I had a few potential crew/pacer commitments early in the year but all of them had something come up or couldn't make the trip out to Utah mid-week. So I then decided to run solo without crew to simplify everything. The Saturday before the race, I mentioned the race to my Dad on the phone and he asked if I needed him to come out to crew. The gears started turning and he flew out from NC last minute! We drove 8 hours across Wyoming and sat in the Logan Super8 with this weather forecast for the next 2 days (pulled off a friend's Facebook page).
The weather was so grim that they cancelled the pre-race meeting and the race director said something along the lines of "we'll see you in the morning, all I can promise is that it will be better at the finish". After a last minute panic-induced shopping spree at Sports Authority for more fleece, gloves, and hand warmers, we scouted out the start line which was hidden behind a complex detour and I felt as prepared as I could be for the day to come.
The race went incredibly well for me aside from some knee annoyances toward the end, and being pretty cold most of the time that I wore a shirt, hoodie, softshell and puffy throughout the night. The night was long, drawn out (mile 50 to 84), and somewhat lonely but slowly the miles ticked away, the graupel faded away and I joined the black bear club with a finish in 31:24. Most of the story can be told in photos.
|Just before the race start. I think my headlamp lasted about 15 minutes, luckily I survived by mooching off runners around me.|
|On the first mega-climb, daylight came showcasing frost on the trees|
|Looking back down to Logan|
|High up on Logan Peak, snow was about 2-3 inches deep.|
|Near the top of Logan Peak, the sun finally broke through the clouds making for a magical sight.|
|Dropping down into Leatham Hollow (mile 20) canyon walls and red maples were beautiful.|
|Appropriately marked course for the most part.|
|Aspens almost in full glory.|
|Coming into Right Hand Fork (mile 45)|
|Crossing the state line prior to sunrise|
|After cresting the last climb at Ranger Dip, the finish line is visible 7 miles down the hill at the shore of Bear Lake.|
|Suffering through the final downhill in this wonderful fall display.|
|Finisher plaque and belt buckle|