The Bad Ass 50k

22 down, 9 to go…still smilin’: I was still feeling good here, about 30 minutes before I ran out of salt and death marched the last 5 miles.
Bad Ass Weather: Runners making their way up the east side of the Cinder Butte in the early morning sunshine on nice dry dirt after the initial out and back section.

Another successful Bad Ass 50k under our Big Ass belt buckles. We were fortunate once again for the 3rd year in a row with favorable weather. We had perfect January running weather in the desert just east of The Badlands. Sunny, calm…it read 7 degrees at 7:45am when I drove in, but it felt warmer. As soon as the sun was up and hit the desert floor, it warmed up quick. It reached the high 30s, low 40s by midday. Dry dirt on the entire route this year. So, nobody needed studs. Awesome weather. By lap 3 I was hatless, arm sleeves and tights pulled up and sweating. I even got a tan on my buzzed head!

This year, The Colonel and I decided to move the Start/Finish/Staging Area about a 1/4 mile west of the old spot, into a more open, sunny spot. It gets sun earlier in the morning, as there is a nice size wide-open sage brush meadow to the east of the spot. It’s located right at the base of the Cinder Butte.

This year we had over 50 folks show up and at least 15 pooches to run the various distance options. FootZone’s Teague Hatfield marked the course (thanks, Teague). Again, the Harshburgers brought soup and manned the “pot luck” table after they ran the Super Slacker Super Dave 9-miler. Others brought donuts, brownies, cookies, oranges, Clif shots and we had some water jugs. We even had a camp fire this year. The weather was perfect for January. Thanks to all who brought something to share, put another log on the fire, or helped out in any way.

We only had 6 step up to become a Bad Ass this year and run the entire 50k distance with 3,600 feet of climbing. The Super Slacker Super Dave 9 and the Half Ass 13 still are the most popular distances for this time of year. There is about 1,000 feet of climbing per 9 mile loop, the 13 has 1,610 feet of ascent and the 22- has 2,610 of ascent. Nice training spot for mid-winter.

Sean and I both ran the 50k this year and he, like a smart runner, ran the first loop mellow, while I ran the first 13- with Katie Saba (a very fast marathoner) and she was only running the 13. Needless to say, the pace was probably a bit too fast for the first 13, but it’s just training, right? Why not throw down and see how the chips fall. Sean caught me by the top of Smith Canyon on lap 2 (about mile 19 or 20) and we ran together until about 25-26 miles.

We were cruising the last lap in reverse down Smith Canyon and I started getting crampy. I took a S-cap, waited 5 minutes, still crampy, took another (my last), still crampy….dang…Bye, bye Sean. He continued on at our pace, while I slacked off and death marched it in. I ran out of gel and water with 5 miles to go and just trudged it in, hurting the last 5.

NOTE TO SELF: Remember your first really long run after time off, carry extra salt and extra gel. I do this EVERY year in the early season. Forget how much salt, water, and gel I need in the 3-4 hour range. It’s always better to have more than you need than not enough!

The Colonel cruised in for a new course record of 4:23 and I slogged it in about a minute under the old record in 4:34. The old record was held by Justin Angle’s dog Piper. He outsprinted Rod and Justin last year by about 10 yards at the finish.

Thanks everybody, it was another great day out there! Giddyup.

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