Saturday was the Greenland Trails 50k, 25k and 8mile trail run in Larkspur, CO. The 50k served as the RRCA state championship race for Colorado. This course is fast. While very hilly with a high point of 7,400ft, there are no rocks, roots or really anything to trip on the entire way. I, however am not a fan of cinder and sand, which is all you run on here. For me, rocks take less mental energy then sand. But this course IS fast…RUN RUN RUN!! 🙂 It is a 4 loop course with the 1st and 4th loops being slightly longer then the middle 2. The whole thing is moving with the biggest climb maybe 1 mile of up coming before 3 miles of down. Repeat until finished. I like loops because I know whats coming. For Greenlands, that was a nice up for about 4 miles followed by an awesome down. On May 7,2011, it was also 15mph wind in your face for the ups and at your back for the down. I want to be clear that it was a rolly up. NOT a solid 4miles of up.
I woke up race morning feeling pretty good. After 3 weeks of training I could tell I was in good shape and super pumped to try to race an ultra again. My taper week went well and I could hardly hold back the excitement of RACING!
Also adding to my excitement was getting to run my first race as a sponsored athlete. The last month or so I have been talking to Champion about how much I love their gear. Now Champion is sending me gear and covering most of my running expenses. I get to give them feed back on products and help Champion improve it’s gear for ultra runners. But I can tell you quite honestly that I already LOVE Champion gear. Go back and look at pictures from Bandera and Nueces. I already race in Champion bottoms (A great fit and NO chaffing) and train in tops, tanks, capri’s…skirts. The best part of this deal for me is getting to support a line of gear that I already love! For Greenlands, I wore my favorite Champion skirt (PINK!) and top (PINK!). But they aren’t my favorite just for the looks (maybe that helps…). Those cloths are my favorite because they keep me chafe free and comfy for 50k plus!
And I loved all the gals on the course that voiced wanting to run in a pink skirt. Yeah, I’m girlie. Even though I like playing in the mud and running on trails and getting covered in dirt, I wanna feel girlie while I do it. 🙂
The 50k started at 8am. Right away my shins hurt from the cinder and sand under foot. Boo, I thought, but that’s what I had to run on so I pushed the negative thoughts away and ran. The wind was cruddy right off too. But again, I focused on how 15mph wind is nothing compared to what I’d been running in (So glad I toughed out those 35mph wind fartleck runs!) and just ran.
Over all, I felt good. My left hip was tight but good. My left foot ached but not bad and it never got worse (and feels 100% great today). I came through the 1st loop in 58mins. The second in 1:57 and the 3erd in 1:58. My plan was to run comfortably hard the 1st 2 loops, push the 3erd, and run as hard as I could for the 4th. Being I stayed on top of my nutrition (YES!), I was able to follow that plan and race well. My last loop was only 4mins slower then my 1st loop. With this course being shade free on a sunny day (about 70 degrees at noon) and having run the last few months in 34 degrees, I was nervous about hydration. But I did well!!
I finished in 4:03:33, 1st female and 5th finisher, knocking almost 20mins off the course record. WOO-HOO!!! It felt great. I love running. I love racing. Greenland Trail is beautiful and fun. The race director and volunteers all did an awesome job. A marvelous run and one I not only recommend but hope to do it again next year.
Here is a link to the official results.
Now I can’t wait to pick my next race. Maybe a marathon!