Wonderful extended weekend in Vancouver and Washington with family and best friends. Race wise, second female of 8400 females with an alright 1:22:45. Not allowed to be upset...a difficult hilly course (winner didn't break 80min either) and a freaking out hamstring that caused me to stop twice I the last 3k, losing a minute or so...all around a strong race physically and mentally on a beautiful course with the best superfans EVER (Jo,Di,Dana,TK).
Proud of my people who also raced strong and had fun! More deets to come!
The Sandia Mountains, which watch over Albuquerque from the East, are the home of the La Luz trail. The race up this trail began in 1965 with nine total runners, and runs nine miles up switchbacks, rock slides, various ecosystems, and a set of stairs. With close to 4000 feet of elevation gain and a grade of 12%, well, spectating is a lot more fun! To enter the race, participants enroll in a lottery which allows a total of 400 racers per the US Forest Service. Times on this single track span from 90+ minutes to close to five hours.
Sammy Pants dominating
Our day began with a car load of people, Starbucks, and some costumes in a bag. I never cease to be inspired by the community of athletes and supporters in Albuquerque. "Six minutes till the first runners come through!" a volunteer told us. Two minutes later, our friend Kris came blazing through with no warning, winning the race in 1:22:15 (9:08 min/mile pace), beating out former champion Simon Gutierrez by one minute. Kris also broke the world record in the stroller half marathon (yes, pushing a baby) in a time of 1:12:11 (5:30 min/mile pace)...a race 4.1 miles longer while pushing his thirteen month old daughter. If that doesn't show you that this course is hard, I don't know what will!
After that, a sea of Dukes. Loren Wohletz in 3rd (after running Hard Rock 100 three weeks ago), Chris Pev in 4th, Stuart Lisle in 5th, Matt Piccarello in 8th, Anthony Fleg in 9th, Travis Mcwhorter in 36th. So many teal jerseys coming across the line. Becoming an Albuquerque household name. Sorry if I left anyone out, just too many!
We all know Alex Darling is a stud. Not only is she gorgeous and super speedy over a fast short stuff, but today she proved that when she sets her mind to something, nothing gets in her way. Including a mountain. Alex cruised into first place in 1:58:10, close to a minute over the next female. Stephanie Latimer rocked 7th place and an age group win.
And of course, my Lululemon family. Who else would have a full on tailgate at eleven thousand feet, celebrating how amazing everyone is. Chase Peregroy (over 10min PR), Sam Fernandez (smiling the whole way), Irene Minster (had enough energy to tell me I was a good liar when I told her she looked fab), Britney Jaeger (first time La Luz finisher, and I'm sure she'll sign up next year!) You guys rock.
Happy Cheer Squad and Finishers
In the end, we managed to make many people smile, force fed some fruit leathers and gummy bears to depleted runners, and listened to Eye of the Tiger and Final Countdown about 400 times. The Rocky theme song is still playing in my head. But that's what makes this all worth it, turns some of the selfish aspects of this sport around. Being part of the competition from both sides is wonderful, and being a spectator always gives a new perspective every time. Proud of my people, and proud of all 349 runners that crossed the line! And in case anyone ever forgets that this happened, it's now a matter of public record.... Thanks ABQJournal!
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