Two weeks, two races. Last weekend was the Sundance 50K across the border in Wyoming. I was horribly under-prepared for running a good 50K and it showed. I was cruising along fairly well at sub-6 pace (my goal) for the first 25 miles or so, but ran spectacularly head-first into The Wall on a steep section of uphill after the last aid station. As I hiked along at an almost impossibly slow pace I watched the average pace on my Garmin climb higher and higher until it was obvious that sub-6 was a pipe dream. I did make a bit of a recovery on the last couple of miles of downhill, but it was too little too late at that point. Ended up with a 6:24 finish in 6th place (only 20 or so finishers). Beautiful course, especially with the fall colors in full effect, and a bit tougher than I had expected. Would definitely like to give it another go with a more solid training cycle under me. And, for the life of me, I don't know why this race gets so little attention....there should be more than 20-some entrants for this one if the word gets out. Paul does a great job with it and sounds like he'll be adding a 30K option next year (in addition to the existing 10K, which gets a much better turnout than the 50K).
A week later, this past Saturday, I ran a very different race. My wife signed me up for the inaugural Firefly 5K in Belle Fourche, a fundraiser for a scholarship fund that was scheduled for a nighttime start (started at 8:00). I'm not big into road 5Ks, but I thought the night running idea was a cool one, especially under the full moon, so I didn't complain too much about being thrust into the field. As it turns out, good thing she did sign me up as I ended winning the damn thing. Of course, it's more impressive if I just leave it at that and not mention my time or how many other runners there were. Actually, I'm not even sure how many runners there were...I think the total field was over 60 people, but many were walkers. My time was 20:40, not blazing fast, but actually faster than I really expected given the fact that I haven't done any fast running since.....uh...probably the Hayfever race in Belle back in June (where I finished 2nd to a high school cross country runner....damn punk kids). In any case, it was fast enough and earned me a cool $10 to spend at Subway. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday night.