It was that time of year again. The BTR fall group run otherwise known as the Basic Boulder Mountain Marathon. Last year, it sucked balls with a huge snow dump just days before. However, this year, I might say it was a tad hot for fall running. Looked like we would have a good showing even though a few of the usual suspects dropped out this week.
I picked up JV near a random Bear Peak trailhead because he was only doing part of the run. Being Twin Daddy now, he had duties back at home. But I knew this was just an excuse so he could blast us all early and not have to pay for it in the later hours of the run. I look over and dude is brushing his teeth. Apparently, GZ discovered this is a ritual of JV’s pre-event.
Arrived before most and started seeing friendly faces showing up. Tim came in and I nicknamed him Top New Mexican because of recent win down south. Not sure that title makes sense but it was kind of fun to say.
The big guns started to roll in shortly thereafter. For a non-event, this race had all the big names in ultra running on hand. Everybody was out. Its so amazing to live here and have all these guys just show up for a random Saturday run. Here we have Joe, Nick, JV, Dave, and Tony strategizing.
Scott J. showed up too. Good to finally meet him in the flesh. He was bitter because he thought everyone would show up in costume. So he went as “Old School Jurek”. Once he realized that nobody else was in costume, he started to worry that everyone would think he actually wears these clothes on purpose — still…in 2010.
A ton of other folks showed and I bet we had 50+ there ready to hit the trails together to celebrate! Its such a great event. The start is the only real gathering because things get spread out quickly.
Had a few random folks give me the “Are you Brandon?”. Always fun to hear about a new follow especially in the home town. So as we are standing there, shooting the shit, somebody yells “GO!” and people start moving out. In all the preparation, I had my pack still in the truck. So I went back to get it and ran into Geoff R. and Dakota J. who were also getting a late start. We ran up the roads together catching up and then hit the dirt. It was slow going at first. I was literally the last person in the train at this point. I was sort of comfortable with this given if I was up front, I would be burnt out by the top of Green.
Moved up through the pack as we went up Flagstaff. Came across Flagstaff Road and dropped to Ranger Trail. Saw the big lead pack up ahead but just wasn’t gaining ground on them. Took a pit stop and kept going. Green wasn’t great but I felt OK. Saw JV flying down the stairs as he had already tagged the summit and was headed to Bear Canyon. From there, a host of other people came by me and I gave them crap about not yielding to my uphill momentum because this is not a race. Nobody cared. Of course.
Was on top of Green for 10 seconds then motored down. Hit Bear Canyon and was feeling pretty good. Got out to Mesa, then we were told to hit Bluestem. Did that. Back on Mesa. At that point down there, I get kind of lost. All looks the same. We were supposed to tag the stone hut but I had cut across Towhee and saw the pack headed up Towhee. I made a quick turn onto Towhee and bailed on the stone hut. It was probably a mile out and back but I was more in the mood to catch the pack after my slow start.
I had felt great until now but Shadow Canyon sucked my energy up. That thing takes time so I just powerhiked up it. Probably was an hour or a bit less till I hit the SoBo summit. Just before that, I passed the group and told them the hunt was on. I climbed up a few rocks deep on SoBo before taking a quick pause to get my shirt off due to the heat and pop more food open. Then I was off to Bear. Not super fast over there. Saw the group on on the summit. Wanted to climb up the back but missed the ledge so had to do it from the front. Final summit of the day!
I looked down and saw the lead pack heading down the back of Bear towards Bear Canyon. WTF? We were supposed to go down Fern. I made the choice to follow as I was in hot pursuit and it would be more fun to run in with them. So I followed and was moving good but couldn’t find them. I went back via Bear Canyon and they went back up Bear-Green for one last twist of the knife. Oh well. I made my way back via Mesa to Chautauqua and to the start.
Some folks had already arrived. Some had taken a shorter route. I grabbed some beer, kicked off my shoes, and chatted it up with tons of great folks. Talked with Tony, Nick C., Nick P., Joe, and many more. Met some new folks. Saw some folks that I had run near before like Darcy. Fun to just hang out with so much talent and generally nice folks.
Overall, I felt like I got out of the day what I wanted. A 4.5 hour adventure to get me ready for North Face. I am bad at getting those long long runs in so its nice to have an excuse and get a pass from Kim to spend the day running like that. My MT101s had me sore by the end of the day which was a test to see if I would take them to North Face. Don’t think I will now. Felt pretty decent all day which was good. Tired (not a bonk) on Shadow but that is a bitch. After that, I got my usual 3 hour 2nd wind and felt really good. Got tired again on Mesa coming back but I was sort needing an aid station with some better fuels vs. this self-supported stuff.
It was fun to see everyone out and I wish I could have run with the group more. They weren’t pushing the pace and were generally hanging on the summits for a bit, but it gave me something to hunt all day and that was pretty cool.
See you next year!
I went 20.77 miles with an elevation gain of 6,533 feet in 04:37:29, which is an average pace of 13:21. View my GPS data on Garmin Connect.