At the "gun" the indominable Jason Dorais - celebrating a birthday (a day or two late) - led us all up the only runnable section of the climb and then we hit the steeps where it became a painful march. I chose to use the BD carbon trekking/running poles due to the potential for mud, but it turns out that in the rain that climb is rocky enough that there wasn't too much slippage (that came later!). But givin'er with your arms on those steep climbs seems to help a bit. As we climbed into the mist Jason literally walked away from the rest of us, pausing only long enough to yell back once with a token "C'mon Tom!" Oh right, here I come; I'll just turn my pacemaker up to 220! Soon enough, even his hunter-orange shirt disappeared into the cloud.
I summited sitting in 4th place right at my fastest time ever and started charging down, knowing that a) I couldn't catch Jason, b) I might be able to catch Christian and the other guy 20 or 30 secs in front of me, and c) the fleet-footed Derek would be raging down the descent wanting to mow me down. Soon enough I moved into 2nd, but not long after hitting the flats I got caught by yet another guy who provided incentive for me to keep up the tempo to keep him in sight. We hit the "Bambi trail" to do the final climb, which we all thought would be a grease-fest in the rain, and sho nuff, it was. I re-engaged my poles, and between those and hauling up on the stout scrub oaks was able to grovel up the trail, all the while feeling bad that I and all my compatriots were doing months'-worth of damage to the trail in about 20 minutes. The steep, twisty, gully descent on the backside was treacherously wet and slick as well: I had gone flying after greasing off a rock in there the prior afternoon. But I thought I was doing ok in there despite the slickness; that is, until Derek pretty much rear-endered me as he was going at least twice as fast! He kindly refrained from honking, flashing his lights, and yelling "slow traffic keep right" for a bit longer, 'til I finally moved over and watched in awe as he blasted down the final greasiest, gnarliest section at least twice as fast as I did.
Not surprisingly, Jason didn't let a little goo get in the way of him shattering my year-old course record by 7-odd minutes, clocking 1:37. On a dry day I'm sure it would have been at least a few minutes faster, if not more than a few. For both of you who might possibly care, my splits were approximately 25ish to the cutoff trail, 47:45 to the top, 1:07+ to pipeline, 1:20+ to rattlesnake, and about 1:48 to the finish.
When I was running competitively on the roads, track, and golf courses long ago I remember wishing that there were more "adventurous" races to do, and now having such a great one that starts only 3 miles from my house is a special treat (not to mention we had good Northwest-esque mist, pouring rain, dripping trees, and mud!). And the fact that it's a bandit race that has no entry fee, finishes with a great pancake feast, and has some folks who throw on extra "laps" both before and after the race is a testament to a great community. Many thanks to Erik Storheim and others who make this (non!) event happen.
Sunday I was psyched that the Scotsman, Andrew Reich, and Zack Beck were keen to rally up to take advantage of the recreational releases on the mighty Bear river up in southeast Idaho, some of the best class 4-4+ whitewater in "Utah"! The lack of good whitewater in our fair state and loss of pards for a variety of reasons has meant a lot less paddling - especially of anything challenging - and even though it's May most of us - except Zack, who had been up there a few weeks prior - we had to shake the spiders out our boats before hopping in.
|there's been far too little of mounting up the boats lately!|
I was psyched to see that longtime SLC paddler Rolf was sporting the original CFS shoes from that I did for Patagonia, circa 1997:
|Rolf mentioned that he was psyched that they fit his low-volumed feet; it's quite a "coincidence" that they also fit my low-volumed feet quite well too!|
And I had a pair of the follow up Play Boots:
|these fit a little wider.....|
and here is the latest/greatest - 15 years later! - from Five Ten:
|a good adaptation|
Given my rustiness and the lack of desire to get my confidence hammered I portaged down to just below the hole, where I found a nice place to slide in and go from zero to 60 instantly in the heart of the rapid, which worked out fine.
If you're lucky and efficient, it's very reasonable to get back up to the top of the run and fire another lap. We were both, so were able to paddle the section again well before the spigots got twisted shut. Upon arrival at BooBoo I debated the options, and decided that despite the lack of paddling lately that my head was in it and I was ok to make "the move":
|the hole is just downstream of my tail. I'm givin'er hard to move looker's right to avoid it, and still caught the corner|
|trying to focus!|
and then in between these fun little outings we were able to celebrate the birthdays of two of our favorite people, Scott and Rachel:
|The Bula Headband makes yet another appearance!|
with a great posse:
An awesome weekend of yuks galore!
thanks to Steve, Rachel, and Camille for the pics.