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
It was a terrific, long, painful and exhilarating weekend of racing at the Teva Mountain Games. Ian and I both competed in the Ultimate Mountain Challenge, a combination of four races over two days. It was a marathon weekend, which we couldn’t have gotten through without the help of my mother who flew in from RI to support us and watch Juniper.
Without further ado, let’s get to the racing:
Race 1 – Downriver Kayak Sprint
Race 2 – Mountain Bike XC (Ian had to race 4 laps and I did 3 so we’ll do a little math here)
Ian: total time: 2:18:56 ÷4 laps = 34:45:44 avg. lap time x 3 = 1:44:11
Race 3: 10K Trail Run
Race 4: Vail Pass Time Trial
Final Cumulative Times
A difference of 47 seconds. So, I can claim bragging right this year, but clearly you can’t find a much more evenly matched couple. Oh, and I won the real Ultimate Mountain Challenge, beating my good friend and super-tough competitor Gretchen Reeves. Surprisingly, no other women signed up for the race (leaving a $500 prize unclaimed). Ian got 5th overall in the men’s pro division. Read more here.
We’re off to Richmond, VA this weekend to visit Ian’s family and race the Xterra Atlantic Cup on Sunday. Hope I’ve recovered by then….
The family, including my mom, is headed over to Vail this weekend for the Teva Mountain Games Ultimate Mountain Challenge. Last year I raced well for the four events – downriver kayak, mountain bike, trail 10k and Vail Pass time trial – to place second among the women behind Gretchen Reeves and just ahead of Keri Nelson. I know Gretchen is back to defend her title and I believe Keri will be back trying to better her performance from last year. I’m not sure how fit I’m feeling this year, but the challenge will be a good one.
After running around with Juniper in tow last year, Ian decided he was up for the challenge this year. It was a difficult decision whether to race pro or amateur but after some coaxing from me he decided to go for the pro race. The only difference is the mountain bike race – 4 laps versus 2. The pro women do three laps of the mountain bike course so unfortunately Ian and I aren’t quite racing head to head. Bummer, because that would have been the best race out there.
Ian and I will still be battling it out in the kayak race, 10k and hill climb. It should be some fun, family competition. May the best spouse win!