Sapper Joe 30k

I ran in the inaugural Sapper Joe 30k and 50k on Saturday. I opted to run the 30k due to this race being so close to the Squaw Peak 50 miler. As it turned out this was a good decision since I tore my hamstring 3 weeks ago. I have been taking it easy the past several weeks with only one long run with Kendall on the first part of the Squaw Peak Trail, so I viewed this run for training instead of a race.

The morning was perfect! Nice, cool, with only a slight breeze. The race, held at the Camp Williams army base, gave a rare opportunity to run in the foothill on the base. I saw several faces I recognized. But realized that most of them would be running the 50k. I would have to gut this out myself.

The race started through some of the base roads, and then turned into a long section of uphill grinds. I was amazed at how steep some of the sections were, I was reminded of the steep section in the squaw peak 50 going to windy pass. During this time, my leg was noticeable but did not bother me too badly. My time to the first aid station was 1:18 minutes for the first 5.72 miles.

The next section was through rolling hills on a soft dirt road. I met a father who was with his 13-year-old son, out racing together. What a great experience for them. I hope my children will run some races with me when they get older. Anyway, the next aid station at mile 10.45 came quick. My time was 2:11 minutes. And I could tell my leg was getting tired.

I was in and out of the 2nd aid station in under a minute. The road turned into another steep uphill trail then leveled out before climbing up to the highest hill in the area. Luckily the roads were not to steep, and I was able to keep a good walking/running pace through this section. I came to the third aid station at mile 14.26 in a time of 3 hours. My right foot was giving me some problems at this point, so I stopped and rubbed some Vaseline on. I was still able to get out of that aid station in about 3 minutes but several runners passed me.

The last section was all down hill I wish my leg felt better, I could have flown down this section!!! However, my leg was really starting to hurt and I could tell I had altered my stride and this was giving me the hot spot on my right foot. I was able to keep several runners behind me for the whole section, but I could feel them breathing down my back. This made for good motivation. I finished in a time of 3:42:33, which was good enough for 12th place overall. Over all this was a great tune up for Squaw Peak in several weeks. The race director Darrell Phippen did a excellent job in organizing and pulling this off. It was a good test for the hamstring. I will baby it for the next couple of weeks and hopefully run well at Squaw Peak.

Antelope Island Buffalo Run-50 Mile

(Photo credit Jason Halladay)

Well my second running of the Buffalo 50-miler turned out well. I was able to knock off over 1:20 minutes off my time last year.The RD Jim Skaggs did a tremendous job with organizing and had a tent and a fire to mingle around before the race started. Kendall and I arrived around 5:30. I had to rush to get my race number pinned on my shorts and make final pre-race preparation's. Consequently, I made my way to the tent several minutes before the race started. I ended up missing the last call for drop bags at the Elephant Head aid station, this came back to haunt me later in the run.

Kendall at the start

After the pre-race briefing, all runners toed the line and with a shouted -GO- off we went. The front-runners promptly went the wrong direction at the first turn and I found myself in first place for all of 5 seconds. My plan originally, was to walk all hills and to run all flats and down hills, but found that I was moving well and the incline wasn't too bad so ended up running the first uphill section. I kept Kendall in sight and used him as my pacer to the Elephant Head aid station. From there it’s a short out and back section with a return to the same aid station. I downed some gels refilled my water bottle then off I went. I lost Kendall at this point and could see him pull away from me on a long down hill section. At this point, I was determined to run my race, settle down and maintain a comfortable but competitive pace. The trail then came to a series of uphill switchbacks and I slowed to a fast walk. As I neared the elephant Head aid station for the third time, out popped Kendall from behind a rock and we ran the last section together. This was the last time I would see him for a long time.

At Elephant Head, I looked for my drop bag and found it hadn't made the trip due to my being late. I didn't have anything that I desperately needed except to drop off my jacket and pick up my sunglasses. I was bummed since my eyes are a little sensitive to the sun and I didn't look forward to running all day without them. As I left I could see a truck approaching. I stopped and asked if they had any drop bags and sure enough,...there it was. A lucky ending to my bad planning. The next aid station was at about mile 20 and went quickly for me. I was starting to feel some pain in the ball of my left foot, so I stopped to apply some Vaseline. This added a couple of minutes and several runners passed me. I left and made a goal of catching all runners that had passed and picked up my pace.

I set my next goal for the Lower Frary aid station, which is at about mile 27. I was able to maintain a good pace through out this section but started to have some cramping issues. I started worrying since I had experienced horrible cramping on the Moab Redhot 50k. I was taking 2 S caps an hour and I hoped the cramping would be minor. As I neared, Lower Frary I started feeling better and was excited to make a quick stop and push on as fast as I could. -NOT-. I made the mistake of not having a plan and ended up fumble F---ing around. Several more runners passed me.

The next section goes to approximately mile 33. I was anxious to get there and pick up my pacer Bryce. I was running well and was ahead of my goal time and was sure I could make up some of my lost time in this section. I was about 15 min out from the aid station when Kendall flew by me. I was impressed at his pace and knew he would finish well as I was counting runners passing me going the opposite direction. I wished him well and ran into the Ranch aid station, picked up some sandwich's, drank some Mountain Dew, and picked up Bryce. I figured I was about 30 minutes behind Kendall and was determined to make up some of the time. I let Bryce set the pace for me and promptly fell behind. I also started to have some stomach issues and wasn't feeling to good. I was jack rabbiting with Cory Johnson and he was kind enough to offer me a peppermint to settle my stomach.......thanks worked like a charm and I was able to pick my pace back up, and made good time back to Lower Frary.

I knew I was running well and was way above my goal of a 9:30 race. Bryce and I would trade places off and on through out the next section and I set smaller goals to run for 20 minutes then take a small walk break. This worked well and we made good time before stopping at the next aid station near mile 44. They said I was in 28th place and this proved to be a good motivator during the last section of the race. Bryce became indispensable at this point and would constantly look back and tell me how close the next runner was. I was passed by Amie Blackham with about 3 miles to go, but was able to keep her in sight and almost passed her at the finish. I ended up finishing in 9:03:34. I placed 7th in my age group and 31st overall. I beat my time last year by 1:20. My good friend Kendall ran an incredible race finishing in 8:09:55 and 11th place overall.