Mt. Sherman Hiking Route
Wow. What a day. My time is nearly over here in Colorado, so I decided to make the most of it today. This morning I headed into the mountains to run a fun half-marathon. The race is affectionately called the "Slacker Half-Marathon" because the course is almost entirely flat or downhill. The catch, however, is that the race still starts at 10,000 feet. In my mind, this sort of "cancels-out" the downhill factor. I knew from my Pocono Marathon, that I should be able to at least run a 1:35 Half. Today, I had told myself to run comfortably fast, while still going easy on the right big-toe. I have been training a little less than I'd hoped (because of the toe) while here in CO...but all at altitude.
This morning, at 8:00 am, over 1000 runners started at the Loveland Ski Area and headed 13.1 miles down bike the path and frontage road to the small town of Georgetown. It was fast...wooo mama...it was fast. I burned my way down the bike path and onto the frontage road passing people left and right. Heart-rate ....psshhh...whatever. I was winging it. When I got to town with less than a mile to go, I ran out of gas and fought my way to the finish. I crossed the line in just over 1 hour 30 minutes. This equates to a 6:54 pace and a new Half-Marathon PR. Nevermind the fact that it took me a good 30 seconds just to break free of the mob at the start line too and actually get moving. Overall I finished 41 out of 1190 runners. 35th for Men, and 11th for 30-34 Age.
Here are the Official Results (select Half-Marathon from drop down):
Place: 41 out of 1190
Time: 1:30:12 (6:54 pace)
VO2max: 50.4! (First time over 50!)
My favourite part of the results is that all but two people that finished before me live in Colorado. Woo hoo...representin' the low-landers!
Slacker Half Marathon Course
Race Photo 1
Race Photo 2
Anyhoo. On to the real fun story of the day. When I popped out to the highway after the race, I had the option of driving back to Denver, or heading West and making something up. After a quick peek on 14ers.com, I decided to head towards the town of Fairplay and attempt another 14er. This time: Mt. Sherman. I made my way up the gnarly and rugged jeep road to the trail head and started the 6.5 mile round-trip hike. The total elevation gain was just a little over 2000 feet, so it wasn't too bad, but there was a little snow to deal with. From the summit, I could see across to the town of Leadville and could pick out the Leadville 100 course. Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive were booming on the skyline. Below are some shots from the hike. It was a blast, and now I have yet another 14er in the books.
Nearing the Summit
Walking to the finish
Celebrating at the Summit (Mt. Massive in the background)
View from the summit