Who, What, Where:
- Glen Gunnell, Dale Andrus, and myself
- Amasa Back trail race
- Moab, Utah
Night before race:
We made it to Moab, and Gearheads right before the packet pick-up closed so we didn’t have to wake up so early on race day. The salad my wife made was awesome for dinner that night. The hostel definitely had character…a dingy little house with a bunch of smelly granola guys and gals watching some show on a 15 inch TV by a wall full of VHS cassettes.
Only 3 of us went down for the race, and according to the guy at the front desk, that was lucky because our cabin only had 3 beds even though we paid for a 4-bed cabin. Well it was a bunk with decent mattresses and the worst, I mean worst spring mattress I have ever slept on. I tried sleeping for 30 minutes and had some of the worst back pains and lightning strikes down the leg in a long time. Finally I went to get another room but no one was at the front desk, but Glen said he would swap me – thanks Glen, I honestly don’t know how you got any sleep.
Morning of race:
Ate a 1/2 bagel with my home-made almond butter (best batch ever!), but I think I should have refrained from eating (gut was messed up after race for several hours). I chugged down a 5-hour energy right as we pulled into the dirt parking lot up Kane Creek road, not sure this was a good idea, but oh well. The weather was perfect race morning, slightly cloudy, but 1.5 miles into it the sun broke through and a small breeze kept things cool.
The first mile was super fast, I pushed way too hard and the lead group screaming fast. I soon fell behind them and lost site of Glen, and Dale was close behind me. I remember the first 3 miles of climbing over dirt and slickrock being challenging – my memory was correct. I walked up the steeper ledgy areas, and ran as much as I could. The view at the top before the aid station was amazing, better than I remember.
What I didn’t remember very well was how much climbing there was from mile 4 to 7 – it was brutal, but the scenery and diversity of the trail kept the mind off it. I also don’t remember how exposed the back side of the race is. I missed a turn at 6.5 miles causing me to lose almost 2 minutes having to backtrack, that’s part of the fun though.
Around mile 7 there is a section where you run on a 4 foot path with a massive cliff to the left overlooking the Colorado river. I felt strong all the way to the end which was a huge difference from last year. Gratefully the river crossing was non-existent (see photo).
Overall it was an extremely awesome race and it was full of character, adventure, and good laughs which we’ll remember forever.