Defn: a human male displaying evidence of devolution - exhibits distinctive "caveman-like" tendencies. This man often dribbles in public places; cannot drink a beverage without spilling it on himself, the floor or someone else; may also run into objects like lampposts & bushes; has a definite "sloopish & short legged" running style that is slow and low to the ground, often resulting in the dragging of knuckles.

These throwback neanderthals, along with their questionable diet, should clearly be avoided.

Monday, July 23, 2012

PP Marathon - defending champion is racing

Just my hunch, but when I saw Matt Carpenter near the Summit yesterday - he was not out for a Sunday morning stroll.  More on that later in the post.

With less than 4 weeks now till race day weekend, it's crunch time for training.  Not just for me, but for all involved.  So, Barr Trail was loaded with people yesterday - I recognized quite a few of the elite local athletes hard at work.

Saturday I ran the local "Classic 10K" race - setting a new PR (of 43:20).  While I am very pleased with that, I know that with specific training for that I could do better.  That's not my focus right now.  However, looking at the results of that race - there was a lot of speedy people - had to run sub 7 minute miles to get 140th place.

After attending an outdoor wedding Saturday afternoon and getting drained by the heat, I went into yesterdays run tired and lacking energy.  But I need the high altitude and Barr Trail familiarity - especially up top.  So, I drove up to the Summit.  The goal was run down 6 miles, then come back up.

The highlight of my run was not in any way what I suffered through and was able to do - which in itself was good for me and hopefully will pay off - but it was who I saw on the trail and the work / effort they were putting into it.  Several elites I definitely recognized - others I saw I could just tell they were good and surely will be near the front on race day(s).

About 1 1/2 miles on my way down - the only runner that passed me (the same way I was at the time going) that day came cruising by.  Not sure who he was, I saw him later on his way back up, just above Barr Camp - might have been Sage Canaday, but I'm not 100% sure. 

I wanted to get down the 6 miles at about a 10 min per mile average - so as to a) not trash the quads, b) see if I actually could, c) not fall like last weekend.  Answer: success to all 3.

Just over 2 miles down the trail was when it got really interesting.  Simon Gutierrez was cruising up - impressive to see and almost unfathomable to realize how fast he was going, until no more than 2 minutes later Matt Carpenter went cruising up the trail - almost effortlessly. 

I'd be really curious to know how the rest of those 2 guys runs played out.  If Matt caught Simon, if Simon had just passed Matt.  If they even knew they were both on the trail.  Above tree line you can see a lot of the trail - I'm guessing they were very aware of each other there.  It was very interesting to see them putting such a good effort into it.

As of now, Matt is not on the Competitive entry list.  But I'm convinced that it is only a matter of time, plus, with him being in the race - I'm looking forward to seeing the marathon field in action on race day.  It's going to be tough to not just stop and watch the action instead of focusing on what I need to be doing - that is: me still going up while they are flying down.  The other thing I'm curious to see is when GZ updates his prediction list, or posts a poll as to who can guess what race number Matt Carpenter will wear.

Back to my insignificant run..... As I got below tree line the next 2 other speedy locals of note I saw were Peter Maksimow (in full, woolly beard - very impressive and hard to miss) and a little later, my pick to win the Ascent, Ryan Hafer.  Literally dozens of other speedy people out there too - men and women, masters and young guns - all putting in great work.  As mentioned: inspiring and yes I am jealous of many of them.

So, down 6 miles I eventually arrived - went down to the "1/2 mile to Barr Camp" sign, stopped for a moment to empty the shoes and eat.  As (somewhat) easy as it was to come down, the complete opposite went into effect as I tried to go up.  I eventually made it, not a spectacular or even impressive showing at all - I'm attributing it to being a little weary from the race and the heat exposure the day before.  I hope to do better on race day (in both directions).

A 3 hour round trip (1 down, 2 up).  By the time I got back up to the Summit, I was starving - donuts seemed right, so a couple went down nice and quick.  While enjoying those I think the altitude got to me and I decided to get a little more suffering in.  So, I went back down the trail another mile and back.  Figuring I was already there, that it takes time and money to get to the Summit and I need all the training I can get.

Surprisingly - I didn't leave any dna samples on those 2 miles.  But coming back up, especially those 16 not so "Golden Stairs" - I was hurting and seriously considering what benefit I was trying to achieve and tacking on 2 more miles - that ended up taking 35 minutes.

All said and done - it was a good day of training and people watching - with close to 5000 feet of elevation gain and 3 1/2 miles on the race course.  Getting excited about race day - but recognizing for sure that I have much more work to do.


  1. Bib numbers 1 and 2 are still open. I would have guessed 19 for Carpenter's bib number out of the gate, but that has already been assigned.

    As you know he - or any other champ for that matter - does not need to declare until a week before the race. I'd guess it is a last minute call for him.

  2. I saw that the race press conference "" is Wednesday this week. New prize money structure and they will "talk about the competition...."

  3. I saw Matt running in Manitou this morning as I was leaving Manitou after my run. He didn't look like he was "taking it easy" either.

  4. Nothing like running with the cool kids ;-) Nice work out there Craig - good job maintaining the upright position!