This is only my 3rd year of trail running, but I have been dreaming of running the Speedgoat 50k long before I was even a runner. Anyone who knows me well, knows I LOVE the mountains. More specifically, I love to get above timberline where the air is thin and the views are endless. Speedgoat is a 50k mountain race with ~11,500ft of climbing and descending, up and around Snowbird ski area in Utah and is described by many as the toughest 50k in the US. Sounds perfect, sign me up!
After completing my first ultra marathon last November (White Mesa 50k), I was ready to tackle something with a bit more climbing. I convinced my brother that we should run Speedgoat, so as soon as registration opened we were both signed up. Now it was time to train, as the last line of the race information page on the website says "Start training now……cuz’ it’s gonna hurt!"
|Great looking elevation profile!|
|Up bright and early with a smile!|
|Taking a nap, waiting for the action!|
|The start/finish at the base of Snowbird|
|And we're off!|
|Don't waste anytime starting the climb to hidden peak.|
|Approaching the top of Hidden Peak, 11,000ft (mile 8.3)|
The descent down Mineral Basin to Larry's Hole aid station(10.2 miles), was relatively uneventful. A nice cruiser section of service road and single track through a wildflower filled high alpine basin. I reached this aid station in about 2:02 and kept moving through since I had a full hydration pack filled with everything I needed.
Shortly after Larry's Hole was a short steep grunt up over Sinner's Pass which lead us to a nasty bowling ball sized rock filled jeep road down Mary Ellen Gulch to the Pacific Mine aid station. On this climb I continued my game of leap frog with both Ruby Muir(3rd place woman) and Stephanie Howe, who would go on to be the women's overall winner. I would usually pass them on the climbs only to be passed shortly after on the descents. This descent was relentless and felt like it would never end, and once again Ruby made me look silly as she flew by right through the loose rocks! We rolled into the Pacific Mine aid station(14.8 miles) around 2:47 into the race.
I checked in and quickly left the aid station after rinsing my head off with a sponge full of cool water. It felt great and for the first time in the race I was ahead of my brother, as he had to stop and fill his bottles. That didn't last long though and we ran the long uphill back up to Larry's Hole mostly together. This climb was rough as it was just a little too steep to run in most parts, but not quite steep enough to feel like hiking was the only way although we climbed ~2400ft in the 3 miles to the top of the climb. Towards the top of the climb, we hit a steep off trail section that really slowed me down. I could tell the legs were starting to tire from all the climbing and the fact I was getting behind on calories. A short steep downhill and a short climb put us back at Larry's Hole aid station(19.4 miles) with about 4:03 on the watch.
We were now to the toughest part of the course as we climbed the mostly off trail route up Mt Baldy to 11,051ft. I ran right through Larry's hole as I still didn't need to refill my pack, this wasn't good because I knew it meant I still wasn't drinking enough or getting enough calories. I was really thirsty but just couldn't seem to drink enough for some reason. The grunt up Baldy was ridiculous, in an awesome way... Just straight up the mountain through the grass, rock and wildflowers. With grades approaching 40% near the top, it was a struggle just to keep putting one foot in front of the other and I watched as my brother slowly pulled away up the mountain.
|Coming into Tunnel aid station (mile 22.3)|
|Grinding up Hidden peak. Photo: Derrick Lytle|
|Arriving at Hidden Peak for the final time (mile 26)|
Shortly after that Andy, a local from Salt lake caught me and we chatted for a bit. He was moving well at this point and helped pull me along at a nice pace. I tried to hang on, but couldn't quite keep up and he ended up pulling away from me to finish about two minutes ahead. So after about 32 miles and 11,500 ft of climbing and descending I crossed the finish in 6:22:13, good enough for 22nd overall. My brother finished about four minutes later in 6:28, good enough for 25th overall.
Run details on Strava
|Coming across the finish line!|
|Brother coming into the finish|
|Survived the Speedgoat!|
|Coolest trophies ever|
Pearl Izumi Trail N2 shoes
Injinji 2.0 Mid-weight socks
Patagonia Strider Pro shorts
CEP calf compression sleeves
Black Diamond ultra distance z-poles
Ultraspire Surge hydration pack
Amphipod 20oz handheld bottle
~800 calories Tailwind nutrition - planned for ~1600, so I was way behind
~70 ounces water - way behind on this also