After missing the race last year due to COVID, it was great to do a running only event again and enjoy the trails. Like all things, you can never expect what is going to get changed up, so while preparing for 1600’ climbs the race was snowed in (even though it was July 7th!) and they had to race at much lower and flatter elevations. The event still started at 7500’ above sea level so the air was thin and the legs were tired, but all times were faster than predicted.
My first leg was the green leg. A nice sprightly 5k up and over a ridge. In the cool crisp evening with family watching, I happily ran down the course, up the hill, and over onto some of my favorite runs at sugar bowl. While trying not to push it too hard, I still let loose a little and ran the whole way.
The second leg was on the red loop at a crazy 2am run. Thankfully my head lamp was way better than before so I happily ran along passing an amazing 40-ish people. The only issue was the sloughs of mud that had been created through the race, so my feet were very soaked and legs very muddy. A good case for long compression socks though since I could just peel them off and hop back to sleep for as long as I could.
Finally, my last leg was on the yellow loop the following morning around 8am-ish. The loops had all been nested versions of each other so I knew what was coming, but this time my legs were definitely on the toasted side. Still I pushed through one last climb between the base passes from Mt Lincoln to Mt Judah to come in right on time and be the second fastest on my team. Running is definitely farthest behind in my covid recovery, but I’m in a much better position than a year ago and with another good hard winter of ski/run training I think I’ll be in tip top shape for next year.