Birthday scheming

Birthdays can set in motion some of the best - or craziest plans - ever. And sometimes, the gifts given provide a means to completing a dream. After an extended scavenger hunt for clues on Friday, I finally unearthed my present from Nick. Small, but so powerful. An Osprey Rev 1.5 - the smallest pack in the Rev series, with a 1.5L bladder and just a few small pockets for storage. The perfect size for long trail runs. Not to heavy or bulky, but carrying enough to get in and get out if the weather deteriorates. And why would that be such a cool present? After all, my last marathon was in 2010 and my last trail marathon was in 2009! It's been no secret that I haven't been running much - just jumping into some local half marathons here and there.

Well, back when I was a runner and thought very little of running a marathon on Saturday and then another one on Sunday, I had a goal. I wanted to do a 50 mile race. Heck with the 50k - that was only a few miles more then a marathon and a distance I'd covered in training runs for some of the marathons! No, I wanted to do a 50 mile race. Originally, I was going to do the Big Horn Wild and Scenic Ultra in Wyoming for my Wyoming race. But timing for that never worked out and we ended up doing the Casper Marathon twice. And then I finished the 50 states and got fully involved in the ultra and 24 hour racing world of mountain biking. But that didn't mean I hadn't given up on the dream of doing a 50 mile race. I'd every so often bring it up and show Nick course profiles and times. I was super excited when I saw the Pikes Peak Ultra that Mad Moose Events is bring into town - after all, an ultra that I wouldn't even have to drive to the starting line? Then I saw the course for that. Ouch. I ride those trails all the time and while they are really fun and very challenging, it's not what I wanted for my first 50 mile race.

When we went up to Leadville and rode the Silver Rush course, it got me thinking again - maybe that would be a good race? But again, as we hung out in Leadville after the ride, I wasn't sure. The views were huge and it was wide open double track for most of the race. But there was a corporate vibe in the air that I didn't want to deal with. I'd left road triathlons to get away from the corporate vibe! Back to the interwebs I went, search and plotting. I needed a race that had plenty of lead time so I can get my training build up the right way. I also needed a race that wouldn't affect any of the mountain bike races we have on the horizon - either in the build or in the recovery process. Nick watched me pondering all of this but said nothing.

And then my present - the perfect little pack. Of course, I wore it for my run the next day - just a four mile jaunt through the neighborhood and it was so comfortable. It rekindled my search for a Colorado 50 mile race. So my birthday present to myself - I think I have found the race I will do.

July 16th in 2016 - just before my 37th birthday. The Sheep Mountain 50 Mile Endurance Run. It's in Fairplay and heads into the  mountains to the south and west of town. It's not going to be easy with 9400 feet of elevation gain on a mix of dirt roads, jeep roads, singletrack, creek crossings and alpine tundra. Not a corporate affair, with just 45 finishers in the inaugural year. A small, personal race in an area of Colorado I've only driven past. 2016 will be an interesting year!

Comments

  1. We'd LOVE to have you! We built HPRS, and the races in Fairplay, to offer an alternative to the Corporate greed over the Mosquito Range. We're committed to getting Ultrarunning in Colorado back to its roots. It's runners like you, with this mindset, that help us get there.

    Make sure you join Front Range Ultrarunners on Facebook. A group of like minded folks from all over the.. well.. Front Range. This is your community too!

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