Deadman Peaks 53 Miles Triumph

I’ve not been here in a long time. I’ll just skip the recap and get right into the new stuff shall I?

This year I ran my 5th consecutive Deadman Peaks 53 mile Trailrun. As I’ve mentioned here, it is a Beautiful but difficult race that really has captured (and tortured my heart.

Total time: 13:49:55 Pace: 14:18 per mile

This year I not only ran the 53 mile but offered to volunteer as well. I had volunteered at a trail event earlier in the year and really enjoy the aspect of giving back.

I arrived mid-day the day before the race and was immediately swept up into placing directional signs and marking the start line for the Marathon start which is at the turn around point for the 53 miler. Then, back to the start/finish to set up my camp.

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This was the first year I was able to get out of town early and it was a joy to set up in the daylight. After making camp, I walked down the first two miles of the run which follows a dirt road linking the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) and I placed reflective flags. The 53 miler starts (and often ends) in the dark.

IMG_3480I spent some time next to the campfire chatting with a couple other healthcare professionals I had just met about the state of our profession, then headed to bed before it got cold.  It got cold anyway and I work to frost on the tent exterior though I stayed plenty warm inside with many layers and a hell of a sleeping bag.

I did bring along Mr. Egg and Phil (who is also my pillow). They helped keep me warm and comfortable too.

6 am race start. 42º F and dark as usual. The day did not warm up much reaching 50º in the afternoon, but with winds gusting up to 31 mph all day it was cold! I wore the windbreaker all day and could have benefited from tights and gloves.

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I started feeling some right hamstring pain around 17 miles, an old nag back to bother me for a bit. I felt pretty good going into the turn around (26.2 miles. Yes we run a marathon then turn around and run it in reverse. Yes it is dumb).

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I was able to run pretty much constantly right up until 40 miles where I hit a big wall. Limped into the last Aid Station at 44 miles and was hypothermic and defeated.

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not happy. Also windy.

I was convinced I was done, but the AS workers wouldn’t let me. They threw some ramen and broth down my throat, pulled a pair of women’s tights onto me (I did not have mine in my drop bag) and shoved me out of the station.

I walked/ran the mile and a half to the base of Mesa Portales, which mean I had a 300 foot climb after running 45 miles. That’s just mean. Once at the top though I was able to run it in (read slowly jog). Plus I was able to catch the pink mountains (thanks feldspar) at sunset.

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I finished in the dark in almost the exact same time as last year. But I finished.

This is my third finish in five attempts. I am ahead in the count and I said when this happened I’d look at moving on. Time to start looking into 100K and maybe a 100 mile race.

I’m going to need a coach.

 

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