Mellow Berthoud Pass Day

First off, the lack of posts lately is due to some technical difficulties that have finally been resolved. I’ll be catching up over the next week or two, but for now, a few shots from today. Lauren, Kendall, Sophie, and I headed up early to get some exercise in, and got a few nice turns to boot. Two laps up the East side, two laps up the West side, then out of the lot at noon to still get stuck in I-70 traffic.

Lauren was getting started slowly so Kendall, Sophie, and I headed up to treeline on the East side of the pass for a quick warmup.

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Berthoud Pass Training Day – 2014/01/11

Yesterday was about as good as it gets. Despite a forecast for particularly unpleasant weather, Hans and I went out as we were in need of a training day at altitude. We chose a low-angle, somewhat wind-sheltered area up at Berthoud Pass with the intent of cranking out 3,000′ or so of skinning, plus the ability to test out a couple things. It started out gray, snowy, and windy; we weren’t sure how long we would stick around, but at least we were out.

After breaking trail for 1,000′ from the car, we were treated to a decent (if not wind-affected) ski down to our chosen transition spot. Despite keeping one ski on to avoid sinking in, Hans punched in pretty deep and was forced to take both skis off to climb out of a hole.

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Eiseman Hut – 2013 Winter Solstice

After taking a year off from the annual Eiseman trip, we went back to the Ben Eiseman hut with a dozen friends, lots of food, and – new this time – a keg of beer. Thanks to clear weather, an empty hut, and some vacation time to use, Chris and Gary decided to spend an extra night at the hut and head in Thursday afternoon, a handful of us went in late Thursday night to arrive early on Friday, and the rest came in two more separate groups later on Friday. This is sometimes a recipe for disaster, but any major incidents were avoided this time.

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Cyclocross Season Returns! – CX of the North

And just like that, ‘cross season is back in Colorado. At the time of this writing things are more than a bit damp thanks to a 100-year storm, but moondust was the name of the game last weekend at Cross of the North. I’m back to “racing” in the singlespeed category, partly due to missing the pain that comes with not being able to change gear ratios mid-race, but also largely due to racing at 8am instead of 2:30pm. I’m a morning person through-and-through, and the early race works perfectly for me.

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Photo by Greg Orticelle

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Leadville Trail 100 Pacing

A couple weekends ago I got to do one of my favorite things – cover long distances in the mountains at night at a good pace. Several months ago, I received an email from a friend, who was passing on an email from a guy he knew, about someone else looking for a pacer (or something like that). The racer, Scott Loughney, was preparing for the Leadman competition – essentially racing all summer long in Leadville. Scott’s target time for the 100 was 24-25 hours, putting the last quarter of his race solidly in the overnight hours. Perfect.

Saturday night of the race, I headed up to the Fish Hatchery to take over pacing duties and found Scott’s brother Todd all set up and ready for Scott to come in.

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This was my first time at an ultramarathon, and it was quite the scene.

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Scott came in pacerless, having been too fast for his wife to keep up with.

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A few minutes of rehydrating and sorting new gear and we were off, me with two packs to ease the burden on Scott’s legs, which already had 76 miles in them.

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The evening was chilly, but keeping the pace up kept us both warm.

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There aren’t a whole lot of pictures because, well, it was night time and we had a pace to keep up. To my pleasant surprise, Scott had no major issues during the six and a half hours we were moving through the mountains. Temps dropped quite a bit in the last hour, but a good support crew came through with our warmer clothes just in time.

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Scott came in with a time of 24:31 (for a total Leadman time of 45:18, good for 14th in the series), plenty of time under the cutoff for the big belt buckle.

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It was a great time and I look forward to pacing again. I even came away with a valuable lesson – that I have little interest in ever doing a 100 mile race.

Congratulations Scott, and thanks for having me along for the ride!