Logan Peak Trail Race -
What a race! Where to begin? How about I mention the fact that I have been planning and dreaming about this race since last years was over. This is my single most favorite race for many reasons, including the home course advantage, amazing views, tough technical trails, snow, mud and lots and lots of hills. Needless to say, I was pretty excited for the 2010 edition of this race.
The morning began with a nice jog around the starting area with Jon and Joe working on earning a few stars. By race time, I was feeling good and ready to roll. The weather was nice (50's and clear). The race started near Logan Dry canyon and headed out of the park and towards the mountains. Before too long, we were on the Deer Fence trail and then heading up Dry Canyon. Its a nice steep canyon climbing 3000' in the first 4.5 miles. Before long the lead pack included Jon, Joe, myself and 2 others. Things were relaxed but not slow as we climbed the canyon. We were ahead of CR pace by a few mins when we reached Aid Station 1 at mile 4.5 and held that gap for the whole race. Things were looking pretty good, but we were working hard to maintain that pace.
Mile Splits: 9:06, 11:31, 14:15, 15:29, 14:25 (including aid 1)
The big question this year was how much snow we would encounter. A week ago, about a 1/3 of the course was covered in snow. The warm weather took care of that this week and we were lucky to experience roughly the same amount of snow as last year. It was weird though as the snow patches were in different locations this year. Things were moving along nicely as we ran on the South Syncline Trail heading around the mountain.
I was chasing a guy (I forgot his name already) with Joe right on my heels and Jon and (some other guy) behind him when I got a bit carried away on a tight downhill corner(mile 7.5). I stepped on a rock that threw off my balance and before I knew it, I was flying face first into a rock. I banged myself up pretty good even getting a cut upper lip. I layed there in pain until I got some sympathy and then decided to run again. No, seriously, it hurt. After that, I didn't feel too good and had a really hard time keeping up with the pack. This was the hardest section of the course for me. Mentally and physically.
Splits: 9:49, 6:54, 9:39(fall), 10:20, 11:35, 10:01
By mile11, we hit Aid 2 and started an out and back section to the summit of Logan Peak (9710'). The pack was still very fluid with lots of position changes. The snow at the summit wasn't too bad and was way less than I expected which helped us maintain a good pace. The celebration at the top was shortened this year as we had some chasing to do to catch the first place guy (name forgotten again). We blasted the downhill closing the gap, but man, it hurt. The nice thing through here was that we get to see the people who are behind us on the course and give/receive praise. Fun section.
Splits: 11:06, 15:50, 11:00, 8:21, 7:31
I made a quick aid station stop to fill my bottle and moved on. I was hoping to get ahead at this point so I could run slower. Weird logic, but it worked for a min until Jon caught and passed me. At this point, he was in the lead with Joe and myself running together behind him. Jon stretched out his lead, but we kept him in sight. I was still feeling tired and worn out. Miserable, but that meant that I was doing something right. Joe and I worked on closing the gap to Jon and by using the singletrack downhill, we were able to do that. We ran the Northern Syncline trail section together and figured that the winner would come from one of us as we had dropped the other guys. This section of trail is absolutely spectacular. Amazing views, beautiful singletrack. I would enjoy it more if it weren't for this pesky race. I started to feel better through here and took over the lead duties. I stayed that way until I found a water trough to dunk my head in as I was getting super hot. More running ensued and before long, we were back at the Aid station at the top of Dry Canyon.
Splits:9:35, 7:11, 7:07, 9:50, 13:22, 8:58
4.5 miles to go. We were all together there, but Jon decided to fill a bottle and since I still had a 1/3 of a bottle I decided to not stop. Joe followed suit and was right on my tail as we flew down the singletrack. I didn't see Jon again after this point. This section is brutal on the legs as they are super tired, but you really have to push it to keep a good pace going on the steep/technical downhill. I worked hard to drop Joe, but he hung with me for a while. Finally! I wasn't able to hear his foot steps anymore (he took a nice spill somewhere in there too). I slowed back off the pace a bit and tried to just survive. At this point I was amazed I could actually win this thing. Don't blow it now Cody.
Before arriving at the bottom of the canyon I was surprised to see about a 100 head of cattle climbing up the singletrack. Great! I made some noise and got most of them to run into the trees so I could pass. A few decided to run by me on the trail and for a bit I was right next to a few cows. It turned out that the cattle owners were following the cows up the canyon on their horses and they were not happy that I was spooking them. Sorry, but what do you do?
The last mile was a bear with some good uphills and downhill all exposed to the hot sun. I looked back and saw Joe not too far behind me, but figured he wouldn't be able to get me so I enjoyed the run-in to the finish. My first win in 3 years and my first ever trail race win. Sweet! Joe finished strong less than a min behind with Jon struggling the last 4 miles and losing about 3 mins to us. But very solidly taking 3rd place. A 1-2-3 sweep for the blog and all of us sporting our Saint George Running Center shirts, we got some nice publicity.
Splits: 7:23, 5:55, 6:15, 6:31, 6:05 (course measured to be 27 miles, but whatever).
Awesome course, well run event that I hope to be able to do for many years to come. The cash prize for first was pretty sweet too. Who can argue with that? Results should be posted shortly HERE
T- 4:22:52 (9:52 by my watch) 7200' gain
* Weekly summary 60 miles 8000' climbing