First of all, I wanted to thank all the race coordinators and volunteers for helping us runners do what we love and congratulations to all the runners who ran this amazing race. Also, check out the trailer above for some great footage of the race and please support the film.
My goals for this year’s BRR was to have fun and run faster than my 2011 time of 3:40:56. I felt like I was in pretty good shape and knew the course a little better from running it that year and my barefoot attempt in 2012.
The night before the race I camped near Fairy Lake at 7500 feet. I get excited the night before races so I like to camp and watch the stars. This year I was treated to 4 huge bucks hanging outside my tent at night.
I woke up at 5 am, ate and went to the start where I hiked around Fairy Lake and then warmed up running for about 30 minutes. I knew this year there would be about 6-8 runners who could run faster than me. Since the BRR is a relatively ‘short’ and fast race for me, I wanted to be adequately warmed up. Looking back, I wish I warmed up for an hour.
The race started and I immediately felt ‘off’. No big deal, I knew I just needed to get sufficiently warmed up. Going up Sacajawea Peak which tops off at 9839 feet, I felt sluggish and tired. For the first half of the race I ran with several runners, chatting and joking as I continually tried to get into my groove.
I didn’t get into my groove till Baldy peak which is over 15 miles into the 20 mile race. The middle section of the race was quite a struggle for me but I was having fun and pushing myself. It was great to run with other runners and cooperatively help each other out with encouragement and conversation. As I ran along, I was struggling with the uphills but I felt like I was faster this year on the downhills and rocky, technical sections of the race. I ate two Hammer gels and drank about 20 oz of water during the race.
As I approached Baldy, I was finally feeling pretty good and started the 4-5 mile rocky descent knowing I had a lot left in my legs. I bombed down it which for me was just about all out. Running this section is always interesting for me because I feel totally out of control but completely in the present moment. Since I practice my running technique so much, I’m able to run pretty fast downhill with confidence and speed. As I approached the finish, I could hear the crowd below at the M and I was very happy to be finished. I finished in 4th place with a time of 3:46:04.
Overall, I didn’t run as fast as I wanted but more importantly I had a ton of fun, ran with great friends and got to cheer a lot of people on. Running the BRR is so much more than finishing times and place. It’s about doing what we love, sharing our passion for running and enjoying this beautiful place we call home. Again, congratulations to everyone who ran. The BRR is a superb race with amazing volunteers and support, I highly suggest the race to any trail runners out there who want a unique, one of a kind experience.