Monday, September 17, 2012

Devils Thumb Trail Race 2012

Jon, Steven and I after the race
In what is fast becoming an annual tradition, I ran the Devils Thumb Trail race for the second consecutive year yesterday.  As usual, it was beautiful conditions, just like last year, so everyone was pretty excited to run.  Jon Euwema and Steven Busch came up for this race, which goes to show how old I am getting.  I coached both of these guys, with Jon graduating HS in 2004 and Steven in 2007.  Both of them have graduated college, and are now members of the "real world", but they both still train a lot and they are both still very fast.

How fast?  Well, Steven was fast enough to get the win, by a sizable margin, and Jon ran into the top 25% of finishers quite easily.  I was pleased with myself, as I hung on for 9th place overall, even though I took a pretty brutal fall coming down the backside of Marker Hill.  You can check out the official results here.

The race was longer than last year, which surprised almost all of us at the start line.  We were expecting a 12 km race, with one major hill.  At the start line, the buzz was that it was going to be a 10 km race, with one major hill.  Based on that information, I changed into my lighter road race shoes last minute.  (That was a mistake, as evidenced by my legs feeling like they had been punched 1,000,000 times by the time I finished.)  In reality, the race followed the course map that was published, but it was 13 km long as well as having two major hills.  I am not complaining, however, I loved the race.  We ran through beautiful aspen tress, along creeks, down gnarly trails, it was just so much fun to be running in such beautiful country.
Steven crossing the finish line all alone

Steven had a great race, ran 6:24 minutes per mile, and was cruising at the finish.  He has the Denver Half Marathon next week, I think he is going to do very, very well.  Steven is a product of the Sierra XC program, where he was one of our most successful runners.  It was in middle school he really learned how much fun running can be, and how if you are dedicated to the sport, you can really turn yourself into a truly exceptional runner.  He ran in high school, ran in college, and is now continuing to run in community races all over the state.  Very cool.

I was so happy to have my family up there with me yesterday.  I know how hard it is for Beth to try and juggle two kids for over an hour at a boring "go-into-the-woods-come-out-of-the-woods" trail race.  I am very grateful that Beth always takes care of the family while I do all of my crazy things like running races, track coaching, cross country banquets.  I am pretty lucky to have a wife who cares for me so much. Thanks, Beth. :)
Steven on the podium!

The best part about these open community races, other than the joy of running, the ability to pick what races you want to do, as well as being able to focus on and dedicate yourself to a certain race; are the prizes for the winners!  For all 51 minutes of his hard work yesterday, Steven won a six pack of microbrew.  A better prize, I cannot think of.  :)


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