Greendland 50k, err 45k, Race Report
Early Saturday morning I ventured down to Larkspur, CO with a couple of my Boulder Track Club M.U.T teammates for the Greenland Trail Races. Susie was kind enough to offer and drive me and Tony, who is just getting back to running after impaling his leg on a tree limb during a trail run back in March. We enjoyed good conversation making for a rather short drive down I-25.
After a quick stop at packet pick-up we rolled out for a brief warm-up jog to get the blood flowing. Air temp was brisk in the upper 30s, but plenty of sunshine and lack of wind provided good running conditions.
I lined myself up near the front alongside Peter Maksimow (Inov-8 trail running team) who holds the course record and winner the previous two years figuring he would be a great guy to key off throughout the race.
Every trail race has its own nuances relative to terrain, elevation gain, technical difficulty, etc. and this course had the unique twist of completing four loops over gently rolling terrain with one sustained climb at the south end of the loop. Mind you by the fourth loop these rollers and single climb seemed a bit monstrous. Additionally we were quite frequently having to go off trail and run around/pass other runners competing in both the 8 mile and 25k races. All good fun and made it easy to dial in the effort.
Within the first mile I found myself running off the front with Peter and Dennis, a guy from Breckenridge. As we made our way through the first loop exchanging pleasant conversation I noted Dennis seemed to struggle a bit on the uphill sections and run fast on the downhills. Upon reaching the turn-around Dennis had to stop for some fuel which allowed me and Peter to open a gap on him and put us out front running stride for stride.
Over the next couple of laps Peter and I continued small talk while maintaining a very steady pace under his course record from 2012 completing each loop in 49-50′. We took turns leading and both seemed to stay on top of our fueling and hydration. As we finished the 3rd loop and ventured out for the bell lap I was feeling decent and looking forward to how this race might shake itself out. Peter pressed the pace a bit with some surges and I was able to cover them through 45k. At this point the wheels came off as my stabilizers seized and no longer did I feel so hot. My hip flexors and IT bands felt like steel rods connected to giant cinder blocks on my feet. I suddenly had the urge to pee and well, did just that on the go, as often happens in the course of an Ironman. I kept urging my legs to keep moving as the gap increased to Peter and saw the potential for another 50k win run away from me. As I looked at my watch and knowing how much ground I still had to cover I began to adjust the goals. The final 5k seemed endless and definitely hurt as I jogged to the finish in a mass of seized up muscle groups, ligaments & tendons. With my teammates cheering me through the finish chute I was stoked to finally stop running, crossing the line in 3:25.
Big congrats to Susie who rocked her first 25k and taking 3rd female overall and big thanks to Tony who, in his words, was there simply for a jog and to support us. It was a privilege to sport my Boulder Track Club kit at a local race and share the experience with a couple of teammates. At the end of the day it’s all about having fun within community.
Thanks to Derek Griffiths, race director, and his hard working core of volunteers. A special shout out to the DJ rocking the remixes at the finish line!
Keep it smooth,