Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Basic Boulder Mountain Marathon, fatigue, and the North Face 50

Emily Baer, me, Peter Bakwin, and Galen Burrell..BBMM 2003.. a snow year. Note the mud on my leg due to wiping out a dozen times in my tennis sneakers

BBMM 2003.. me on the top of SoBO Peak (Buzz Burrell photos)

The BBMM in 2003.. Big Gulps are excellent fuel

The past few weeks have been full of peaks and valleys in training, what with our (my family and I) temporary return to Boulder and the fine running and running partners it has to offer. There is a planetary alignment right now with the men's mountain ultra running elites making Boulder their home. Geoff Roes, Tony K, Scott Jurek, and Joe Grant have moved here relatively recently, and I am happy to get out with them regularly to keep the vibe going. Just north of Boulder the youthful Dakota Jones and ex-pat Nick Clark are also residing. Visitors come into town all the time to train, as Krissy Moehl was just here and Frenchy Nico Mermoud is here this week. These are just a couple of the guys who live here, and there are dozens of others I could mention including 20 women. Two weeks ago , the annual Basic Boulder Mountain Marathon was hosted, and what coul have been a bloodbath of competition, as it sometimes was the case 10 years ago, turned out to be a nice social run, with Tony pushing the pace at the top of each peak. As mentioned, the BBMM used to be somewhat of a "race" in the "2000's", with various individuals attempting to oust each other and take the coveted BBMM title. I "won" it once or twice and even was able to claim a podium performance bonus from a sponsor for it. Galen Burrell, Travis Macy, Dan Brillon, Geoff Williamson, Emily Baer, Buzz Burrell, Kurt Blumberg, Christian Griffith, George Zack, Jeff Valliere, Adam Chase, Bill Wright, Kraig Koski, Darcy and Bob Africa, Steph Ehret and Peter Bakwin.. (and others.. the list goes on) all these folks would gun for the W to varying degrees. All the while, the OSMP mountain rangers would post sentries along the course and try to take names, record on video, try to intimidate, etc and dissuade from our efforts to go out and have a good time being competitive in the lovely Boulder Mountain Parks. As we all know, competitive races aren't allowed in Boulder Mountains; the one sanctioned race was the Cardiac Arete in October of 2003, which I and other runners thought was a fantastic success in mixing competition and giving back to the the OSMP by volunteerism; the conservative OSMP Board of trustees would heartily disagree (of course) and base this race on grounds for no more competitions.

Which brings us back to the BBMM last week..
This BBMM, even though stacked with talent, was so fun and low key, with some little pushes on the uphills and one screaming downhill by individuals just to test selves on various sections but not to defeat the others. It was a run to remember. (Man, am I getting melancholy? Signs of aging..) The "hosts"of the run (located at an address not to be specified but between 807 and 809 10th st), put on a nice gathering of folks afterwards, which allowed an awesome time to catch up with the mountain running denizens and legends.
So now, the weather has finally turned crappy today (I just got back to Boulder two weeks ago but heard it's been indian summer) which is fine because I am dog-tired of running hills and only ran 30 minutes today. I have been experimenting in footwear and somehow trashed my legs yesterday on a 3 hour run, so that is probably why I am sore . I am a believer in the day in/day out running style of few days off, and it has caught up with me the past few weeks. Maybe I am not recovered from my last race, or it could be that on Sunday I had the best 2 hour tempo run of my life in my Newtons and I am not recovered yet. Anyway, I am locked into running the North Face 50 Endurance Challenge in December, which will be the "most competitive 50 miler"ever... I am not kidding, no race has even come close to this one. Last year my NF 50 performance sucked %@# for various excuses I could mention but won't, so this year things are going to be different for me and I think I will have a good race Dec 4th. This may not matter because there are 10 other guys who can also have killer days and what happens won't be in my control. The one thing I do have going for me is that I have history of excellent runs in the Bay Area and Marin has become a second home to me, especially since we currently live there for grad school. We'll see though.. man I am excited about it!


  1. Thanks for sharing the Boulder trail and ultra scene of yore. People are commenting what a trail ultra mecca this is "becoming". They don't seem to realize there have always been some of the top folks in the world rubbing elbows here in the grocery isles.

    Crack those boys at NF. You sound hungry for a big run.

  2. Great post Dave. The Basic is certainly one of my yearly running highlights and it was (is)great to have you back. For me, it is just not the same without you there to run with. Boulder certainly is a hub for high level athletes, including Ultra Runners and you are at the heart of it.

  3. This is one great post. I enjoyed reading and looking at the photos. Congrats.

    --carmelo spyder ski

  4. I really like to run in snow. It is quite hard to do that but the feeling that you get. it is irreplaceable