1 Aug 2011

Burro Race Day / Breckenridge Run

The cows behind the cabin were really loud. Kind of funny

Sunday I went to Fairplay to watch the racers get ready for the "Pack Burro" races. There are two races - a short course (15-miles) and a long course (29-miles, all the way up Mosquito Pass and back). Race teams are one human and one burro

The race begins near this memorial to a local legend, Prunes


The trophy, given out since the 1940s

The weigh-in. The burro must carry 33lbs

A few of the race teams

After hagning out a little I went for my own run

On Labor Day weekend I'll be doing the Breckenridge half-marathon, so I ran the course for my long run of the week. My goal is to beat 3 hours - over an hour longer than the last half-marathon I ran in April, but the elevation gain of 3,011' is "troublesome"

The race starts downtown and goes up the Burro Trail. I estimate this first section covers 4.3-miles and goes from 9,600' up to 10,960. It took me 1h 5m. The guy in the second pic I ran with for maybe 10 minutes. He is training for Imogene in Ouray - that was my goal at the beginning of the year

The next section - Wheeler Trail - is the tough section. Maybe 2.7-miles going from 10,960' to 12,475'. There was some running - but there was a lot of hiking (walking). I actually had to sit down for 20 seconds but a little peanut butter and all was good. These 2.7-miles also took me 1h 5m

This below is the turn onto Wheeler - with a nice view of Quandry Peak

Practicing this section was good - at times it was near spiritual as you are all alone and walking into clearings with amazing views (like above) and at other times you think "why the fuck did I sign up for this race" as the trail goes up and never seems to end (like below)

And then - finally - you are literally on top. Plus it's all downhill from here

The final section's directions were confusing and about half way down I took a wrong turn or two. I ended up at the end, however, and this section also took me 1h 5m

So 3h 15m. With another month of training, not losing 5 minutes asking for directions, not losing 5m looking at directions on the phone, not losing 5 minutes taking pictures and with the additional boost of being race day 3 hours should be easy to beat. Beating 3 hours would place me in the middle of 200 runners (based on 2010)

After lunch I drove back through Fairplay and got to see the teams for the "short" course approacing town. I pulled over to take some pics and offer encouragement. I also got someone's card at the aid station who could train me to race with a burro if I wanted (they have 18 at their farm)

Monday me and the Hud drove back to Boulder to meet up with Maureen. We had time to kill so we were going to drive Boreas Pass, a 20-mile old narrow gauge railway line now a dirt road. It starts in colourful Como

Stopped at an art gallery in Como and took this pic

Mount Silverheels

Boreas Pass sucked in the Subaru (or maybe it sucks in any car with a grumpy dog). After 2 miles of constant bumps and bouncing we turned around

We went over the nicely paved Hoosier Pass and stopped off at the side of Quandry Peak to do a nice 2-mile run up 400' to the Blue Lakes (where there were maybe 20 mountain goats - I didn't have the camera. The pic below was from the car afterwards looking back up)

I can't believe people built mines into the side of mountians with no visible ledge

Hud simply wonders were his lunch is...

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