Sunday, July 22, 2012

Back on the TRT

Week Summary (7/22/12)

Carson River Flats: 11.3 mi (+127 ft); 10:43 pace
Lasso at Seven Mile: 5.9 mi (+485 ft); 10:14 pace
Ash Tracks: 5.5 mi (+876 ft); 9:22 pace
TRT - Mt. Rose to Relay Loop: 14.7 mi (+3,271 ft); 13:21 pace
Emma Quarry OB: 5.6 mi (+551 ft); 11:06 pace

Weekly Totals: 42.9 mi (+5,310 ft); 8:10:30 on trail

A really good week of getting back in the groove. The two-hour base work on Tuesday was a joy, and following that up with a rain-soaked tempo on the hills of Ash Canyon was a very fun change (I don't very often get a rainy day of running around here).

Mt. Rose (10,777 or so) from Trailhead
Now that it is deep summer and the valleys have soaked up a deep reservoir of heat, it's time to get back up high. Of course, that means getting back to the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT).  Appropriately enough this was also the weekend of the TRT Endurance Runs (50K, 50M, and 100M). While reading a bit about the event I decided I should volunteer -- I have been appreciative of the volunteers when I'm out on a course, and felt I should give a little back. So when I emailed the volunteer coordinator and said I'd be happy to fill any gaps in the volunteer pool, she exuberantly offered me two gigs. The first would begin at about 2:45 Saturday morning at the event hotel where I shuffled runners onto the big buses heading to the start line. Although quite a few runners signed up (and apparently paid) for the opportunity to catch the bus, only about half my list appeared at the designated times. In the end, here at the beginning, no one was running around frantically looking for a ride to the startline, so I presume everyone got to Spooner one way or another. I was at the line in time to watch the 50K and 50M combined start, and soon headed for my own run at the Mt. Rose Trailhead on the TRT.

The Mt Rose to Relay Loop is a gold-star short route. Plenty of climbing over almost 15 miles with great scenery in all directions. It can get a little crowded on the summit trail, but I was early enough to avoid most of the summiteers on this day. Tephra and I pulled a PR to the summit at 1 hour, nine minutes, about six minutes off my previous timed effort. Slowed up a little heading to Relay, maybe some sluggishness from just a few hours sleep. Ran into Jason C., a friend I only see every few years, as he and his brother worked their way up Mt. Rose. A good day for Tephra too, got her own mileage PR on the day.

My goal is to match that effort every Saturday for the season, with a rest day every 4 or 5 weeks. Distances will increase and I hope to continue to match the elevation gain. I did similar last season and it paid off.

My next volunteer shift on the TRT100 began in the late evening. Scheduled to begin driving parking and hotel shuttles at midnight, I went up to Spooner about 9PM to see a few finishers. Right off I saw Patrick McKenna, happy with his 50-mile finish on the challenging course. But I was soon taking over a shuttle, giving a break to some folks who'd been driving most of the day. Once most of the 50K and 50M participants had been returned to their vehicles or the hotel in Carson City, it was a waiting game as the the 100-mile race coursed to its end.  Not much to do as we waited for movement and the cool night dragged on with me simply trying to stay frosty for the stints of driving up and down the mountain. I did make it down to the finish area, a quarter-mile or so from the shuttle stop, to see Matt Hart get his first 100-mile win in 19:14:43, just after midnight.  First woman, Claire Walton, finished fourth overall at 21:46:22 (a new CR for the ladies).

As the runners trickled in, most had crew with vehicles ready to transport them, so the shuttles weren't too active in the early morning hours. It was hard to stay attentive while being almost totally inactive from midnight until about 6AM. But Jen from Portland, OR, my shuttle co-operator, was good company. She simply made the trip to the TRT100 to volunteer, not knowing anyone nor having any real connections to the event. I was rather amazed at the good efforts she, and others, do to help these events exist. I also realized that while I'm out there running in these things, there a lot of people behind the scenes spending their time and energy (or lack thereof) in helping out. I glimpse them at the start-finish and at aid stations or as marshals, but I now I'm a bit more motivated to go a little faster given that these folks are waiting all night for me to finish!

Only a few echoes of Saturday's up and down here on Sunday. Good news given the downhills -- I should be able to begin working those a bit harder. Sunday's Emma Quarry spin seemed a little more work than it usually is, so I kept it slow -- it'll be good to catch up on some sleep. Thunderstorms sparking fires in the Pinenuts.

Dennis and Mary have an impressive schedule of late summer and fall races.  I've added a side-bar with their events so we can follow along. Wishing them the best in their first marathon and good number of trail events. 


  1. Great job helping out at TRT! It is always important to remember, no matter how bad you're suffering, to thank the volunteers at these crazy events we do! Without them...nothing happens.

    I'm sure I've got a horse event to attend somewhere but we need to get out and get some vert + distance to get ready for PtoP 100!


  2. Thanks for the shout out. It was great to see you at theTRT finish! Good luck at P2P!