Rock/Creek race team member John Anderson flew out to Utah for the mountainous Wasatch Speedgoat 50K. John gave an outstanding effort and finished in second, just 3 minutes behind the winner. Below is John’s story of the race. If you are interested in John’s other accomplishment, and the accomplishments of the entire Rock/Creek Race Team, visit their profiles at http://www.rockcreek.com/raceteam.
The Wasatch Speedgoat 50k is based out of Snowbird, Utah and you get the unique experience of being cheered on by people riding up on the tram. You also get the unique experience of feeling your legs go through pain, then numbness, then pain again, and thankfully back to numbness as the course ascends 10,500 ft and descends the same in 50k. The race is directed by Karl Meltzer (several time winner of the Hardrock 100 who will be attempting to break the AT speed record starting on August 9th), and he puts on a great quad smashing race.
We started the day in the cool Wasatch mountains and headed uphill for the initial 4500′ climb. By the time we got halfway up there was a lead pack of 4 runners, and Nate McDowell and I chatted about our kids between trying to catch our breath. Luckily for me Nate’s daughter has a longer name than my son so he had to talk more. By the time we got to the top, Nate had a couple minute lead on me, and we came crashing down Mt. Baldy, complete with ropes and spotters from Black Diamond and settled in for a long day in the mountains.
The next several hours were spent climbing and descending the newly designed race course, some of it off trail, some singletrack, some on forest service roads, a short stretch through the ski tunnel that connects Snowbird to Alta at around 10,000 ft, and even a little time rolling around on the ground. The La Sportiva Fireblades performed excellently again–perfect for the technical terrain and the steep descents.
When all was said and done, Nate won in 5:43 and I finished up in second in 5:56. Although I did manage to chuck a snowball at Nate as he climbed above me in the final ascent. My ankles are sore and my lips are chapped, but it was a stellar race with outstanding views (and next time I’ll remember the lip balm…)
Gear List for race: Patagonia Airius Top, Patagonia Long Haul Runners, La Sportiva Fireblade shoes, Patagonia Ultra Lightweight Socks, Smith Factor polarized sunglasses, Nathan Quickdraw water bottle, and Nathan 10k Hip Pack.