Ghost Town 38.5M – January 20, 2008

I had a great weekend and an awesome run down in Hillsboro,
NM at the Ghost Town 38.5 on January 20th, 2008.

I’d highly recommend this event and plan on going back next year. It was really nice to get off the snow and back onto dry land. Next year, I think I might take a few extra days to get some more training in.

The area is pretty similar to Ft Collins. Elevation ranges from 5100 to 7000 with a mix of open scrub and forest. The course was an out and back with one dog leg on the way out. 6 miles of road at the start was barely noticeable …a bit harder on the way back. Most of the route was smooth dirt roads with a little over 11 miles of trail and rough jeep roads. Plenty of easy running with a few good hills and a couple nasty stretches with loose rocks. Round trip was about 4600 feet total ascent. The weather was pretty nice for running as well. …a bit chilly around 5 degrees at the start but it warmed up into the 50’s later in the afternoon. Out running Paul Grimm to the finish line of the 2008 Ghost Town 38.5

This was by far my best race I’ve run so far. I kept a conservative pace for the first half, running most of the way with Elise Boeh and Marty Duchow. After the turn around I started to push a bit harder. Elise dropped back a bit and Marty and I stuck together for a few more miles. Coming into the 6th aid station, I had gained a small lead on Marty and just caught up with Paul Grimm who was in 2nd place. I was feeling good and with just 9 miles to go, I thought I could push even harder. The idea of moving into second place got me fired up and I made a quick stop at the aid station to drop everything that I didn’t need to carry and took off as fast as I could. I figured if I could get a lead on Paul and Marty, I wouldn’t have to race them the full 9 miles back. The plan worked and I ran mile 30 in 7:55 – my fastest split of the race! Paul was no where to be seen behind me and at the last aid stop with 4 miles to go, I made the mistake of asking where the Ed Heller was in first place. He’d already been through 15 minutes ago so there wasn’t any chance of catching him. And since there wasn’t anyone in sight chasing me from behind, I lost some steam and slowly made my way to the finish. It had been a lot more fun and a lot more motivating wondering if Ed was just around the next bend or over the next hill. I kept looking behind me to see if anyone was catching up but it was just me all alone on a long stretch of highway. Then with about 100 yards to go, I noticed something in my peripheral vision.  I looked back and Paul was right on my heels! I have no idea how he snuck up on me like that. I took off at a full sprint for the finish (mostly because Paul startled the hell out of me). There was no way I was going to lose my 2nd place finish after I’d made it this far! I managed to keep my place and beat Paul to the finish line by 13 seconds.

I felt great the entire way and never hit the wall at any point. And this is the first time I’ve actually raced anyone other than myself. What a blast! Oh, and this was my 35 birthday as well – I can’t think of any better way to have spent the day.

And Susan really put on a great event. Most of the runners were back after doing this race the last two years and most will probably be back next year. I wish I had more time to talk to some of the other competitors – there were quite a few runners with an amazing amount of experience at this event.

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