2014 Racing Recap

My race performances have been on a steady upward trajectory since I returned to running in 2007 after a years-long break while dealing with torn cartilage in my left knee. 2012 was a breakthrough year. 2013 was even better. 2014, despite a small hiccup, may have been even better still.

The hiccup of which I speak was the fact that we moved across the country from (effectively) sea-level to one mile above. From one of the least fit states in the country to the most fit state in the country. From an area with less competition to an area with more competition. From an area with relatively easy terrain to an area with quite difficult terrain. You get the idea. I may have been a moderately sized fish in a small pond before, but that’s no longer the case.

The year started well, with a 1st place in a 10 mile trail race (ShITR). Next came a 2nd place in a 9 mile trail race (Nippy Niner). Then came a pretty remarkable span of 43 days where I set personal best times for 50 miles (Land Between the Lakes), 5K (Take Steps for Kids), marathon (Go! Saint Louis), 50K (Double Chubb). I ran two of those PRs in a superhero costume.

Photo courtesy of Lori Vohsen

River's Edge Trail

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Photo courtesy of Shannon Drohan

We made the move to Colorado in May. My first 4 races here (Pilot Hill 25K, Leadville Trail Marathon, Mount Werner 50K, Peach Festival 5K) were pretty rough. After spending the summer acclimating to the altitude I feel like I finally nailed it by finishing 3rd at the Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon. Then came another dip, with a mediocre cyclocross race and a somewhat disappointing finish at the Blue Sky Trail Marathon. I bounced back with a very close 2nd place in a cyclocross race, then a 1st at the Forest Glen 50K in Illinois, then a speedy finish at the Allerton Trail Run in Illinois.

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Tree line

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Photo by Ski Town Photography

1.5 miles

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Photo by Erin Bibeau Photography

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Photo by Erin Bibeau Photography

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Forest Glen 50K
Photo courtesy of Cousin Don

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Photo courtesy of Allerton Park Trail Run

I put in some big climbing (over 21,000 feet) the week of Thanksgiving, then I was the 1st (only?) finisher of the Chubby Cheeks 50K in December.

Comparing results from recent years, things look good.

  • 2012: 26 races, 18 top tens, 9 podiums, 3 wins, 4 PRs
  • 2013: 23 races, 21 top tens, 13 podiums, 5 wins, 4 PRs
  • 2014: 18 races, 11 top tens, 8 podiums, 4 wins, 6 PRs

Looking ahead to 2015 I’m planning to do fewer races, but the races I will run are going to be doozies. So far on my plate are Moab Red Hot 55K, Quad Rock 50 mile, and Neversummer 100K. Realistically, I’m not expecting to win many more races. But I am looking forward to running well in some really hard races against some great competition at some pretty incredible locations.

2 thoughts on “2014 Racing Recap”

  1. I’m looking forward to your report on the Red Hot. Moab is a very attractive running spot for me, as I’m thinking about various half marathons there.

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