Monday, July 7, 2014

US Mountain Running Championship - Loon Mountain

The skinny:
53rd place
Time: 1:03:36.7
First time I had to walk: 39 minutes
I walked/hiked 90% of upper walking boss

Loon Mountain was hosting the 2014 US Mountain Running Championships and I had the day open so I committed to it. CMS was going to have plenty of guys there and I had to get them some gear so I was a man on a mission. I have some history at Loon and each time I get to Upper Walking Boss, I curse it. A 40% grade will do that to a sane person, trust me. The course was changed this year with more cross country early on which I loved. There was mud, elevation changes, flats, and more importantly, shade. The serious climbing was all in the 2nd half of the race. Even in the 2nd half, there is a little bit of down hill to break up the pain. 

I was doing pretty good, passing folks, slowly, on the climbs and caught up to Ethan Nedeau before the descent to Upper Walking Boss. However, I drove that descent with no aggression and he put 20 seconds on me. I checked out a bit while allowing the legs to recover from the ascent before. I collapsed to a crawl and started the hike and walk up the ‘boss as did most ahead of me. It seemed acceptable and running seemed useless as either effort gained the same distance (not entirely true but my legs fell for it). About eight guys passed me on the way up and I did not care too much about it. I don’t mean that negatively. I was in a world of suffering and walk or run, it was tough. Ask anyone who did it. The top of Upper Walking Boss did come quicker than I remember in the past. That was a good thing. Looking back down on the ‘boss gave me a 2 second sense of accomplishment but I still had to crest the top and finish it up. I was completely on empty on this one folks. I won’t lie. 1:03 and 36 seconds. 

On the way down to find the Upper Walking Boss
Photo by KrissyK
The scenery all around – surrounded by mountains on a clear sunny day was absolutely worth it. I met up with CMS teammates for some chat, photos, and a slow jog to the Gondola with Arthur Besse with whom I talked into doing such the race 18 hours earlier. He handled himself just fine helping the masters team take the win. The CMS men’s open and senior teams also took team wins! Good stuff. I caught Krissy who was wrapping up her photo session of the day for a nice Gondola ride down. I soaked the legs in the ice cold river. It was ice cold and won’t lie that I refused to take that for more than a minute on the legs. We went back to check out the awards and get a bagel before heading out for a traffic filled ride home. I am glad I went and was very happy and proud to see the guys run so well at Loon. 

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