The tradition continues. Another night run in the books! Kim and I opened up our home to runners seeking to compete in the Leadville Trail 100 in two weeks for a final preparation run. We run from Fish Hatchery along the course until we intersect with my house. Then we treat the runners to a warm home and a buffet of food. We had a smaller group this year which worked out well. We stayed a lot tighter the prior years.
People always arrive and we have time to chat and get to know each other. This year, we were able to setup a fire and bond around that.
Before getting started, I always have an increasing longer speech to give. My pre-run briefing if you will. Most people know it all but there are always some that say “I have never been on this part of the course before”. Its for them. But even the veterans get lost every year.
The run starts at 8 PM under daylight but quickly darken as we near the summit of Sugarloaf at around mile 80 of the race. From there, we descend down into the colder part of the course in the dark. Luckily George Zack once again supplied us with an aid station at Timberline Trailhead. This makes for an excellent refueling option mid-run. Thanks to him for his continued support of this event.
From there, its around the lake we go. Always taking longer than you feel like it should. But we had clear skies and the crescent moon lighting our way. Temps were down into the 30s by the time we reached the Boulevard. The hard core in the group continued that way to do the full course. We had everyone successfully back inside the house at 1 AM. Lots of banter about the run and upcoming race.
Thanks to everyone for coming out. I feel like this event is always a milestone to signify the end of big training for the race. And its a pleasure to share the trail in a non-competitive setting with friends, new and old. Much thanks to my wife for allowing a bunch of sweaty strangers into our home and then feeding them. I couldn’t do the event without Kim’s support.
Personal note – Its hard to tell year to year where I stand with the night run based on time. I am always helping and chatting with other runners and the watch doesn’t always stop. What I can say is that was the most effortless I ran that route in the history of running it. It felt good.