Haulin' Aspen Trail Marathon
August 9th 2009
Awesome morning for a run in beautiful country. I was feeling good today given the summer of pounding I've subjected my body to in an effort to take my bowhunting to the next level. As of late, some runs and races are better than others depending on weekly mileage totals. Running through the timber of Oregon's high desert, today's marathon was challenging even though it was only the standard 26.2 mile distance. I say "only" not to minimize the challenge of a marathon (I have hurt in many a marathon), however, it is a far cry from the 100 and 50 mile races I have done this summer (5 marathons or ultras total so far). The race started at about 3,500 feet elevation and topped out at just over 6,000 feet, which of course added to the fun/difficultly. That 2,500 feet of climb all came during the first 14 miles of the race. Granted many western trail races have more climb, but today's was pretty hard for me as the sustained pace was quicker than in my typical, longer, slower ultra. Most of the race was on either on a rocky two track or winding single track. Lost of dirt!
I had a goal in my head to run hard, finish in the top 10 and even though the Haulin' Aspen run is a trail marathon with all that elevation gain run in rugged country, I wanted to beat the Boston Marathon qualifying standard for road marathons. For runners my age, the BQ time is 3 hours and 20 minutes. I didn't quite get that last goal, but I am still satisfied with the performance. I finished 5th overall in 3 hours and 22 minutes (7 minute 43 second miles), in a sold out race (the runner limit was maxed at 500 total for the full and half marathon). Also, there was some good competition as this race is part of the Trail Runner Trophy Series, which is certain to bring out some fast guys. And, as a bonus, before heading home we swung by Fleet Feet in Bend, where Sean Messiner, fresh off his Canadian Death Race win, is the manager. In addition to being an ultra running stud. I also rely on Sean for training guidance...he is one of the nicest most helpful people I have ever met. Swing by his shop next time you are in Bend.
Of course, no race, or training for a race is ever going to interfere with my shooting regiment....I shot 100 arrows before we left for Bend yesterday and shot 100 after getting home today. Does it get any better than practice in the backyard during the summer. I'll answer that...no sir, it does not. Man, I love bowhunting. Today's shooting gives me an even 1,000 arrows total for the week and I can say, without a doubt, I have never shot better. The AlphaMax is killin' it!!!!
Keep training hard fellas, we are on the home stretch now. Cam