I ran this race last year when my friend Bill Briggs was the race director. I enjoyed it a lot and like helping out the cause. This year Sheri joined me and we found a big turnout for the race - there were 356 finishers!. I knew lots of people at the race and enjoyed seeing them all. We saw Amy Manson, whoíd run 24:06, good enough for 4th place. Her husband Pat was a world-class pole vaulter and is now attacking the climbing world. These two are elite athletes and their kids are going to conquer the world.
Also there was Tim Lim and his SO Kim. Tim did the TTT the previous day with me. I remember passing him around the two-mile mark in last yearís race and I hoped to keep up with him this year as well. Stephen Mershel and his wife Jen were also both at the race. In the middle of Stephenís final kick to the finish he recognizes me on the side of the course and yells out, ďHi, Bill!Ē Clearly he was taking it pretty casually. Local running writer and racer, Mike Sandrock was there and would write a piece for the Boulder Camera the next morning. Rich Sandoval, another one of my frequent road racing competitors, was there as well.
The gun went off and the crowd surged down the dirt road, heading east. Sheri was just ahead of me initially, but when I noticed Tim up ahead, I picked up the pace to follow him and Sheri tucked in behind me. I could Sandrock already far ahead and stretching it out. Heíd run around 24 flat and crush me. Before we hit the first mile mark, Sandoval went by me as well. We hit the first mile in 5:44 and I knew that was too fast, even for a downhill mile. I eased up a bit and let Tim open an even larger gap. A number of other runners went by me here, but Sheri stayed with me.
Our friend Lance Denning was along the course and cheered us on and I noticed Bill Briggs out helping with the race and I slapped him a high five as I went by. We turned into the neighborhood and soon approached the only aid station, at the two-mile mark. I passed this at 12 minutes even. As Sheri pulled off to pick up a quick cup of water, I started to make my move towards Tim. The rest of the course is gradually uphill all the way back to the start and this should be where I run a few people down.
Sure enough, soon I had passed Tim and another guy and was closing on others. I passed Don Tubbs here as well, but didnít recognize him. The third mile was marked horribly wrong. When I passed it and saw 16 minutes on my watch, I knew it was way off. If it wasnít, I had just run my first 4-minute mile! I knew Iíd be running for at least 25 minutes and concentrated on that. Each minute seemed to take forever to pass. My heartrate climbed with the effort, from the low 170ís to the high 170ís.
With less than a mile to go, I caught a group of three guys and two females. The girls would end up placing 8th and 9th for the women. One of the guys was Sandoval and another was a young kid. As I pulled up to this group, they all raised their game. Rich wouldnít let me go by, as he increased his pace. The two women were duking it out. The kid took the lead, then I did, then one of the women. It was probably the most exciting, most fun racing Iíve ever done. Everyone was giving what they had, hurting, hoping to break the others and get a gap. My heart rate went from 179 to 180 to 181, 182, 183! I couldnít go any faster and hoped to be with the group at the finish, where Iíd try to out kick them.
Attrition was taking its toll. One of the females had led us onto the dirt with about 600 meters to go, but the others had fallen back. Once on the dirt, the young kid could smell the finish and he took the lead. I matched him. Side by side, we hammered toward the finish, hurting badly. I couldnít do any longer and knew I had energy for maybe a 100-meter kick. I wondered if the young kid would have the greater speed. With 200 meters to go, the kid fell back a bit and I figured he was moving in behind me to draft and wait to out kick me, but, no, he had broken and started to fall back. I had 15 meters on him with 100 meters to go and I looked over my shoulder a number of times to monitor his position. I kicked with 100 meters to go to ensure he wouldnít catch me. I had one more gear, but thankfully didnít need to use it. My heart rate had to hit 185 by the time I finished.
I finished in 25:44, good enough for 30th place, 23rd male to finish. Sheri finished as the 10th female in around 26:15. I was 6th in my age group and Sheri was a remarkable 7th! Nearly everyone in front of her was in her age group. On the run into the finish, our boys were cheering us on. That was cool. Afterwards the boys went swimming in the Eldorado pool, mainly going down the big slide. I took in the cold water and soaked my legs. Sheri went for a cool down.
This is fun race. They had lots of good food at the end, as well. We stayed until around 8:30 p.m. and then headed home, having not won anything at the raffle. Oh well, we won stuff last year. Complete results will eventually be posted here and they can currently be found on the Boulder Road Runners site.
The next morning I met Hardly at 5:30 a.m. back in Eldorado Springs. This time it was climbing, not running that lured me here. Our plan was to climb Suparete (11a/b) to the first two pitches of Super Slab (11a, 5.7) and finished with Artís Spar (11a). Hardly did all the heavy lifting and I got my spanking on the benign end of the rope. Hardly cruised everything, making it all look easy. I fell off Suparete twice and hung a couple of times on the wildly overhanging Artís Spar. Iím still getting my fingers back in shape.
We were back at the car by 8:30 a.m. and I was out of shower before 9 a.m. Then Daniel and I headed off to work. YMCA is out of session and his school hasnít started yet, so heís been coming to work with me. Heís really good there. He reads his book, surfs the net, and wallops me in Foosball.
Photo 1: Sheri and Derek bike to work (and daycare) on Thursday (Bike Day)
Photo 2: Daniel hard at work at my office. I think he's playing a SpongeBob game.
Photo 3: Daniel toasting a bagel for lunch. Apparently, he's pretty anxious for that bagel...