Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cold Gold

On her way to climbing the podium! Mary Young - Gold in Moab and the 2011 TORY! 

Week Summary

Carson River 3: 3.2 mi (+16 ft); 7:58 pace
Goni Trails East: 5.5 mi (+795 ft); 10:07 pace
Bailey Canyon OB: 10.4 mi (+1,118 ft); 11:49 pace
Sun Mtn: East Trail: 2.8 mi (+1,681 ft); 25:11 pace

Weekly Totals: 21.9 mi (+3,610 ft); 4:34:16 on trail

A good week in the growing chill, exploring some new trails and taking it pretty easy. Well, sort of easy. I was chapped for time on Tuesday so I decided to see what pushing it for three miles might feel like. The Carson River Trails are flat, improved trails between the Carson River and the Empire Ranch Golf Course. They are cruise-able.  It was interesting to see a sub-8 pace in my log when I downloaded my stats; a first for an entire run. Of course, I've had plenty of sub-8 miles but never able to keep it for an overall pace.  Three miles isn't that far at all, but it'll be interesting to see if I can get the mileage to grow while keeping to that pace, especially on the flat courses.

While Tuesday was above the 60° mark, the cold fronts hit on Wednesday and it was below 30° and windy for Thursday.  But I got into the hills at Goni Road and stretched my previous trails to the east. I have found some single-track above Centennial Park (the eastern-most end of my current efforts) and look forward to checking those out.  They will be hilly, but it can't be otherwise out there.

The chill of Saturday morning made me want to check out Bailey Canyon off of Toll Road, a segment of our developing VC100 course. I steered the Yota down the grade to park at the "pavement end" lot below the upper section of Toll Road. As I started out, some ROTC (or worse) guys jogged past me downhill; their smiles and hellos barely masked the scouring black of their semi-automatic rifles and ammo belts.  I was running up-hill and away from these guys, so I easily forgot about them.

I had a bit of trouble finding the trail to the lower portion of Bailey due to "no trespassing, this means you" and other kindness on a 4x8-foot sign. Back-tracking I found the single-track stirred by this summer's equine VC100 and was soon skirting the properties, crossing a stream, and entering the canyon.  The trail shifted from good single-track to a rocky technical path along the canyon-bottom drainage. Once in a while the route abandoned any trail for the rock-choked dry wash. It was slow-going as I enjoyed the careful rock-hopping and steady climb into the low winter sun. Two-track roads took over at the top of the canyon, about 5 miles from my Toll Road start. Here I turned back to keep the effort in-line with my early season plan.

Sun Mountain  (East Trail to broad saddle near summit)
Everybody should have a mountain.  Anton  has his Green Mountain (I guess he shares it with the many runners of Boulder, CO), Darren gets his hill-repeats on Peavine Mountain north of Reno, and I have Sun Mountain (aka Mt. Davidson) in my backyard. This winter I will be hitting the mountain weekly (or more) and letting the steep climbs and descents (I expect post-holing snow days, once the storms arrive) challenge the legs and strengthen the drive to keep upward movement.  The East Trail climbs 1,500 feet in a mile on an amazingly gravelly single-track. It's the kind of trail that you can reach out and touch as you slog upward, and occasionally slide back into your previous steps.  I love the work-out and the reward is the typical, though never tiring, morning view of the western Basin and Range and a rising winter sun.  Forty-five minutes to the summit, 20 minutes down.  My goal is to get under an hour, but right now it is basically a nice morning hike.

Sun Mtn Summit, looking west to Carson Range
East Trail - Sun Mtn

No caption required!
Dennis and Mary wrapped their 2011 season at the Winter Sun 10K in Moab, UT on Saturday.  A cold wind took time away from many of the 577 participants, but Mom didn't let it slow her down.  She crossed the line for Gold in the 60+ Age Group (Ladies), bringing home another podium position for the Young Mountain Runners.  Despite the brisk wind she pulled in a 10K PR, beating her previous time by 1:38.  Dad pushed against the wind to finish 9th in the 60+ AG (Mens).  His success was measured by a friendly competition with Charles McFalls of North Carolina who beat him last year by almost three minutes. This year they yo-yo'ed to the end, with Dennis winning their race-in-a-race by one second at the line. A great, successful close to our season.

Although I'm sure to stir up great controversy, Mary Young is a shoe-in for the 2011 Trail Option Runner-of-the-Year Award !  (I expect the comments to fill up with the this-and-that regarding my biased and super-secret TORY selection criteria).  


  1. Who exactly is on the TORY committee. I'd file a protest but then I might get grounded!

    Great close to the season! By my count the YMRs toed the line 31 times this year. Awesome. Let's top it next year.

  2. I call shenanigans!!

    Though regardless of possible bias on the nominee committee I feel that Mary does, indeed, have the rights to the prize... Though one will have to try hard to beat the rad medal she won in Moab!

    Amazing Young runners!!

  3. I second the nomination! She had a total of five first place awards, two silver and one bronze. Not to mention she touched the top of two 14'ers this summer! Pretty good for 68!