AM- Logan Peak Run. The hometown race. I was lucky enough to win the race against stiff (primarily out-of-town) competition the past few years. This year, the competition came from the locals! The race is 28 miles (give or take), all trail, some of it rather technical, running from Logan to the top of Logan Peak and back. 7200 ft elevation gain, and equal loss.
Warmed up a few miles, 4 star race. They adjusted the start a bit, thankfully eliminating a bit of road and making the race about 1/3 mile shorter. We started, and I soon found myself leading a pack of 5 (me, Joe, Cody, Chris Cawley, and Scott Dickey) all the way up the steep Dry Canyon to aid 1. Splits were 8:57, 11:29, 14:14, 15:27, and 14:28 (counting aid stop). We were 2.5 min up on last year's CR pace, primarily due to the shorter start. I stopped at mile 6 to relieve myself while enjoying the view, and fell to the back. Followed Chris down South Syncline trail for a few miles, then we turned a corner and saw Cody sprawled out with Joe tending to him. Big wipeout, bloody lip, arms, etc. Cody seemed in a bit of a daze. I was thinking (hoping?) the fall would make Cody hesitant and slow on the downhills, but he bounced back like the stubborn guy he is. Scott had pulled away but we reeled him in soon. Lots of up and down to aid 2 at the backside of the peak, splits of 10:11, 6:49, 9:02 (with stopping for Cody), 10:31, 11:44, 9:50. 4 min total faster than last year.
Despite fears and reports of tons of snow, the ascent to the peak wasn't too muddy or snowy- and less icy than last year. Chris pushed the uphill, but we lagged behind, knowing the oxygen debt wasn't worth it. Hit the top in 2:37:10, about 4-5 min faster than last year. I felt good on the uphills. Then back down to the aid station, catching a bonking Chris on the way. Splits were 10:59, 16:20, 10:50, 8:30, 7:32.
I was very good with quick aid station stops at the first 3, though Cody left aid 3 just a hair ahead of me. I quickly caught and passed him, and Joe caught Cody. Chris and Scott fell back, never seen again. I put about 30 seconds on Joe and Cody on the jeep trail, and was hoping I could repeat last year's race where I pulled away on the North Syncline singletrack and eventually won. I reached the singletrack 6 min ahead of last years time. However, when I hit the downhill/rolling singletrack, my legs failed to kick into high gear. Cody and Joe easily caught me and we ran as a pack till aid 4 at the top of Dry. But I knew I was in trouble- my legs didn't have any downhill speed and my stomach was trying to send back all the gu's. Splits were 9:23, 7:11, 7:13, 10:04, 13:40, 8:43. We had given back 3 min compared to my time last year by the time we reached aid 4.
I stopped for a bottle refill at aid 4, while Cody and Joe took off down the hill. I was only about 10 seconds back when I left, but I watched the gap grow and grow. Last year, I ran the 4 dry canyon miles in 24:02. This year, I ran them in 31:06. Not really much else to say about that- my legs were finished, nothing for the downhill. With my high training mileage, my legs sometimes feel great on downhills, and sometimes they are empty. Today was the first race where they were empty. I knew Cody and Joe were gone, and started to worry about being caught, but still couldn't speed up. I wasn't bonking in terms of running out of sugar/energy, my legs were just tired. Splits were 7:59, 7:07, 8:07, 7:53, 7:20. A far cry from last year's 6 min miles. Finished 6-7 min back from Cody and Joe, final time of 4:28:48. 2 min slower than last year, though I estimate the course was 2.5 min faster. So probably 4.5 min slower, in real terms. FRB/SGRC 1 thru 3 sweep, and all Loganites- kind of fun.
Chris finished 4th place, 12 min back from me. The big adventurer, though, was Shane Martin, who missed a turn, tried to bushwack back, and somehow ended up at the bottom of Logan Canyon after avoiding some cliffs. He ran down the canyon river trail and bushwacked back up to the starting line, begging some water off a kind homeowner on the way. Quite the tale. Lots of people had tales of massive wipeouts, too, with 8 of the top 10 finishers sporting scrapes and bruises. I was one of the few who stayed on my feet.
It was great to see how excited Cody and Joe were for their races, as well as many other runners. Lots of people had great runs. I enjoyed spending some time at the finish, talking to lots of people (including FRB-ers Bryce, ultrajim, and twinkies) and eating the great food spread Bruce provides, and playing a bit with my family, too, who had come to support me.
I'll admit it's a bit painful to lose a race after winning it 2 years in a row, especially to Cody :). I'm sure Cody will remind me of the defeat often (which I deserve), and he and Joe earned all the accolades they can get- they ran very strong and, unlike me, finished well. I'm know my recent high mileage (88 miles/week avg over the past 4 weeks) slowed me at the end. I imagine a decent taper would have helped, but I'm really not sure it would have been enough to stay up with Cody and Joe at the end- they were super speedy. I knowingly chose to not taper, aiming all training towards the Bear 100, and this is simply a consequence. I do have lots of time to make up on Cody at El Vaquero Loco, however... so he better watch out!
Well done to everyone today, and a big thanks to the RD's, aid station volunteers, and my family. A great day and a great trail run on a beautiful mountain- can't ask for much more than that.