It only took one race to get Chris hooked on running…after the Xterra 5K he was on the hunt for another trail race. Enter the Bear Creek 10 Spot…turned 15K thanks to the residual effects of all the flooding in September. Once again Race Directors had to do a lot of last minute re-routing and once again they pulled it off! These trail RDs rock at life!
We arrived at the park just before 9am, hiked up the hill to the start area, grabbed our bibs and were ready to go. The race started a bit late due to the fact the new last minute course required us to wait for the 5K’ers to get past a certain point. I spent a little time staring at the course map but it was confusing so I just decided to follow the person in front of me – the main reason I’ll never win a race, I’ll get lost! Or, at least that is my excuse to never win!
We started out with a short loop followed by two long loops but it wasn’t until we were a mile into the larger loop that I figured out we were running it twice. That kind of sucked. A lot. Bear Creek isn’t exactly hilly but it definitely has a fair amount of rolling. At the end of a very hilly week of running this race hurt and the hills left like mountains.
This was Chris’s first longer race and we talked about pacing together or just running our own races. We ended up running our own races. Chris and I ran the first half mile together then he took off in front of me. I settled into a just-fast-enough-to-hurt pace not far behind him for the first 5 miles. Then I caught up. As we started into the final loop we were running together, but not for long. His speedy start was taking its toll and I was too stubborn to walk hills so we split up.
I was determined to run every hill and make the most of the flat and down hill. This meant my pace jumped all over the place with my lungs happy and my legs crying. There was a short, steep climb just before the finish line which was just cruel and put a sprinting finish out of the question. Somehow I managed to finish feeling fairly strong and was elated with my time of 1:26:32 – I had just PR’ed the pants off a road 15K on a rolling trail course, after a week with 3 hard hill workouts! Go me! Go legs! Go running!
I immediately turned around to double back on the course and found Chris cresting the last hill and got all excited. He was still running and he even looked a little bit happy…probably because he was almost done, but still – I saw a smile! He finished 2 minutes behind me at 1:28:18!
We rehydrated, stuffed our faces with pizza and headed back to the hill from hell just before the finish line to do our best to convince those coming in to keep running and that it was almost over! While we were up there we got some cool photos of the damage from the flood waters.
The water line is strikingly obvious with the tree tops in full fall colors! The park has been underwater for weeks and still has a long way to go before its back to normal. Even along the hills surrounding the lake you can see how high the water was because of the line of sticks and trees left behind. It’s incredible to think how much water was held back by the dam!
Now, just for fun and because the poor man is married to a blogger here is Chris’s recap of the race. A bit more exciting than the last one… And yes, he did narrate the entire recap, I just got a little carried away in Illustrator!
The race had a late start so most of our Sunday was gone by the time we headed back to our car but we made time for the drive up to Boulder to get new trail shoes…that were legitimately fitted for our oddly shaped feet! Our credit card isn’t happy but our feet should love us, we hope!