― Dag Hammarskjöld, Markings
It's actually longer then 50 miles and comes complete with 7,759' of elevation gain. The first 6 miles of the race is a chest pounding 6.5 mile ascent of Steamboat Ski Area and just like that half of the days elevation gain is quickly taken care of. From there, runners enjoy crisp autumn air while running along a magnificent Northern Colorado Ridge line out to Rabbit Ears Pass and back. We'll even spend a bit of time above 10,000'.
Now, let me start over... it's been 3 weeks since the Leadville 100 and holy crap, the next race is all ready here! I'm actually very relaxed heading into this one. It's a tough race with a 15-hour time limit. I'm heading up to Steamboat without a crew given the fact that they'd only be able to see me once during the race and even getting to that point has been known to be as challenging as the run itself. Instead, there's ONE drop bag station which we'll visit twice on this out and back course. We'll get access to that at miles 22 and 28. This means that the Steamboat 50, also known as Run Rabbit Run, will afford me to opportunity to go back in time.
It was 2005 when I ran my first ultra-marathon. That race was the Damn Wakely Dam Ultra in New York's Adirondaks. The most unique aspect of that race, in my opinion, was the fact that the course never crossed a road and had no aid stations. Now, of course the Run Rabbit Run has aid stations along the way but for much of the race I'm going to be required to wear a backpack with any necessary personal gear not available to me at the various aid stations on the course and, then there's the drop bag station. So in a sense, I feel like this race has a taste of my ultra-roots. It's a grass roots race put on my ultra-runners who aren't in it to make a buck as race fees primarily go towards charity.
And then there's this on the website: "A word of warning: This is not a beginner’s run. You might find the uphills and downhills fairly steep. You will spend a lot of time at an altitude of nearly two miles. There may be snow. There may be rain. It may be wet, or windy, or then again, it may be hot. There may be wild animals out there, some of them a lot bigger and scarier than a rabbit." ...Perfect.
So like it or not, I'm ready to head up to Steamboat all by myself this weekend. I plan to camp out in town, watch a movie on my iPad the night before the race. Get up for a casual 6:00am race start and just enjoy the crap out of 50 miles of Northern Colorado Wilderness. The leaves are changing up there and there's even talk that spots above 9,000' got some snow over the last few days. We'll see what the course has in store for us. After putting all of my training eggs into the Leadville 100, this one's just for me to enjoy. I have no time goals though I know I'd like to be done before dark. This is a journey, an adventure.. and a good place for me to enjoy some me time.. Some time alone. Time to reflect. A great way to enjoy Colorado's Northern Forest. Time on my feet this weekend will help us in the upcoming Slickrock 100. So, with that.. a...way..we...go.
Steamboat 50 Goals:
1.) Enjoy the journey
2.) Engage in adventure
3.) Time on my feet
|Mile 3 and 47|