Logan Peak Trail Run 06/28/2010
After running the Logan Peak Trail Run last year I promised myself I would be back this year and be under 5 hours. Two injuries, one early this season and one about a month ago, kept me 55 seconds off my goal but will have me out for it again next year.
The event is a great introduction to ultra marathons, as it is not so long that somebody familiar with running marathons cannot fathom completing it, yet it still provides the challenging vertical accent and decent that make trail racing so fulfilling.
I stuck with the lead group for about 20 minutes to start the morning out. I was determined to run my race this year and not let my ego get in the way in hopes of aggravating my sore peronius tendon as little as possible (I have Dr. Stucky in Hyrum to thank for its speedy recovery and strength on race day, he is amazing.) I fell back about 3 minutes come aid station one, which I was fine with because I had anticipated them gaining about that much ground on me between each aid station as I was not 100%. To that point the trail was fantastic. The course was dry and relatively clear. I was passed by one person who added himself to the lead group, which was Chris Crawley, and I suppose I should mention the leaders: Cody Draper, Jon Allen, Joe Fuse, and Scott Dickey. Apparently Scott Lewis also passed me at some point; however I do not remember seeing him do so. Maybe he passed me the second time through the second aid station…
Anyways, back to the race. As I came into the first aid station I made quick work of getting some water and extra food into my system and took off, with Will Wood and company close on my hills. This was the last time I would see him except when I passed him coming off the top. Just a side note, he did amazingly well for his first trail ultra, and I look forward to seeing him at future races. The 7 mile between the two aid stations was absolutely gorgeous. The temperature was perfect and the trail was only muddy and slick in one spot. This is probably one of the faster portions as well because it has a somewhat wide open downhill two tracks for cruising speeds and I felt myself gaining ground on the lead pack again, occasionally hearing them or catching glimpses of them up the trail. I couldn’t quite close the gap though, and after having to take a quick stop at one of the many port-a-potties on the course didn’t see them except for when we passed 5-10 minutes off of the top, where I again used one of the port-a-potties.
I was feeling strong as I came into the second aid station, but maybe a little dehydrated. I need to learn to listen to my body a little more, for example when salty potato chips taste that good there is probably a reason why. I was in and out as quick as possible and up the trail about ¾ a mile Shane Martin caught me at the rodeo grounds. It was great to have somebody to talk to on the way up the mountain, but unfortunately I would only see him in the distance on the way down. It is too bad I couldn’t keep him closer, as he eventually got lost and came out Logan Canyon instead of dry.
The road to the top was actually better than last year, be it a little muddier, but over all I felt it was easier to move on and with surprising less snow coverage a little warmer at this point. Coming off the top of the mountain is my favorite part of the race as you get to see all your buddies, and encourage them on. Everyone was looking great and I don’t remember one discouraged face (I think those come between aid station 3 and 4.) Tom Emmett, my good friend form Norda’s was cruising well ahead of what he told me would be his schedule. By the time I hit the aid station for the second time my legs were cramping form dehydration. I swallowed some salt pills and as much water as I could and gave them about 5 minutes to start working. I wish I would not have spent so long there but my calves felt like they were knotted up the size of softballs. I got back out on the trail and was feeling pretty good after about 500 yards. I was sucking down water in anticipation of a jeep with water at the dry canyon cut off (the one that Shane Martin missed.) There wasn’t one though and I had to suffer through the next 4 or 5 miles again feeling dehydrated. Lesson learned though and from now on I will be better about maintaining my salt level.
Fortunately this is by far, in my opinion the most scenic part of the race, which greatly helped me forget about my aching legs and parched mouth. The trail rolls in and out of densely forested meadows and along the cliffs of Logan peak. Occasionally a glimpse of Logan Canyon is caught and as you round the mountain to head back into Dry Canyon you can see Cache Valley. Very few points offer as good of a view on the entire run except maybe the peak itself.
By the time I reached the last aid station I was pretty dehydrated, but with 4.5 miles to go not too concerned about it. I grabbed some salts, a couple M&M’s, and took off strong determined to catch the runner they said was less than 10 minutes ahead of me. About 1000 yards down the trail I found a root. I came around a switch back and caught it with my right foot. I went flying through the air and luckily caught myself with a water bottle saving my hands. I slid to a stop about 15 feet later and took a few minutes gathering my senses. I brushed off some of the dust and mud, but left plenty for a good story, and took off. Again about 2 miles down the trail I was held up, this time by a heifer and her two calves. Unfortunately a rancher was bringing about 30 cows up the trail and I was delayed about 3 more minutes while I waited for her and the cows to make their way by.
Finally I reached cruising speed and made way out the canyon. I was ecstatic to reach the finish line, but crushed when they told me my time. 55 seconds off of a sub 5 hour run. I suppose it is motivation to come back next year though and kill it, hopefully without injury and maybe I can work on that course record…
Great job Cody, Jon, Joe, Chris, Tom, Will and all my other friends that were on the course Saturday! Also I would like to thank Dr. Stucky for helping me get that tendon back in working condition, Jennessa for taking a few pictures and hanging out with me at the pavilion, and everyone else that made it a great day.