28 March 2011

24 Hours of Utah/Moab - The Statistics

Rob, Mindy, Joselyne, Cat, Brian, Celeste, Alex, Lindsey

Fort Collins took two teams to the 24 Hours of Utah race.  I was on a team of 5 with Alex, Joselyne, Rob, and Mindy while Cat, Celeste, and Lindsey took on the challenge as a trio.  After some friendly competition for a few laps I made Celeste mad and they never looked back.  That's not really true, but they did pull out to about a one lap lead on us throughout most of the day, they are all strong runners.  As nightfall came we slowly chipped away at the lead, likely due to fresher legs, and finished only about five minutes behind them as the race came to a close.  Both teams ran 24 laps for a total of 128.88 miles each.  Not a bad days work, eh?  8 people and 257.8 miles (and that doesn't even count the extra laps people snuck in, probably another 6 laps or so).  They edged us out for third place as the tie-breaker was the time you finished your last lap. 

Up this canyon lies the stream bed, fun to run through!
The big rock we ran around and around at daybreak

Another picture of the route with more daylight

The majestic La Salle mountain range.  I never got sick of this view.
The 5.37 mile, 600 ft vertical gain course was run on the Monitor and Merrimac Trail which is a a mixture of dirt road, single track sandy trails, a totally awesome half mile stream section, lots of slickrock, and great views of towering red rock buttes and mesas.  It ran up and around the Mill-Courthouse Mesa.  I know this now because I looked it up, but during the race I thought the mesa we were running around was the Monitor and Merrimac Buttes.  They lie to the south of the trail it turns out, but the trail offers good views of them -- if you knew to look.  I likely did, there was a lot of beauty to look at.  Even though my four laps were on the same trail, the race alternated directions with each lap so I had one lap each way in the daylight, one clockwise at dusk, and one counter-clockwise in the middle of the night.  All four laps were thus different enough that I did not get bored.  In addition to breaking the monotony,the washing machine loops also allowed you to see a lot more people on the trail than you would have if everyone was traveling the same direction.

That's the boring stuff though.  I'm still working on getting the good stuff, the people stuff, written up.  I'll post that along with some pictures later.

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