Weather - Overcast, rainy, windy
Moab Red Hot is one of the few races that I hadn't run before - mainly because I've always been worried about driving in the mountains this time of year. I bit the bullet and signed up last fall when a friend signed up. I was on the fence about which distance to sign up for, and chose the 33K because I wasn't sure if I would be ready for a challenging ultra so soon after Across the Years.
A had an early release from school. Initially, I figured that she would want to take the entire day off, but for some reason she wanted to go for a few hours. While she was in class I went to Target to buy last minute supplies, went home to finish packing, and then picked A up at school shortly after 10.
We made a quick stop at the liquor store on the way out of town so that I could have "real" beer (all beer in Utah is like 4%). Other than a few bathroom breaks, we drove straight through to Moab. We had decided to be super frugal this trip and brought groceries and a cooler with us so that we could brown bag our lunch and have food in the hotel so we would not need to go out to eat as much.
Our hotel was only about 10 minutes from the start, which wasn't until 8:30, so I didn't have to get up super early. I woke up before my alarm at 6:40 or so, and had slept VERY well, which is actually pretty rare when I travel. Got dressed and all my gear ready before heading down to get breakfast. I settled for an English muffin with peanut butter and jelly and a hard-boiled egg. Back at the room I filled my hydration pack, grabbed my gear, and headed out (a bit late) at 7:25. As I was driving to the start, I noticed that people were walking and jogging to the start of the jeep trail - which meant we were NOT starting at the Gemini Bridge lot. I had hoped to watch the 55K runners start since I knew a lot of friends that were running. I decided to skip sitting in the warm car to head over to the start area, although the race literally started right when I walked up. Of course that meant I was now stuck standing around for a half hour. Used the bathroom and then wandered around looking for people I might know until the pre-race meeting at 8:15. All I took away from that was that we were following pink/black flagging.
The wind picked up and I put on my Ultimate Direction rain/wind jacket, even though I was already wearing long sleeves. I even put my hood up! Right as we were starting, so did the rain. It was coming down hard enough that I had water pooling in the creases of my jacket. So that was fun. For a very brief moment I contemplated just going back to the car/hotel. I saw Francesca and we talked a bit until the start.
Ugh. I was just NOT feeling this at all. Knowing where we starting, I knew that the first mile would be uphill, and since I'm the worst at climbing, I started in the back. The very back. Seriously, I turned around a few minutes in and I was dead last. I would remain in last place until we reached the top of the first climb.
|The Egyptian bird rock|
This section of the course was flat for a bit, but it was SANDY. Not "loose" sand, but kind of sticky sand that was sort of hard to run through. I hate sand. Eventually, we headed onto the "Goldbar Spike Spider" - which is where it seems we climbed endlessly.
|I think this one looks like a cartoon character|
|This may have been where the first 55K runner passed me|
|At the top of the mesa, looking down on the visitor center for Arches National Park (A said I was too close to the edge)|
Climbing, climbing, climbing. Caught up with Francesca and we took a selfie.
|Puddles on the trail - and OH MORE CLIMBING|
|THIS was super steep|
|Some slick and steep descending - passed some people on this|
|The gal on the left in purple I had passed at mile 8 :(|
I managed to catch Sean (who ran the 55K) and Francesca as they crossed the finish line.
Official Time - 5:01:28 (14:43 pace)
Official 8 mile - 1:54:00
Overall Place - 237/262
Gender Place - 112/132
Division Place - 69/77
Garmin Time - 5:01:30
Garmin Distance - 19.38 miles (15:33 pace)
Elevation Gain - 2,802'
Mile 1 - 16:12
Mile 2 - 11:38
Mile 3 - 11:18
Mile 4 - 12:03
Mile 5 - 14:35
Mile 6 - 15:56
Mile 7 - 18:38
Mile 8 - 22:45
Mile 9 - 18:05
Mile 10 - 16:48
Mile 11 - 16:57
Mile 12 - 14:39
Mile 13 - 15:46
Mile 14 - 16:24
Mile 15 - 17:06
Mile 16 - 13:59
Mile 17 - 15:27
Mile 18 - 14:04
Mile 19 - 14:20
Mile 19.38 - 12:47
Drove back to the hotel, took a quick shower and ate some leftovers. Took A to the pool, although all I did was sit in the hot tub for a bit. Maybe it was because of the cold temps and rain, but the pool was CROWDED. We stayed about an hour. Went back to the room and tried to nap.
We later went to Eddie McStiff's for the post-race party. We were all crammed into a private room, but it was totally worth it for free food and beer! We were also treated to a cool presentation put on by Ian Torrence. Also in attendance was Scott Jurek, so of course A had to get her picture with him too.
|Interesting the beer was provided by a brewery outside of Salt Lake, not out of Moab|
Got up around 7:30, packed, got breakfast, and then headed out of town. We had enjoyed our hike at Fisher Towers, so we planned on hiking there again before leaving. We arrived at the trail head at 9:45 to find it super foggy. There was a good chance of rain, but it was dry when we headed out, with only a few other cars in the lot.
The coolest thing happened on our drive through the canyon - we saw a bald eagle sitting on a rock about 5 feet off the side of the road. I pulled over about 50 yards up and hoped to get a close up, but as I approached, it flew away. So cool though! Never seen one so close outside a zoo.
- This was probably my least favorite race out of all the events I have run out in Moab. I can't even really explain why, although the crappy weather we had may have helped in that decision. It is a challenging course for sure, and there were sections that were just NOT the most fun for me.
- The course for the most part was very well marked, although there were a few spots where it wouldn't have hurt to have had a few more flags.
- The volunteers were fantastic. So helpful and friendly - and really good sports standing around in the cold/wind/rain.
- The race shirt is cute! A royal blue single (that of course I do not have a picture of).
- No medal/award for this race, just a pint glass. Never can have too many of those?
- Will I run this race again? Probably not - my fears about driving in the mountains this time of year were confirmed. Even though there was no bad weather predicted, I guess you never know!
- I love Moab. Even when it is rainy and overcast, it is still just so pretty and I love going running/hiking out there.
- We had a great "long" weekend and will of course be back to Moab - just not for this race!