Saturday, April 11, 2009

Chasing Buffaloes

Here's a quick recap on the Buffalo Run 50 miler from 2 weeks ago.  In the weeks leading up to the race I had set a pre-race goal of going under 7:30, which would be about ~12 mins faster than last year.  As I stood on the start line I thought about my plan to start conservatively, then run a strong second half of the race.  At 6am Jim Skaggs sent us on our way and I left my plan on the start line.

Near the finish line

One of  the big differences this year from last was the addition of some speedsters.  Hiroki Ishikawa brought a contingent from Japan, Tim Long and Nick Pedatella came over from Colorado, along with defending two-time champ Erik Storheim and a few more local guys made for the deepest field this race has seen yet.  This was one of the reasons I decided to throw away the plan and just run.  I figured this was a good race that I could test my limits on without compromising a finish.  Erik has a great report that covers much of my race so I'm not going to rehash the same thing.  The only difference is that I started to slow down a little sooner than Erik did and continued to slow throughout the race.  I ate a little more food than I'm used to consuming during a race and I ran a bit faster than I normally would for a 50 miler.  This equated to a gut full of food that I was unable to digest because I wouldn't slow down.  Well, eventually my muscles grew hungry enough that I was forced to slow down and let some of that food digest, funny how that works.

I ended up in 7th overall with a time of 7.45.  I 3 minutes slower and dropped 5 places from last year but I wasn't disappointed in the slightest.  I laid it on the line and paid the consequences but I learned a lot in the process.  Hopefully I can apply some of this knowledge to some bigger goals I have later in the season.  One of the highlights of the race for me was meeting and running with Hiroki, all around nice guy with a great attitude.  Kudos to Jim Skaggs and his crew for putting on a great race, now the largest trail running event in Utah!

Peter (8th), Hiroki (2nd), myself (7th), and Erik (3rd)

The week following the Buffalo Run was the Hell of the North bike race that I put on every year.  All week long it snowed causing fewer riders than normal to pre-register for the race.  The day of the race I woke up to a combination of snow and rain.  By the time I sent off the first group there was a cold north wind blowing into their faces as they rode across the dirt/mud section of the circuit.  Of course the weather affected the turnout on the day of the race as well and altogether 152 racers showed up compared to 200+ in prior two years.  Greg was out shooting photos for much of the afternoon and captured some really great shots of the tough racers, check 'em out, they turned out really well, especially considering it was his first time shooting a bike race.

Since then I've been busy with school tests, work, getting kids to gymnastics and track and of course running.  Up next is the BSTM (should be good one this year), then the Granduer Fun Run double, followed by Squaw Peak and hopefully Hardrock.