In Aspen CO again…
Chris Cloyd, JP Donovan and I carpooled from Tahoe for the Aspen “Power of Four” running event weekend July 18-19th. At the packet pickup I saw the Redbull Rise 12 hr uphill race flier. Basically, this event required runners to race the “power of 4 vert k” course ( 3,000 ft vert) as many times possible in 12hrs. You run up and ride the gondola down.
I told JP that I was interested in the event during the Power of Four packet pick up. Over the past week or so, I’ve been running 14ers in the Aspen, Leadville and Breckenridge areas. I hurt my ankle during the 50k, and so the most stable training I could handle was vert, and so a few days ago, JP and I were in Breckenridge running peaks and happened to see the Redbull event flier. Next thing we both found ourselves in Aspen again.
We camped in an empty lot in town, woke up, gathered our race stuff and found ourselves running/power walking up the same “vert k” hill we had done a week before, but this time there was no stopping at the top.
From the start, I took it out hard to see what the field was like. I found that the womans field was competitive. I knew that I would have to work hard and put in more aggressive efforts on any ” flatter” sections. There was one REALLY steep section that killed quads, burned calves and played with my mental game. Looking back I realize that “running poles” could make uphill ultra running efforts much easier. The lady I was trying to hold off had poles, and every time we got to that super steep section I noticed she’d gain on me. I will have to practice running with poles to determine how it would benefit me.
One thing I have noticed about this race in particular is how slow it is running uphill, and how it affects my body. For me, uphill running isn’t as taxing on the body as let’s say the “Power of Four 50k” event. The total vert gain in the 50k was nearing 12k but the downhills wrecked my body, and I noticed that in the uphills I was able to rest and recover more and prepare for downhills. I’m not saying this race was easy by any means but for a 12hr race it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined it to be.
Nearing the last few hours of the race lightning and thunder prompted the race director to conclude the race early and participants scores were compiled based on time and distance completed.
I actually just squeaked into 1st overall female with exactly 7 laps making my day roughly 23,000 ft vert gain ( watch data).
JP, however had a huge lead on the field.
I had a great experience and look forward to some more big mountain, big vert gain races. Next up… The Rut!