Monday, July 15, 2013

Barr Trail Mountain Race Report

Executive Summary:
2nd overall in 1:35:05, 42 seconds behind inov-8 teammate and possible trail cyborg Alex Nichols. From Colorado Springs at 6750 feet elevation, the race travels up 3630 feet to Barr Camp and back. Did I finish covered in blood? YES. Did I make a wrong turn? SORT OF. Did I poop in the woods? NO, AND YOU ARE DISGUSTING FOR THINKING OTHERWISE.

I either took a spill, or am way too enthusiastic about ketchup.

Megan is here! And I'm bar studying. So my time has been spent on awesome hikes and learning what a "tort" is. I'm guessing some type of cake.

Addie is very tired thinking about both of those things.

Anyway, not much time to write, as every open hour with a computer needs to be spent analyzing the finer points of cake law. Basically, things are awesome, we hiked 70 miles in the week before Barr, and my brain is mush. Like cake batter! CAKE CAKE CAKE.

At the beginning of the week, Addie was scared of the rock field and decided not to move another inch. By the end of the week, she'd be the bouldering queen.

On Saturday, traveled down to Colorado Springs with my favorite people in the world. I am counting Addie in that calculation because she poops like a 200 pound male competitive eater.

Deer Addie:
That is gross.

We had a pre-race meal of frozen yogurt and pizza. Sadly, there was no pizza-flavored frozen yogurt. SYNERGY FAIL.

Warmed-up, jogged the first mile of Barr Trail (my first time on this iconic single track!), and toed the line at this legendary trail race. Ready, Set, CAKE!

Having never been on the trail, I did not know what to expect. Steep grades? Rocks? Trolls? So I started comfortably, at a pace about 1/10 of an unladen swallow. I was a very laden swallow.

After a few minutes, the pecking order was established, with Alex on his home trails up front, me taking up the rear, and trail superstar Matt Byrne in 3rd. There is not much to report other than UP. And that at one point, the trail split and that after running a few seconds, I turned back around to check out the trail signs. I would make a right turn at a NASCAR race.

Both Addie and I are easily distrac SQUIRREL!

At the halfway point turnaround, Alex had around 30 seconds, and I felt super strong for descending. After a mile or two, I passed him and opened up a gap. Hoping to break his spirits, I laid into the gas pedal with all my might. Unfortunately, I seemed to be driving a Pinto. And not the car, but the bean.

However, I had about 15 seconds until we hit the infamous "W's", a steep section of switch-backing trail. I was completely unprepared for each turn. Every change of direction seemed like a surprise. Like biting into an ice cream cake that was filled with pizza ice cream.

Addie thinks that sounds tasty. As do the flowers. And the poop over there. Hey...are you eating that dirt?

Just as Alex passed with 1.5 miles to go, I attempted to put in one more surge. As you can guess from the picture up top, I surged directly into some rocks and dirt, leaving a fair amount of skin on the trail. My Joe-mentum (the motivation I get from thinking about the dreamy smile of Joe Biden) vanished, and I ran in licking my wounds. Crossing the line, I saw a beautiful girl, amazing parents, and a puppy that was literally dying to lick my wounds. Either that saying about the cleanliness of a dog's mouth is a lie, or I am deceived by the Google Image search for "gangrene".

Addie had come down the snow wall in my arms, then she tried to go back and help Megan. Puppy got a lesson in friction.

Thanks so much for everything guys! Pikes Peak Sports put on a great event with awesome pizza and cash awards for the podium. Which will be useful for buying pizza. It's the circle, the circle of pizza. Also, it was so amazing seeing the epic/inspirational George Zack. He was wearing fingerless gloves for the race, and when I asked him about it at the start line, he waggled his typing fingers and said "These are the money-makers." In addition, it was great to meet MonicaB! Based on how much Addie liked her, she has an awesome soul. Or possibly she smelled like food.


  1. congrats on another great race! keep the awesome RR and Addie pics coming

  2. running! blood! flowers! bones! mountains! "Yes," to all of the above!

    The Rocky Mountain chapter of this blog juss gets bettah and bettah, David! Thank you for being you!

  3. Good job on your first Barr Exam. Although you failed the part on crop dusting to prevent someone from passing you. And it looks like your attempt to dive at his ankles to tackle him didn't work out either. :). Seriously that trail has a lot of idiosyncrasies that make a successful first attempt unlikely, you did awesome!

  4. Sounds like an awesome performance, Dave! I've been so envious of your hiking photos this past week. What an amazing way for you to spend time with the people (Addie included) you care about.
    So, did you run some regular workouts in addition to the hiking this week? Or, did the hiking serve as a kind of race training?
    Also, are those the new X-Talon 212s you're wearing?

  5. +1 on Brett's comments. It is a challenge to get a good rhythm going on the Ws with all those hard switch backs. You hitting the trail for the very first time and taking second with a stout time - very impressive.

    And I am hoping your Dad has a blog because he is way cooler than you anyway.

  6. Per GZ's comment really did hit the trail. Is there someone you can sue, once you pass the bar, that is?

  7. Thanks so much Peter! It was a bit disappointing to struggle on the down, and your comment means a lot. Addie gives it two thumbs up. Or she tries. Then she realizes that she doesn't have opposable thumbs. Puppy fail.

  8. P! You're my favorite writer in the entire world. If you wrote a novel, I would rip up all of the pages and take a bath in them. Thanks for being awesome!

  9. Brett, I can't believe I didn't realize the Barr pun sooner! You win this time sir. I stole your joke for the post on Facebook :) Your comment means so much! I was unusually frustrated at the finish, and reading what you wrote makes it all better. Well, that and the post-race pizza. Plus the conversation with GZ. I would eat post-race pizza off of his bald head. Hopefully this comment is too long for anyone to get to that last sentence.

  10. Thanks so much Scott! This is the first race I've ended up bloody and not won. It currently feels like the shower is releasing hydrochloric acid. You're the man!

  11. Ash! Megan and I would run in the morning (one 200s workout and one hill workout), followed by the looooooong hikes. And lots of food. We went through 4 quarts of frozen yogurt. I have so many probiotics that my stomach could dissolve a stop sign.
    The shoes are Trail Rocs 255s! With those long descents, I need a bit of cushioning. Primarily because I go down like a fully loaded freight train. Your support means a freaking ton, thank you.

  12. GZ! My dad doesn't have a blog, but his nose hair does. They are less prominent than his ear hair, but far more impressive.

    You are awesome, it was really great seeing you. And way to kick ass! I really admire you in so many ways.

  13. Jim, I think I can sue my parents for the genetic lottery causing intentional infliction of emotional distress.

    Thanks for the comment! I hope to return to that trail soon for a rematch.

  14. Raspberry tort? bloody delicious! Awesome to read your race reports even on those rare occasions when you don't win. Good luck with studying and see you sooon RAWWHWHHWHHHHHH

  15. Can't believe you are such an amazing athlete lol-yer.

  16. Ah yeah. Cant get enough of those post. Great race by the way...

  17. I definitely smelled like something! Ha! Great to meet you all yesterday.

  18. Dylan! We are going to have so many raspberry torts. Or something. Seriously, Megan is gone from at least the 16th to the 20th and I'd love to bother you consistently during that time.

  19. Shae, I just choose sports where the only other participants are crazy mountain people and goats.

  20. Monica! You're the woman! Maybe I'll see you at Vail...