Park City Relay. Ran the second half in 1:17:35 minus however long it took me to get over a fence. Our team got second place in 2:37:29.
Bob Thompson unfortunately had a hamstring problem at mile 8 and had to stop. Mike Kirk was running with him, stopped, tried to help him get going for a minute. Then went on. In the mean time, Adam from the Wasatch Atheletics team (just moved here from St. Louis) kept on going, and handed off to Leon Gallegos at 1:18:41. Mike came announcing the change of plans as he was running in, so I got going at 1:19:54 in hopes of catching Leon.
The course was not fast at all. Start at about 6650 feet according to gmap-pedometer, and about 6450 according to the official race elevation map (Let hope Paul can get this straight for us). 4 miles of climb to 7041 according to the official map, and 7058 according to gmap-pedometer. The last half-mile of the climb gets brutal, probably 4% grade (any comments on that Paul?), then a decent at some extremely steep grade that makes you break, then a more gentle descent for a few miles, then rolling hills to the finish. Probably about 30-40% on dirt. As if this was not enough, a closed gate on the course to keep the cows out with a sign asking the passer-bys to keep it closed.
I believe some of the mile markers were accurate, at least the ones that were painted on the road. Others were off. In the beginning I was going about 6:00-6:05 pace, if we are to believe the painted marks. The steep uphill mile was 6:48. Once I got to the top, I started getting a side ache, the type I have gotten before from running hard at a higher elevation. So I took it fairly easy coming down. Hit a few 5:40 miles. 40:47 with a 10 K to go. It started to look like I could even dip a bit under 1:16 if I managed to keep the pace. However, now I was on dirt, and the downhill ended. Now it was just dirt, and 6500 feet of elevation. And no sign of Leon. Oh, well, just hang in there.
As if that was not enough, another obstacle. A closed gate to keep the cattle and the runners out. As I approached it, I realized that with the stress of being in a hurry, it could take me as long as a whole minute or maybe even two to figure out how to open it. My hand dexterity is not very good at all - way below average for a man. And even worse after running 9 miles hard at this elevation. So I looked around to see if there was some kind of a hole. No hole, just barbed wire. However, the gate looked like I could fairly easily climb over it, so I did. Probably lost 20-25 seconds of time + rhythm.
Finally made it to the finish area. Saw my mother, and waved at her - she is visiting us from Russia, and was willing to get up at 5:00 am to see a race.
Leon ran a great time of 1:13:29. This is absolutely amazing on this course. What a breakthrough! In the beginning of the year I was beating him in 5 Ks by over 30 seconds. Then he closed it to 3 seconds in Draper Days 5 K. Then he beat me by a minute and a half in the half marathon last week. Now he beat me by as much as 4 minutes just a week later, and I do not think that my performance today was any worse than last week comparatively with the adjustments for the course. He is going to be a very tough competitor in the Top of Utah marathon.
Jed Burton won the marathon with 2:50:08. Bill Cobler was second with 2:55:30. Went for a cool-down with Bill afterwards.
In the evening ran with the kids, and worked out with weights, bench press, 105 pounds, 3x3, narrow grip.
Somehow managed to put in 76 miles this week.