2015 Zion 50k Race Report – Third Time Is Not The Charm

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For the third year in a row, I took part in one of the Zion Ultra races put on by Matt Gunn and company. Also for the third year in a row, I managed to have the absolute worst race of my season. In 2012, I dropped from the 100k due to not giving a shit around mile 45. In 2013, I took a few wrong turns (at well marked intersections) and ran well below my potential. This year, I was able to run fairly well for 16 miles before my entire right side eventually locked up and rendered running at any sort of respectable pace impossible.

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Here are a few details (in no particular order):

– I ran in about 2nd or 3rd place for much of the first 20 miles.

– I’m pretty sure the slick rock is what aggravated my right glute, hamstring, calf and eventually my knee.

– I felt great up the Gooseberry Mesa climb. The multiple trips up Malans clearly helped.

– Around mile 22 is where I decided I was going to drop. At that point any sort of running was so painful that it altered my gait. I removed my bib from my shorts in ceremonial fashion.

– Roughly a mile later is when Jon caught up to me. I was happy to see him. I was also sad because I probably wouldn’t drop at mile 24 anymore… Unless Lane was there to give me a ride.

– He wasn’t

– I left the last aid station with Jon, and managed to run with him for a mile or two. This wasn’t sustainable, so I walked an uphill and watched him pull away.

– With about two miles to go, I debated on asking a car for a ride to the finish.

– I walked it in (this has started to become a theme for me) to the finish for 7th place in about 5:10.

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More thoughts:

– Attempting to race just three weeks after the Buffalo Run 100 was a bad idea.

– I love this race, but the timing is terrible. I love running Buffalo Run… and it doesn’t bode well to run Zion well only a few weeks later.

– With that said, I’ll probably run both of them again next year.

– The Prius sleeps 1 to 3 people comfortably, if you are 5 foot 6 or under.

– Thank you UltrAspire for making the Revolution pack. Although I raced terribly, this pack was perfect again.

– Eventually I will run one of these Ultra Adventures races well. It’s bound to happen.

– Joel finishing out his 100 in serious pain was incredible to watch. I’m sure I don’t fully understand the prolonged suffering there, but I was proud to see him finish it out.

– Every race can’t go well. This was a reminder of that fact.

– I will get my right side fixed before racing again in July… The big ones are yet to come.

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