The Golden Leaf Half Marathon certainly lived up to its name this past Saturday. The aspens leaves were at the peak of their fall color and it was a beautiful, bluebird Colorado day.
Over 600 people showed to race on the spectacular 13.1 mile trail from Snowmass to downtown Aspen. The race starts with a brutal two mile climb up Snowmass mountain. I was feeling good and quickly moved past many runners as I tried to maintain a steady uphill pace. After that initial climb, the trail is rolling and pretty technical, and a fresh coat of slippery yellow leaves on the ground made it extra treacherous. I tried to stay light on my feet and before long I was racing all by myself. It was really beautiful to be cruising along with just the sound of my breath huffing and the soft ground beneath my feet.
I finished in first place with a time of 1:45.47.2.
My good friend Elinor Fish, who is the managing editor at Trail Runner Magazine and is 16 weeks pregnant had a pretty exciting race too. About three miles from the finish she tripped and superman-ed onto the trail. She looked down to find her knee filleted open and gushing blood. The bad ass that she is, El decided to keep running and to the horror of some people at the finish area, came across the line with blood-spattered legs. The medical tent got her bandaged up and then a trip to the hospital earned her three new stitches.
On Sunday, my friend Joy and I rode up to the Maroon Belles with the Juniper in the Chariot.
Read more here.