Since it’s already summer in Salt Lake, I decided to dive right into the ass kicking and do some trail racing in the desert this past weekend. I packed up and drove down to Fruita to meet Adele, Toberer and Mike (along with 100 other Boulderites) for the Desert R.A.T.S Trail Running Festival.
It was a rude awakening to trail running in the western heat for the year; a 50 mile race quickly turned to 25 and then turned into 17-ish mile trail run followed by 8 miles of sunbaked irritating hell. I emerged from the day on legs that weren’t that tired, a body that, overall, wasn’t that dehydrated and a race, that wasn’t run very hard… but with a body the sun had just sucked the life out of in a matter of 3.5 hours, with 2 more to suffer through. Mike and I played tag throughout the race and ended up finishing together, over the last 3 miles we “ran” together, I probably uttered more expletives than belong on such beautiful trails.
Mike saved the day, by having a cooler full of cold Avery IPA in the car at the finish line, then we proceeded to join Adele & Toberer who were working the final aid station of the 50. Adele best sums up the remainder of the day and weekend with her blog post, so I’ll defer you to that for some entertainment and good pictures. Lots of beer, food, Nuun and a good campfire later, I was rolling in my sleeping bag at 5:30 the next morning, about to get up and go run another chunk of miles on the same exposed trails.
The half-marathon on Sunday proved to be an outrageous price for same-day registration, so I opted to go run on my own. The goal simply being to run long on tired legs and put in a good training weekend. My legs, lungs, and body surpassed my expectation and I put in a fluid 6.5 miles, then I met up with the race and joined Adele for some company on her way to her longest trail run so far. 15 miles later, with a stark contrast to how I felt the previous day, I was successfully reminded that, in the desert, all bets are off.
A fantastic weekend with friends, good trails, and good beer; I leave you with a spectacular sunset and a slice of humble pie.