23 June 2014

Mount Olympus Marathon (Greece) Pre-Race Info

General Race Info
Olympus Marathon Website
Sunday, June 29th
6am local time (8pm pacific on Saturday; 11pm eastern on Saturday)

I'm bib #625. I'm not sure if they'll be posting live updates on this page or not, but it kinda looks like they might. They have a place to post my time for Checkpoint (CP) 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and the finish. So if you check there on race day then you might be able to track my progress. Even if they aren't posting live updates, I'm pretty sure that's the page to go to for my official results.  Overall results should be posted here.

It's a simple idea: start near the ocean, run to the top of the ancient Greek mountain, then run back down. The start point is only 10 feet above sea level, and the high point is over 9,000 feet up. All of that in only 27 miles...so there will be a bit of climbing in that ~13-mile ascent.

Here's a map of what the course looks like and where the twelve checkpoints are and their altitude.

Here's a short video teaser for this year's race.

Race Goals
  1. Enjoy the experience and finish. I have a DNF and DNS at my last two international races, so finishing (injury-free) is my top priority. I'll be carrying a camera with me, so hopefully I can get some good shots to document the course.
  2. Run a smart race. I'm going to 'take it easy' for the climb, then hope that my legs aren't too trashed to be able to bomb a bunch of the descent.
  3. Finish under 6 hours. I feel like I'm just grabbing this number out of the dark since I haven't seen the terrain yet, but based on the finishing times of previous winners (4:30-5:00 hrs), I think 6 hours is realistic. I did Pikes Peak Marathon in 5:51, and this course profile is very similar (less altitude, but more climbing). The course terrain is the big wildcard since I haven't seen any of the course yet. Hopefully I'll have a day or two to explore it before Sunday (we're getting to Greece on Thursday).
Should be a blast. We'll be in Greece for another 10 days or so after the race, so it probably won't be until I get back that I'll get a race report posted.


03 June 2014

Sun Mountain 50k - photo report

There will be few words about this race, but loads of photos.

After Boston (and a little rest), my focus quickly turned to the big climb coming up at the end of the month. So the last month has been spent playing around in the mountains. 

I signed up for a couple mountain races in May to help get back into the swing of things. The Sun Mountain 50k has been on my to-do list for a couple years, so it was nice to finally get out and see those trails.

I won't go into too much detail about my race. My legs felt good, and the trails and views were beautiful. The Rainshadow Running folks put on my kind of event: low-key; high beauty; fun and often tough courses; and great post-race food, music, and company. 

I ran conservatively early on and was probably somewhere in 15th-20th place around the halfway mark. I was able to hold my pace, which meant I started picking off others who were starting to crash as the day went on. I felt strong the last 10 miles and surged ahead for a 4th place finish. (results here)

I hope to make it back next year.

With Brendan, a former Pullman Beer Chasers

Race briefing:
 "Try not to get too distracted by all the beautiful wildflowers."

(photo by Glenn Tachiyama)

Start. A burst of color.

Losing ground on the leaders already.

Lots of views like this all day.

Plenty of views like this.

Dozens of meadows like this.

Early on.
(photo by Glenn Tachiyama)

Trail. Rock. Dirt. Flowers. Mountains.

Worth stopping to take a quick photo.

Running happy around mile 20.

Seriously, there were a ton of views like this.
I caught up with Brendan around mile 25.

Pano near the midpoint of the final climb.

Final descent. Only a few miles to go.
(photo by Glenn Tachiyama)

Feeling great on the final descent.
(photo by Glenn Tachiyama)


Crossing the finish line.

Done, and done.