Saturday, June 7, 2014

29th Annual Sunrise Stampede 10K Race Report - Longmont CO

10th Place Overall, 3rd AG - 38:58

What a great event!  It's hard to believe that for as long as we have lived here, this was my first time at this race. Maybe it's a bit of a hidden gem, kind of like the Longmont Triathlon which has to compete with it's bigger counterparts, but has so much history in the local community.  Any race that has been going about 30 years is well worth checking out as they are clearly doing a lot right.

The race combines a 10K and 2 mile option so a great family event for everyone with lots of multiple generations taking part, spectating and stroller friendly so another bonus for getting out with the kiddies.  I told Wendy that next year we'll all be back and get Felix involved in this event early on, even if his participation is from the buggy.  You also can't beat a $15 race entry fee these days.

The other aspect I love is a race that finishes on a track and this event delivers a full 500m or so of tartan glory as you run in and past the finish banner, get a quick glance at the clock before sprinting with an all out lap.

Even though I am in the middle of full on Ultra training, I'm convinced of the need to keep some speedwork in the plan and I've always wanted to increase the distance but not lose the faster gains.  It used to be that it was assumed that if you are going to run long then you had better get used to running slow to be able to go longer and that was a fair tradeoff.  It's great to see that myth now has no legs and the influx of super fast elites are showing that keeping a good mix of speed and endurance is essential to performing to the best of your ability.  Just look at Max King, Sage Canaday, Mike Wardian, Ian Sharman, Nick Clark, Rob Krar, the list goes on and on. That versatility to be able to have a barbell of performance at both ends of the spectrum is what appeals to me the most.  After all, it is still all 'just running' and there is no reason you can't enjoy a huge range of distances and intensities in your racing and training.

My longest run of the year (29miles) came only 5 days ago and I was anxious to see how I would feel once I was in the race.  I had that dread of getting to mile 1 only to feel my legs crumble around me after a week of very little running and trying to recover as best as I could.  I went in with my taper plan that has been working really well in the last few races and has now become the gold standard in getting to the start line feeling fresh and healthy.  It's only taken 20 years but I finally think I may have cracked the taper code - at least for me - which is a great confidence boost.  More to come on that in a later post.

After a decent start at 5.58 pace, the first mile passed quickly and we started to get into the twisty, breezy, hilly part of the middle of the course.  I was surprised by how many hills there were and how even small ones kill your pace.  Looking at my splits I had 2 miles at 6.00pace, 2 miles at 6.15 pace and 2 miles at 6.30 pace with the two fastest first and last.  Fortunately the legs felt solid although not super springy and I had that feeling of wanting to go longer but not faster which is always a little frustrating when you want to shift up gears for a strong finish.

I came into the stadium and passed the clock at 37.32 with 400m to go and new it would be a hustle to break 39mins which had become the goal of the day and just sneaked inside with a 38:58 for 10th place and 3rd AG.  From chatting with a bunch of the runners afterwards it seems like those who just did the Bolder Boulder were about a minute slower so I'm decently pleased with the time given where the training focus is right now.

A really nice touch to the event is the hand crafted pottery mugs that are presented as awards in both races and also for top Longmont finishers.  It meant I was lucky enough to take home two.  I love anything hand crafted and need to drop into Mark Rossier's pottery studio in Niwot to say hi and thank him for providing such great awards to the race.  You can check out Mark's website here if you want to support a local craftsman: -

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