Monday, August 24, 2009

Stage 2: Vicksburg to Twin Lakes

Sore today...

Yesterday's first stage bashed my quads - today's mashed them.

That said, we rocked it just the same and finished the day in 2nd place - thanks to some good downhill running!

After a bumpy shuttle ride to Vicksburg on a sketchy school bus, we arrived about 15min before the start of Stage 2, a 16km hike up and down Hope Pass 12,538ft (3,800m!!). Gavin and I were looking forward to today because we knew that the terrain matched up with our strengths - a long steep uphill, and a long steep downhill.

"Phil, these socks look funny..." Yeah, but they're magic...and they make you run faster!

With no time for a warm-up, we jumped into the lead pack and cruised the first 3km on the gravel road. A sharp right hand turn and up we went. We tucked into 3rd place and paced off Team RunFlagstaff and Nike/Rogue Valley Runners, Adam/Aaron (Officially Team Two Joes but I prefer to call them the A-Team!) were right behind us in 4th. I wasn't feeling super spry (tight quads) and was content to sit in the pack...I could tell Gavin was itching to move ahead...down boy, down...

About midway up the climb I had to turn it down a notch and let the A-Team (Adam/Aaron) pass - The three lead teams gradually built up a 30sec lead. With one switchback after the other, it was easy to keep them in sight - and make sure the lead didn't get out of control. Besides, I knew the downhill was coming up!

Upon reaching the summit, I took a 10sec break to stretch out my tight quads and then we let'er rip! Having run with Gavin lots in the leading weeks, I knew we could catch the lead teams and that's just what we did. Within a km of running down, we caught and passed the trio on a steep technical section - it was wicked, but with 2km of flat terrain to the finish line, we needed as much of a cushion as possible...

About halfway down - we eased off to conserve a bit of energy for the flats - but allowed the A-Team to catch back up. Both Canuck teams flew down, in tandem - good times! A few minutes later, Aaron tripped up and ended up 'kissing' a rock (literally) - ouch! We didn't know the extent of the damage done so we continued on...

We rolled onto the flats and my quads started ceasing up again...Despite Gavin's pacing, I slowed. The A-Team was coming back hard after Aaron's crash and caught and passed us about a km from the finish - Nothing I could do...

Aaron, post crash...A quick visit to the dentist for a root canal and six stiches! Ouch.

A few minutes later, Run Flagstaff appeared behind us...time to move. 2nd I could settle for, but not third! And that's how it finished, we maintained our position, finishing about 15seconds off the A-Team, and 10 seconds ahead of Flagstaff - A good day.

After a good massage and an attempt at napping, I'm still very sore - but looking forward to tomorrow. Hard to say how everyone is feeling...but I get the feeling that there are some sore bodies out there. Either way, it's going to be a long hard day.

Not sure on internet availability tomorrow...I'll try to post as soon as possible.
Our camp setup in Leadville - From right to left, shower truck, Salomon Reelax Lounge, Gore-Tex Demo truck - Never a dull moment!

Adam and I (my feet) chilling with our new Reelax shoes - Aaahhhhh

Thanks to everyone who is following - I appreciate the support!


Derrick said...

Great job guys. Nice to see a Canadian 1-2 finish on the day.

brendaontheRun said...

You guys are doing awesome! And thanks for the race reports every day - it's exciting to follow.

Mike said...

Ditto on the race reports. It's great to hear about the battles. Canadian 1-2, awesome. 3rd on Sunday, 2nd on Monday. What will tomorrow bring?
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

allez phil,

Do it.


Tom Craik said...

Go Canada! Love to see it. Love the socks too. Gotta' try those out. Keep up the great running guys and pass it on to the A -Team.

Helene said...

Bravo Philippe
The Ottawa crowd is cheering for you.

Anonymous said...

Lots of reminiscing of TR08 b/w Scott M. and I as we ran up to Skoki Lodge and back this morning from Louise p.lot. Very glad to see your success so far, 3 days down - just hold on, don't panic and cruise through the last 3 days with your talent and love of the back country.

mark f.