The Gunnison Growler has been on my list for a while. I love the riding out at Hartman Rocks and Dave Wiens, the race director, is an old friend who I adventure raced with a few times back in the day. Last year I ran the course for the Sageburner 50K and Ian did the full Growler the following day. This year, with the 32-mile half Growler on Saturday and the full 64-mile Growler on Sunday, Ian and I both had a chance to race. Up until a couple weeks ago, the plan was for me to do the full and Ian to do the half. Yet, when we looked at the calendar a little more closely and realized the Teva Mountain Games is the weekend after the Growler, it made more sense for me to race the half and save my legs for the Ultimate Mountain Challenge. Ian was not that psyched to switch to the long race, but Wiensy was happy to accommodate us.
It was pretty darn windy on Saturday, and the course was apparently a little more sandy than usual, but overall the day was great. I tried to pace myself for the first half of the race and then finish strong, per my coach Lindsay‘s orders. The course is pretty technical in places, but I rode cleanly and managed to keep it rubber side down. I maintained a steady diet of Honey Stinger chews throughout the race and I stayed hydrated nicely with Acli-mate. I had strong competition from Amy Beisel and my Honey Stinger teammate Jen Gersbach all day, but came away with the victory, finishing in a time of 3:11. Amy finished in second and Jen in third. Results from the half here and the full here.
Ian took on the full Growler on Sunday and had a good day, finishing in 6:27. Next year, he says he’s happy to let me do the full…
Thanks as always to my sponsors: Honey Stinger for great tasting energy food; Trek for my speedy and reliable Superfly; Stans No Tubes for my ZTR Gold wheels, Bontrager for my new, bright red carbon MTB shoes and nice, lightweight helmet; and Westone for my awesome earbuds (which I managed to send through the wash and they still work like new).
Here are some photos from the weekend. Next up, the juggling act that is the Teva Mountain Games.
Smiles for the finish lineWindy!
Jen, Amy, me and Dave
My super cool trophy by artist Cristin Zimmer and a celebratory beer (or three)
Ian happy to be finishing his second lap
After a crazy-busy winter and especially the month of April, when I raced every weekend, I took most of this month off. It was a much needed break, especially as I look forward to a summer busy with travel and racing. This weekend we got back into race mode and loaded the whole family up for a long weekend in Gunnison for the Sage Burner 50K and the Growler.
Juniper happy to see me at the windy finish line.
With the Sage Burner on Saturday and the Growler on Sunday, it was the perfect race weekend for both Ian and I to compete. I had never done a 50K before and was definitely nervous. I wanted to race smart, have fun and still be able to walk so I can compete in the Teva Mountain Games Ultimate Mountain Challenge next weekend.
Despite not feeling particularly fresh or fast, early in the race I found myself running as the first woman and in about sixth place overall. I had a low point from about miles 17 through 22, and a few men passed me as my pace slowed significantly. Knowing that a woman must be close behind and most likely running faster than I was at that point, I ate another pack of Honey Stinger Chews and drank some Nuun. I got myself moving faster, running up the longer climbs and catching a few of the men that had passed me earlier.
I finished as the first woman in the 50K thinking I had a decent lead as I had never caught a glimpse of a woman behind me. However, after being done for just two minutes, Tressa Breindel of Boulder came across the line looking super strong. Good thing for me that the race wasn’t a mile or two longer! Check out the full Sage Burner results here.
On the podium with Tressa and my old friend Dave Wiens
Ian, Juniper and Axel were cheering at the line as usual making the finish that much better. I was pleasantly surprised how good my legs and body felt after the race but I’m unsure why I felt so sluggish the entire five hours of racing. Sunday brought another day of Anderson racing at Hartman Rocks, with Ian competing in the Original Growler – two laps of the same 50K course I ran the day before. Ian had a solid race and finished in six and a half hours, right about where he wanted to be. Growler results here. Overall, an awesome weekend of racing! Next up, Vail and the Teva Games.
Ian on lap 1 of the Growler
Thanks to my extremely supportive husband, I was able to get out for a great two-and-a-half hour mountain bike ride this morning. I had to do some hill repeats so I headed out to Prince Creek to take advantage of the dirt road then got to enjoy some great singletrack.
I finally put cleats on my new shoes and absolutely loved the BOA lacing system in the Specialized shoe. I received the shoes through the Honey Stinger team and was totally surprised by the comfort and adjustability of the shoe.
Normally long weekends mean that I get an extra day of training without pushing the kiddos but this weekend is Ian’s turn to race. He left after my ride for the Gunnison Growler which sounds like an amazing race. I wish we could be there to cheer him on but it doesn’t make much sense. Instead, I’ll enjoy a nice long run with the kids in the Chariot and hopefully some pool time.