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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Moab's Red Hot 33K

My race report from Moab’s Red Hot 55K/33K can be found here:  Please take a peek and support Rocky Mountain Runners!
Last weekend was my return to running and racing after more than 3 weeks of an upper respiratory infection that drastically reduced my training. With Moab’s Red Hot 33K the first race leading up to Bighorn 100, I was ready to get back to feeling good physically and mentally, even if I wasn’t exactly sharp in both areas.

The course was beautiful and relatively well-marked; one runner mentioned the likelihood of getting off-course and in several instances, it was hard to know which way to move forward on a wide expanse of rock. I got off-course at one point, losing a measly 30 second, before turning around to see the pink-and-black ribbons guiding me upwards. 

My game plan was simply not to overexert myself (an impossible feat not to somewhat explore) and escape injury free. My fueling was good, as was foot placement on the sloping rocks, turning my ankle uncomfortably once. 

After the race, I got to talk to some great runners who seem like even greater people: Mike Foote, Joe Grant, Neeraj Engineer, Brian Burkhardt, and more. The after-after party was at Eddie McStiff’s (Robin’s favorite name) and it was a who’s who affair, highlighted by Jenn Shelton’s Academy Award-esque introduction and speech to preface the opening chapter of her upcoming book; it sounds immensely entertaining!

The next day, Robin and I set out to explore Arches National Park. We stopped every half mile to get out of the car and take pictures. Every view from every angle was simply phenomenal. We parked at the Delicate Arch trailhead and picked through some beautiful stones as souvenirs and I found a geode!! We eventually trudged our way up the trail and saw this unique structure. It was a location that one could sit at all day long; however, the clouds rolled in rather quickly and rain was starting to drop delicately, coincidentally. 

Before we left Moab for good, I spotted people running up and down a large sandhill; I noticed divots in the red sand when we pass earlier and surmised they were likely footprints. We pulled over and I did my best to make it to the top, but the sand swallowed my feet as I quickly expended all my oxygen. The ride down was crazy fun!

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