's event sold out about two months ahead of race day, so all 550 runners had been watching May 1 for a long time.  We even got a nice, functional tech shirt again this year.
Last weeks enormous snowstorm left a nice little surprise of over 1 foot of snow on Greenland, and the weather this week was not conducive to speedy melting.  We were bracing ourselves all week for atrocious weather conditions but were pleasantly surprised to awaken with clear skies, albeit a bit on the cool side - this would be a good thing, keep reading...  Bonus #2 came when we arrived at Greenland Open Space and there was no gale force wind, as there was last year.  Sweet!  Just look at the view....
Got to meet up with fellow Colorado blogger Ace before the race started.  He was running the 50k for his first ultramarathon - cool!  We knew we could find him easily, being the Brooks ambassador that he is, but he actually spotted us first.  I met him for the first time at the Winter Series III race, but Kathleen had not yet met him so that was fun.  We had also been watching for Jonathan and Tammy, who we met in person for the first time last night when we picked up packets at Colorado Running.  They were also doing their first 50k - awesome for them as well.  Unfortunately, we did not get to see them until out on course, so no photo this time!

So, start of the race was sunny, about 36 degrees, and not much wind.  The overnight cold was a blessing as most of the mud was still a bit on the frozen/crusty side for lap 1.  (8 mile = 1 lap, 25k = 2 laps, 50k = 4 laps)  We were a bit pushed on time after the eternal wait in porta potty line and had to scratch and claw our way toward the front of the start area.  Although the race started on a dirt two-track, wading through 550 people at the start of the race can be a drag.  First lap went great, with the aforementioned mostly frozen mud being greatly appreciated.  After the first couple miles, it thinned out pretty well and we got to settle into a pace with not too many folks around.  I was a bit in front of Kathleen, but she was keeping a nice pace and had found a small group (including Jonathan) to pace with.  First lap - good run, no issues.  Good.

As is the case with the strong sun/UV at altitude, lap 2 started to present some significant mud issue.  That really was not appreciated by tired legs, but everyone had to run on the same stuff, so just adapt and move forward.  Last year, the wheels came off for me on lap 2 - I was really hoping not to have that happen again.  Hit my gels and S-caps on schedule, as did Kathleen, and it worked pretty well for us.  Felt good most of the way, even with the mud slogging, with just a wee bit of crampiness coming on to the calves on the drop off the saddle after the big climb. The calf crampiness hit Kathleen there too.  Maybe a little dehydrated going into the day? Not sure, but with only a couple miles, we managed. 

I stopped the clock (unofficially - results not posted yet) at 2:10:03 UPDATE: official time posted at 2:10:06 for 24th of 184 overall, which peeled 3:30 off my mark from last year.  2:10 was my target, so that was good!  2:05 was super-wish list, but was not happening today.  Course came to 15.62 on the GPS with 1600' climb, so that put the pace at 8:20/mile.  Not bad - I was happy with that.  New 25k PR.  BTW, the Dirty Girl Gaiters were awesome for keeping rocks out of the shoes with the tacky soil and, as always, the Drymax socks were perfect!
Kathleen came in at 2:15:30 2:15:32 - good for 3rd in her age group and 36 out of 184, 6th overall woman!!!  So 3 of the top 6 in her age group!  That works out to 8:40/mile pace - awesome. Her goal had been 2:12ish for a good day and 2:15 for a decent day.  I guess it was decent. Photo above is her getting her award.  First ever 25k for Kathleen and her longest race to date - so a PR for her as well :-)  And she got lots of comments for the pink leopard gaiters - she said she "sold" over a dozen pairs!
The age group award was a cool ceramic tile "coaster" with a photo from the start of last year's race on it.  Very nice!

It ended up being a great day for us - both happy with the results but also knowing that there are still things we can improve on for future races.  

Shoes - K Asics 2150 Trail
S - LaSportiva Wildcat


ajh said...

Congratulations! I love that coaster. What a good idea for a different prize. I did search your blog for Summer Roundup and enjoyed reading the posts. (I didn't even know you could do that.) I am looking forward to seeing and running in Colorado!

Anonymous said...

Gcongrats to both of you!

Jennifer said...

Sounds like a seriously fun race! You two did super well! Sometimes I really miss mountains...Cheers!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Yay for a great race for both of you - PR's and 3rd in AG (& 6th woman)! I noticed the cute gaiters! (I'm thinking of trying S-caps, too.)

Since we just went on a hike with a 1000' climb, that 1600' on a run sounds really tough! Great job!

GZ said...

Congrats. Good stuff for early in the season!

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

Awesome! What a great day of running for both of you. I was really jealous with the pics and the temps, etc. until you made it to the mud part. I'm a sissy! Kathleen - pr - woo hoo. congrats on the new race distance.

T Z said...

Amazing, you two!! We need to get you down here to run one of our races. Lower altitude and your speed--should earn you a win.

I like the pink gaiters--might have to add a pair.

Anonymous said...

Well done guys!! We almost didn't get there in time! Had to run back home, and got there 5 min. before the start!
We had a blast! The weather could not have been better!! What a gift it was for the day :)

Iris said...

Congratulations on the PR's! Love the gaiters too. K - how do you like the 2150's?

Julie said...

Hi guys,
Congrats to both of you!! What a great race report filled with awesome pictures:) Kathleen, way to take third for your age group...Woo hoo!! Both of you had excellent times for trail running..you rocked it!

Average A said...

Wow, congrats to the both of you! Those are amazing times, especially considering the conditions! You two are such inspirations -- so awesome! Aside from having fun, PRs are always nice too, huh?!

Kathleen -- what brand of running skirts do you wear?

Enjoy your week!

Meg said...

What a gorgeous day for racing! You both looked like you had fun, nice job!
Congrats K, how fun! You did so well and even won a fun award! The coaster is great too. Did the gaiters match your skirt? Just askin'!

Jill said...

Congratulations you guys, those are both great times, you did awesome!!! I just got a race report from my friend that did the 59K (he said he placed 7th overall) and it sounded like an awesome run. I will have to think about next year and sign up early since it's so popular. Love the coaster award, hang that one with pride!!
Gotta love the next few days of warmth in Colorado, enjoy it!! :)

Ace said...

So great to meet you Mrs. HT! Also grats to both of you on outstanding races! That was some beautiful country to be running in!

Slomohusky said...

Little late in reading and commenting - very sorry for that!

First congrats to both especially Kathleen of her overall finish. Glad the mud did not keep you from bettering last year. Great effort to both of you.

Fun meeting fellow blogger as well. I was able to do that for the first time at the OC Half Marathon in California this past weekend. Fun world we live in!

Tara said...

How in the heck did I miss this post!!??!!

Congrats to you both! Great time for your PR and the 3rd in AG!

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