Adventures In Running

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Dugway Isolation Run - 20K

I heard about the Dugway Isolation Run this week on Facebook on the Wasatch Mountain Wranglers Facebook page. It was a first year run out on Dugway Proving Grounds and I always like the opportunity to run on trails that are not normally open to the public. They offered 20K, 30K and 50K options. With St. George in one week, I decided to go for the 20K option. $30 for a trail race - very good price. $40 in gas to get there and back - not so good a price. Next time - it would be worth it to carpool. This race is out in the middle of nowhere. Really. Reminds me a lot like getting to the Pony Express Trail - but less bumpy roads. The race started shortly after 8 this morning. There were about 25 runners total in all 3 races - most of us from Wasatch Mountain Wranglers and a good portion running in Altras (they were very well represented). Once the race started - I was on my own for most of the race. The 20K consisted of 2 loops of the 10K course. There were other trails for the 30K and 50K runners to take as part of the back portion of the race.
Just in case I was not fully awake or warmed up, shortly after the start of the race we started the uphill (see above picture). Slightly more than a mile in length, it wound up the hillside until we were at the buildings. No sense pushing (and I am lousy at uphills) so I settled into a good walk. There were a couple of walkers behind me and I passed one other 20K runner halfway up the hill. I stayed about .25 miles ahead of her the first loop and never saw her on the second loop. After the fun uphill - we were rewarded with some downhill. Luckily, this week I was not paranoid about running downhills. I still kept the breaks on - but except for the most gnarly sections, I was able to run most of the downhills and flats. They did a good job marking the course. Turn signs and small flags made it easy to tell where you needed to go. The Race Directors had a sense of humor and had marked different sections of the course with names like Widowmaker. About 3 miles in the other distance racers peeled off for some small loop sections. I filled up on water and headed further on the course. The race had several people checking off numbers to make sure you were following the correct loops (and paranoia that we might want to hang around out there for good). They had water at 2 remote locations and food and water at the end of the loop. Also a portapotty with lots of cobwebs. The remote aid stations were my only areas that I think need improvement. The first one was running low on water fairly quickly, and neither of them had sport drink. Also - I think everyone brought along some kind of hydration method - but it would have been nice to know that we needed to carry our own bottles and there would not be cups. I'm really fine with cupless races - but they need to make sure everyone is aware of it. Lots of ups and downs on this race. It was a beautiful course with several different terrains. Some sections reminded me of Pony Express, some of Antelope Island (the Elephant Head section). This was a tough course - because there was so much up and down along the way. Two hard climbs on each loop, plus several not so hard climbs. Finish loop 1 - repeat all over again. Not as much energy the second time. My glutes were definitely not used to trail running and my neck and upper back were stiff from the pounding. I was pleased to find out at the end that I was first in my age group in the 20K. I got my first official race bling (other than medals for that).
At the race finish with my medal and award.
My age group award
Quite the impressive race for a first year effort. Kudos to the group that put it all together. Also - probably the best race bag I've ever received - a nice reusable bag filled with the race shirt, two water bottles, a stress ball, a Frisbee, a set of chums (for sunglasses), pen, sample body glides, nutrition bars, sample shot blocks, etc. I really hope they do this race a week or two earlier next year so that I can do one of the longer distances.

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