May 08, 2006
Ashley's bout of intense running training is now over after the culminating event that took place this weekend. She put together a stellar performance, running 25 trail miles in 4 hours and 42 minutes. Ten minutes faster and she would have had third place in her age category. Her friend, Whitney, also completed the run, finishing shortly after Ashley. The run was held in Buena Vista, CO, at 8000 feet (that was the low point on the trail). I went along for emotional support and was told I would have about 6 hours while they ran to do my thing. I loaded up a small pack and rode my mountain bike 10 miles up one of the many valleys in the area to the Mt. Yale trailhead. Stashing the bike in the woods, I charged uphill in my biking shoes. Initially, I had aspirations of summiting, but I underestimated the time it would take me to ride up the canyon with a pack on. I hiked up to about 11,500 feet before turning around. I wanted to get back to Buena Vista in time to see Ashley finish the run. I made it back at the 5 hour mark and couldn't find the key I had hidden under the car. I was convinced somebody had taken it. After looking in the same spot about three times, as I was sure I remembered where I put it, I thought there was a slight chance that Ashley had already finished by the time I got back. Sure enough, she completed the run about 20 minutes before I returned. In conclusion, I traveled about the same distance (25 miles) and gained about the same amount of elevation (3500 feet) as Ashley, but I rode a bike for 19 of my miles and still finished 20 minutes after her.