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.
Full race results here. This was a great race for me. I trimmed 17 minutes off my time last year and it was a great confidence booster going into next weekend’s XTerra Nationals at Tahoe.
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.
The start of the Scout Trail
I went out for what was supposed to be a quick ride on one of our favorite local trails last night. The Boy Scout Trail, via Forest Hollow and Bear Creek is typically a sub-two hour ride. Of course, last night at about 7 p.m. in the fading light, it occurred to me that summer is officially over and the days are a lot shorter.
Before the ride, Ian and I did the old Juniper hand-off. It goes like this: I drove down the hill from our house and meet Ian on his way home from work. Ian and Juniper then head home for dinner and bed while I head out for some training.
Anyway, I got to the top of the steep singletrack on the Scout trail just after 7:30 last night and it was pretty much pitch black out. I couldn’t see more than a foot or two ahead of my front wheel and I was completely riding by feel. Real smart Sari. A headlamp should always be in my seatbag.
I eventually made it home – a little slower than usual, but it was still a great ride. The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling and it’s probably time to charge the lights.
Forest Hollow lives up to its name.
The beginning of fall also brings the Golden Leaf Half Marathon (this Saturday) on the Government Trail from Snowmass to Aspen. I was pretty fresh off having Juniper when I raced it last year so I’m excited to improve my time…hopefully by over 10 minutes. This should be a great, last hard effort before I race at the XTERRA Nationals in Tahoe the following weekend.