It is near the end of November and I am barely getting around to updating the website about this race. I jumped in to the Cirque Series race in August as a chance to put in a hard effort, with lots of vertical as a final preparation for Nolan’s 14. I knew the race would be a barn burner. It has a good prize purse and is short enough to be accessible to all sorts of freaks, like road bikers, road runners, nordic skiers, etc. Driving down the night before, I was super excited to be able to mix it up with a bunch of speedy folks and to gauge where my fitness was after training hard all summer.
The race itself went amazingly well for me. The pace of the front was blistering and I was almost immediately dropped in to the chase pack as the leaders flew up the service road that was the first ascent. I knew that if I could keep in the mix until the course got steep and technical on Peruvian Ridge that I could make some moves and get closer to the front. It played out almost exactly as I imagined and as we climbed the ridge to the top of the tram at Snowbird I moved into 3rd or 4th place. There was some back and forth as we worked across to Mt. Baldy and the technical descent into Mineral Basin gave me another chance to move up again; through the tunnel and one long, fast descent to the finish. I was in third and chasing as hard as I could, trying not to look over my shoulder. My training had not included running super fast and it was pretty tough to keep the turnover cranking all the way. Despite being an old ultra runner, I managed to hold on to 3rd place! I spent the rest of the morning cheering in runners, hanging out with the crew from Jaybird, Suunto and Zeal.
I was very fortunate to spend the rest of the afternoon crushing the summer activities at Snowbird with my family. We rode the alpine slide and mountain coaster, navigated the obstacle course and high ropes course and finished watching the sunset from the top of the tram. When we snuck into the restaurant at the base right before closing, and the kids started to fall asleep before we even ordered, all I could do was smile at how fortunate I am.
The rad crew at Jaybird made a killer video of the event. Check it: