30 May 2011

Grindin' it out at Pocatello

Photo: Jared Campbell

The short of it: Had an awesome road trip to Idaho with friends, met a lot of cool people, ran a SWEET course, legs were flat as a pancake for this one.

First, another STUNNING performance by Montrail teammate Young Money (8:17) who finished 1st and collected a cool $500 for his effort. Wouldn't it be nice to make $10 bucks and change for each mile you run in a race? Second, congrats to Zach Miller (8:24) and Mike Foote (8:40) on their IMPRESSIVE finishes and rounding out a SOLID podium. Third, well done Team Montrai! Alongside Dakota, Joelle Vaught (9:31) won the women's crown convincingly, over 90 minutes ahead of Hardrock champ Diana Finkel. Montrail athletes earned 4 of the top 10 spots: 1-Jones, 4-Burch, 7-Hart, 8-Vaught! Fourth, well done road trip team! Doug Newton (one of the toughest men on earth) ran 11:38! BTW he ran Jemez the weekend before in 11:19! Two of the toughest 50's in back to back weekends- not too shabby for an old man :) His wife Kirstin Nelson ran a strong race in the 20 miler. Last but not least, Fort Collins local Aaron Marks got the job done in 13:01 for his 3rd 50 mile finish! Did you know that the night before the race he UPGRADED from the 50K to the 53M...way to go big! Fifth, great to share stories/laugh/chat with: Evan H, Luke N, Christian J, Jeremy H, Jason H, Bryon P, Bill G, Paul G, and many others! Sixth, I would HIGHLY recommend this race to anyone looking for a stout 50M with a variety of terrain during a turbulent time of the year. If you like the tough and dirty mountain races like Lake City or Jemez- do this one! Hardrock champ and RD Jared Campbell has it dialed. Jared and his team have faced more weather related adversity and challenging decisions than most RD's might see in a decade. Bottom line- they put on a great event and are prepared for it all.

As for me, it wasn't my day. I led the first 6 miles or so with DJ Money one step behind. After my sunglasses fell off my hat for the second time (I then put them on for the rest of the day) I stepped aside and had DJ take the lead- and that he did! He was within eyesight for the next four miles as I knew it was going to be a grind. Sometimes the three week window between ultras works well, other times it backfires. Worked great for DJ, not so grand for this old man! On the knife ridge climb I was passed by Luke Nelson, Mike Foote, and Zach Miller. At the plateau top I passed them and began the descent to City Creek TH. I knew it wasn't my day when the downhills weren't keeping me in the race. A few miles before City Creek Zach passed me on the downs like I was standing still; he was charging hard after Dakota looking strong and focused! On the Barkleyesque climb up a stream drainage Luke and Mike passed me. I passed Luke a few miles later and could barely see Mike minutes ahead. The climb up Scout Mtn was fun. Charging through mud, water, rocks, and then a few miles of slushy snow to the Famous AS where Roch and Karl were keeping all the runners fed and happy. I downed a bunch of peanut butter filled pretzels and washed them down with about 6 dixie cups of chicken broth. A few miles down the trail I remembered that I am vegetarian this year...woops!
Although I didn't have the mojo I kept grindin' it out. Mentally I felt amazing, fueling was brilliant, just no pow or zip in the legs. This was a great character building race. I knew I gave it all I had on race day despite being out of the race for the podium with sluggish stumps. I pulled into the AS at 45.6 at 7:37 with 7.4 to go. I knew I was moving slow but really wanted to break 9 hours. Got some Cheetos and started plugging away. The theme of the day remained constant- it took me 1:24:32 to cross the line-93 seconds too long to get it done! Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the course and will come back for some redemption and run a time I know I'm capable of.

The proof is in the pudding:

Leg 1- 16.9M, 4500 ft. ascent, 2:34, 9:07/mile
Leg 2- 15.6M, 3600 ft. ascent, 2:40, 10:15/mile
Leg 3- 20.5M, 3900 ft. ascent, 3:47, 11:04/mile

Total- 53M, 12000 ft. ascent, 9:01, 10:13/mile

Not the race I wanted before WS. I took the last two days off from running. Starting tomorrow I have 25 days to rebound. Last time this happened was Hardrock 2009 where I DNF'd. This left me with some angst to race again so I signed up for the Leadville 50 that was 3 weeks later. I won it and set a then CR...gotta stay optimistic! Embrace the adversity...

On a side note I had a splendid time in the "banana peel" mud at Pocatello. The trail was "trench warfare" with each step!
Check out Jared Campbell's pics from the race.


  1. Ryan,
    Glad to hear I'm not the only one limpy after this one. The Gibson Jack mud sent me flying off trail- thankfuly there was a boulder to cushion my fall. Well it's 3 days later and I just barely survived a flat, 50 minute, 5 miler. I'm gonna follow your lead and go throw down a couple shots of Chicken Recovery Juice. EFS just started making it, it's called Poultragen. Nice chatting with you after the race. Hope to do it again sometime.

  2. Veggie no more! Solid run considering how you felt...hopefully things will be better in a few weeks ;)

    Just curious, what do you think in terms of order of difficulty: Jemez, Pocatello, and San Juan?

  3. You calling my son and "old man"??? Regards to Megs.

  4. Way to grind it out buddy. Sounds like it's time to break your alcohol abstinence as well!

  5. Jeremy- good to meet you as well! Multiple times I was glissading on the mud, how I stayed upright I do not know! Does the Poultragen give you wings?

    Pedatella- 1. San Juan. It's a toss up right now for me b/t Pocatello and Jemez. I need to run the true course at Pocatello to officially compare-it has another 1k of ascent and the last climb is the biggest. It also depends on how much snow is on the courses. In a dry scenario I still put Lake City on top.

    Joyce- old man is a term of endearment!

    Dylan- Megan got this really good mustard for us from the farmers market that has Jack Daniels in it. Am I off the wagon now?