When most people go to Vegas, the last things on their minds are exercising and physical health. Though I’d long heard of the impressive trail system in the area, I’ll admit, until this past weekend, all my visits have been filled with less than wholesome activities. It was nice to be able to change that up last weekend with my participation in the Bootlegger 50k. Maybe I’m finally getting a little more mature and responsible?
The race was super fast from the beginning and involved some very talented athletes from across the country. There was ample testosterone flowing from the outset as everyone understood there was some cash and notoriety to be had by performing well in what was the USATF’s championship 50k race. I settled in behind the front pack at a pace I felt was on the fringe of comfortable. Being my first run of proper length in several months, the goal was to reintroduce myself to the stress of racing ultra distance, and to regain confidence in my healing ankle. From the beginning, the pace was too hot for me and, I thought, too hot in general. I was very confident there would be some carnage sweeping beyond the 20 mile mark.
Turns out I was wrong. I came through the halfway point in 5th and stayed there the rest of the day, which was just fine. I must say, I was extremely impressed with the guys up front – most notably, fellow Marin County resident, Alex Varner who decimated the course record en route to a championship performance. Look out for this dude.
Thanks to Ian Torrence for putting on such a great event, including providing a few kegs and tasty eats for a fine afternoon in the warm desert sun. Thanks also to the good people at UltrAspire for outfitting me with a fresh waistbelt for the race and for the helpful gel hand off at halfway.
I did some intervals at the hands of Coach Jason Koop this morning and the legs feels like they absorbed the effort well. I’m really looking forward to a strong final training block prior to racing TNF50 on my home trails in just a couple weeks! Fifty miles is more my speed. Fire it up.