I got back home in from Badwater at the crack of dawn on Monday. It was nice to be home and I couldn't wait to dig my feet down deep the sand during a couple of long beach runs. As I ran plans of my next adventure began to develop?
Luna Sandals was exhibiting at the Outdoor Retail expo the following week Utah and I had a bunch of friends running in the Speed Goat 50k that Saturday. Maybe it was time for a road trip?
I hadn't expected to run in the Speed Goat 50k. but then a free entry fell into my lap Wednesday afternoon how could I resist?
Early Thursday morning I was on the road to Utah but first I had to get some fuel
Stop #1 the Stone Brewery Escondido California. I think I had more good beer in the trunk of my car than the entire state of Utah.
Las Vegas because everybody know Vegas is the best place to get vegan donuts.
After driving all day and well into the night I was finally made it to Salt Lake City
There sure are a lot of white people here!
I had drove straight to Roy Utah a suburb about 30 miles past SLC just in time to have a great late night vegan curry with friends Shawn, Scott and Stephanie who would be running Speed Goat with me less than 36 hours later.
We spent the next day playing Disc golf tubing down a river and jumping out of trees. Perfect cross training for running an Ultra Right?
What exactly is the Speed Goat 50k anyway?
I knew it had an elite field but honestly I knew almost nothing about the race or the course, other than?
That the race director Karl Meltzer was a cool guy with a great taste in beer.
For a dude that runs on the beach everyday that's some series elevation!
What had I gotten myself into? When I climb on the roof to put up X-mas lights I get light headed and now here I was on the precipitous of climbing 11,000 feet over 31 miles.
You never know what's gone happen unless you try. I wasn't there to race nor was I there to kill myself. I wanted to see how my body would react at altitude. The Leadville 100 was 3 weeks away and although I wasn't registered for the event I had my sights on sneaking in somehow.
Friday night before the race I found myself at some swanky ski lodge located a few hundred feet from the starting line.
The Hotel room even had it's own red light district. Weird but kind of cool.
If you look closely you can see a moose in the background!
(you don't see those at the beach.)
Time to Run
Normally I like to line up near the front but this was a pretty stacked field. I had nothing to prove and had I lined up in front I would have only proved how much I suck at elevation.
I had thought the first 8 miles would be straight up the mountain but it turned out to be a series of steep climbs separated by by a few drops. I was hoping hoping to run the whole thing but I found myself hiking much of it.
This was the first race I have ever been to where I saw someone using trekking poles. No big deal right? Wrong!
It's pretty scary shit to a dude in sandals
Please do not watch this video
With each step flailing poles attempted to lacerate my toes as if I were some crazy masochistic Japanese game show.
Well since I don't many pictures of me racing. Unlike my performance in the race I'm gonna pick up the pace of this race report.
After the first climb I ran mostly down to the halfway point. I think I got there around 3:10 or 3:30.
I had envisioned running a negative split to the finish line.
My fantasy world was way off the mark. The elevation was taking it's toll on my ability to push hard plus the climbs during the second half were pretty brutal. I didn't feel sick or dizzy just slow and lethargic.
It wasn't until the last 4 miles downhill that I really felt good but I think most people feel that way when they can smell the finish line.
Photo Courtesy of Hoka
It was easily the toughest 50k I had ever ran, probably tougher than most 50 milers I have ran . Other than the fact the I suck at elevation, steep inclines and steep declines I ran a pretty solid race. On that 300' flat tunnel through the mountain I was amazing! On the other 163,380' not so much.
I finished feeling strong with no aches or pains and my Luna Oso sandals were more than adequate for the terrain.
The course was beautiful and very well marked and I would highly recommend it to anybody looking for a challenging short course. Thank you to Karl Meltzer for putting on such a great event.
Time to watch my friends finish Good Job Scott!
Good times, Good Friends! What else could I ask for?
Perhaps a giant check?
Maybe next year