Sunday was the first Beaver Creek Snowshoe race, and my first 10K on snowshoes. We attended a awesome wedding on Saturday afternoon and then decided to head up to Breckenridge to stay with the McDowells at their family condo. A short stop off in Golden to drop Arwen with Laura and Wess (many thanks for bailing us out last minute) and we were on the road. Annie handled the day of driving like a champ, and for once we were PUKE free! The next morning, we packed up the crew and headed to Beaver Creek. We parked at the free lot and it seemed like everyone getting on the bus had snowshoes. At registration, I had this feeling that I wasn’t the only one really looking forward to this race. All the top ladies were there. I saw them, I recognized them, and even had a little warm up with Anita Ortiz (last years 10K winner in 3 of the 4 races).
Another longer warm up with Steve and Anthony pursued and I was feeling very warm and excited to see what this 10K on snowshoes thing is all about. Steve asked if I was going to do the “Dash for Cash” and I said no, but then at the last minute I decided to participate. The dash for cash is a 150 yard sprint and the winner gets $100. Usually half of the participants fall down, or trip, and make a laughing stock of themselves. That was my reasoning to not participate, I didn’t need some huge public adrenaline rush before the race. Well, I got on the line and when they said go I ran as hard as I could, and did a nice lean at the finish, and had no clue what the result was. Another lady was doing a little victory dance, but when they announced that the girl in the green vest won...THAT WAS ME! Woo Hoo. $100 - man, who can’t use that?
After that, I lined up one person off the starting line and soon enough the race was on. I went out hard but steady b/c I knew that there was some single track powder between 0.75-1.0 mile. I was in good position when we got to the powder and didn’t have to fight any slow people. At one mile the 10Kers headed up and the 5Kers got to go down and homewards. After a little more up, we then had a long slightly downhill section which the map showed as flat, so I mentally noted that a long uphill-ish slog would happen on the return. I tried as hard as I could to keep Karen (Atlas Team member, Pro Triathlete) in my sights and was successful in that. Then we started another large climb that just never ended. Around mile 4 I remember thinking “I am so tired of looking at where my feet need to land”. I got mentally tired of being on my game. At the first downhill I lost sight of Karen, but just continued to push as hard as I knew how. The uphill-ish section really wasn’t that bad and was a nice relief to the painfully steep downhill we had been running.
The race ended with two large hills that I knew were coming from last year. Ryan Sutter (he married Trista “The Bachelorette) passed me on the first hill and he was running really strong. At this point it was about survival and getting it done. I was so happy to be done! This was one of the physically hardest races I have run. One hour 15 minutes of hight heart rate, and grueling hills.
I’m happy to be $100 richer for the effort. There was some misunderstanding and my results were not posted at the race, but they figured it out and posted my finish with the online results. I seem to be having “result” issues recently!