Ouch. Things didn't go as planned for me but had a nice weekend in northern New Mexico nonetheless. Las Alamos is a great high desert town and is surrounded by mountains, though most of them were burned several years ago. My parents and I found a great place right near the start/finish to camp for the weekend and enjoyed great weather. And most importantly, I got my Santa Clara pot! See below for more on that.
First and most importantly, congratulations to Kyle Skaggs who is just an amazing runner; he ran basically the same time as he did last year but on a much harder (and longer) course. I think between him and Anton, they should pretty much re-write all the ultra records in the next few years if they can stay motivated and healthy. Complete results here. Having run Zane
Grey and San Juan, the Jemez course (as it was this weekend) is probably the harder of the 3, with San Juan a close 2nd and Zane Grey at least 20-30 minutes easier for the leaders. Of course that could differ for folks not from altitude, since San Juan's main challenge is the time spent so high.
So on the plus side, I enjoyed running with Kyle (briefly) in the morning and with Karl during the middle of the race. Karl is in very good shape as he his getting ready to tackle the AT starting in early August. Sounds like he has all the logistics dialed in but the thought of getting up every day for 45+ miles of rocky steep trail makes me want to take a nap.
By the way, if anybody is looking for any last minute gift ideas for my birthday, I could use a new hamstring. I think it will be fine (meaning back to where it was before the race at least) in a few days, and hopefully if I can stick to actual trail running and normal hill grades I can keep it that way. The Jemez course was beautiful, but def. a bit rough for me, even were I not nursing this bum hamstring. There were a couple of places were I just laughed when I saw what we were about to run through/over/across/down. The course was marked extremely well and with the remote nature of parts of it, the volunteers had quite a job of getting the markings up and the water hauled in.
I dropped at 32 miles, which not coincidentally was right before the steepest of the 3 mountains the course ascends/descends. Back to the pots; an artist from the Santa Clara Pueblo which is right in between Espaniola and Las Alamos made some nice small blackware pots for all finishers of the 50K and 50 Miler, and I really like that style of pottery. We own a nice larger pot from the San Ildefonso Pueblo, which is also right outside of town. They announced before the race that all starters would get one, but I felt that I should at least finish 50K to earn mine.
The Los Alamos High School nickname is the "Hilltoppers." Come on, they live in "Nuke City USA" and that is the best they could come up with. Here's some suggestions:
1. The WMDs
2. Radioactive Waste
3. The Nukes
4. The Atomic Avengers