Before I go any further, the basics: I finished 5th overall--out of about 120 finishers--with a time of 4:14:59. The winning time was 3:52 by a guy who happens to be a 2:27 marathoner. The complete results are here. I'll post photos when/if I get them.
The course consisted of four loops within the Greenland Open Space, with short spurs entering the course and to access the finish line. According to my Garmin, the entire course was between 7,000-7,500 feet, with 3,331 of ascent and 3,336 of descent and a few decent hills but nothing steep. The trail was all dirt and mostly double-track. There was some mud and snow but overall the course was dry and in excellent condition. The weather was also pretty nice. Though the sun was out, in a few sections you really got blown around. It was about 30 degrees at the start and in the mid to high 40s by the time I finished.
The Greenland Open Space offers beautiful views of surrounding mountains, including Pikes Peak. Being a crystal-clear morning, Pikes Peak looked like it was practically glowing. Some of the views were magnificent.
I felt great pretty much the whole way, though there were a few areas on the final lap that I struggled. My lap times were:
Back to the race: Overall I am very happy with the result. This time only a month ago we were in the car making our way out here to Colorado from Ohio. I had lived at sea level all my life. To go from nearly 37 years at sea level to finishing fifth overall in a race at 7,000-7,500 feet makes me feel upbeat, especially as I'm now preparing for the Leadville Trail 100-Mile Run on Aug. 21. My mileage over the past two months has been erratic and it's now time to get more consistent and try to hit triple digits for my Leadville training.
It's hard to say what my next race will be, though I'm leaning toward the Leadville Marathon on July 3 and, by then, hope to have conquered Pikes Peak--both ways (25 miles with 7,400 feet of vertical).
This week the goal as I recover from the Greenland Trail 50K is 80 miles.