Monday, August 12, 2013

El Vaquero Loco 50K

Course Profile
So this is the image I went into the weekend with.  My thoughts: this is a mini Speedgoat/at least it's not Softrock. estimated that I would finish 3rd (for females) in 7:33 (?), so I thought "why not?!"  In my head I came up with three goals: 1) Finish in 3rd at or around 7 hours, 2) Don't kill myself, 3) Smile and make sure I'm having fun.  OK.  Here goes.

BJ at the Beer Mile.  Trophy (that did not happen) inspiration
Nick and I arrived in Afton, WY just in time to eat our dinner and grab our awesome swag!  The hoodies utilized B.J.'s beer mile silhouette, so everyone instantly loved them.  In the back of my mind I started to think about a matching trophy...again with B.J.'s beer mile silhouette.  This, I thought, would only make sense and would be treasured for years to come and would serve as motivation for the second half of the race.  (In Lindsay's words) SPOILER!: No trophies were handed out.

I started the race off easy, unlike in the Speedgoat 50K two weekends prior.  My plan was to take the first half easy and eat every 45 minutes, take 1-2 salt tabs every hours and DRINK!  I did this well.  Beyond my fueling a only remember a few things from the first half of the race.  Here goes:

 Photo courtesy of Lindsay Lauck Photography
1) BEAUTIFUL COURSE!  The glacier lakes were a tease. They were clear, light teal and refreshing looking.  We ran through a few streams that felt great on my feet.
2) Mini-Speedgoat profile didn't feel nearly as bad as Speedgoat.  Perhaps it was because I was eating.  It wasn't necessarily as cool because the sun did come out in full force.
3) High school cross country athletes need to be chaperoned on courses like this and will be hurting for at least a week.
4) I tweaked my ankle on the descent to the turnaround and thought I had significant damage.

Alpine Lake at 9500ft: Photo courtesy of Lindsay Lauck Photography
I descended into mile 16 (the turnaround) and ran right to Lane and Steve's truck.  I told them that I needed to check out my ankle and there was nothing there!  Sweet!  There goes that excuse.  As I was re-shoeing, Ryan ran into the aid station along with the 4th place female (which Lane and Steve let me know).  They said that #2 wasn't too far ahead of me and that if I hurried, I could catch her.

In my mind, I knew I didn't have any fire to spark a chase if I couldn't see her (after all, I had killed myself at Speedgoat two weeks ago), but I did want to keep #3.  I knew this girl's style from the beginning of the race and knew that I was a stronger climber.  With a longer climb in the second half, I knew that if I could put enough distance on her that she couldn't see me I could pull it off.  And so I did.

I ran with Ryan for a little bit and then played leap frog with Kendall for awhile before he left me in the dirt. Things I remember from the second half:

1) Whew!  It was hot.
2) I kind of like passing 25K runners.  Sorry.
3) I was handing out salt tabs to cramping runners left and right.
4) I briefly thought I was going to die of thirst and then the finish line appeared out of NO WHERE!
At least I was making this courtesy my mean friends
I plucked my ear buds out to make sure that it wasn't a mirage and indeed I was entering the finish area.  My friends were there to cheer and heckle me into the finish.  They even took a horrible photo...they never claimed to be good photographers.

I finished in 6:47, third female, 15th overall.  Not too bad for a day's work.  I promptly went into the lake for an ice bath and to wash the salt from my face.  A few final notes:

1) Lane and Steve are stellar people and provide A+ aid stations!  Many thanks for their care and concern.
2) I love my new Pearl Izumi N2's.  I had only run in them 1-2 times before this race and they treated my feet well!  Flashy colors too!!
3) The Salt River mountain range is AWESOME.
4) I'm tired and have been travelling a lot.  I miss my dog.


  1. Awesome report and fantastic race. Congrats again!

  2. I knew you'd crush this one! Great report. Sorry I missed out on this race. The N2's are wonderful, glad you're trying them out. I've got three pair so far and love them.

  3. Strong work. That race is very inspiring with all those pretty lakes.

  4. Way to go Britta! You make it look easy.

  5. You are SO fast! I'm one of the 25k runners you would be passing! Congratulations! Hope your ankle is ok!