It is not a big secret that JD has been giving me some tips on preparing for my second Badwater Ultramarathon, and who better to take advice from than the two-time defending women's champion, course record holder, and three-time Badwater finisher (2007, 2008 and 2009, with a course record 26:51:33 in 2008). I was warned about heading out to train with this superstar..."be afraid, be very afraid"...and after looking at the training agenda that JD has in mind for this weekend, I sure as shit am!
Here is a sneak peak at the hell I expect to go through:
Friday AM - Leave (yes, that is leave, not wake) at 4:15 am for Mount Evans, for a road run to the summit and back down. They call Mount Evans the "road into the sky." From Idaho Spring at 8,700 feet above sea level, we will run (if that is possible) to the summit at 14,240 feet. The first 4 miles of road is said to be surprisingly flat. The grade then shifts to 4-6% to the entrance that continues to Summit lake. The last 5 miles have grades of 2-5%, but because you are above 12,000 feet it is said to feel like 10-15% grade to the top. There is actually a 14.5 mile race called the Mt. Evans Ascent, dubbed "America's Highest Road Race", and I can only assume that this is what is in store for me.
"Runners will start at the Echo Lake Campground, located at the intersection of Hwy. 103 and Hwy 5. From there, the course climbs for 14.5 miles up North America's highest paved road. The course takes you through montane, subalpine, and alpine environments to the summit of Mt. Evans at 14,264 feet. Although the air will be noticeably thin at the starting line, Echo Lake's 10,600 feet of elevation is just the beginning. The climb totals nearly 4,000 vertical feet - much of it above treeline - as you make your way 14.5 miles to the finish line located at the summit of one of the most recognizable peaks on Denver's mountain skyline - 14,264 foot Mt. Evans."
Friday PM - A run in Roxborough State Park (Carpenter Peak), a 3,339-acre park filled with dramatic red-rock formations, distinct plant communities, and a host of wildlife ranging from black bears to mule deer. A variety of trails for all abilities can be found here, from the half-mile Fountain Overlook trail, to the challenging 6.4 mile trek to 7,160-foot Carpenter Peak. No surprise...the plan is to run the 6.4 mile round-trip trail of moderate-to-steep terrain to Carpenter Peak. Of course, I'm just thrilled about the web-site's reminder to "stay on the trail and beware of rattlesnakes."
|BTM Race Course View|
|More of The Incline|
|Red Rocks Stairs|