Greenland Trail 25k 2009

Adventures15 Comments

Distance 25 km (15.5 miles)
Time 02:17:16 (PR)
Pace 8:51
Rank 42 of 173
GPS Analysis Strava

First 25k. First 25k PR. Yeah, it works that way. Yeah! But, post race = shitty.

Greenland Trail 25k 2009

Last year, I ran the 50k here. It was my first ultra. I thought I was going to die. Figured I would be back for it this year. But as I posted weeks ago, I “downgraded” to the 25k. Frankly, I couldn’t get motivated for the 4-loop course. 2 loops? Sure. So here we are!

I got up nice and early and left the house. I didn’t have any of my usual breakfast drinks on hand (dumb move) so I improvised. Not sure if it was that or last night’s salad for dinner but I wasn’t feeling too hot upon arriving to the race. Plus, it was cold. Like in the 30s cold. WTF? I didn’t expect that. Luckily, I brought my Moeben sleeves along and figured they would save the day. Looking good with sleeves and shorty shorts. Some people were literally lining up in The North Face jackets. I knew I would get warmer once we got underway so I wasn’t going to repeat a 2008 Pikes mistake of overdressing. She loomed in the background reminding me of that day. I will be back to get another piece of you, dear.

Pre-race, I saw Anton out on the course warming up. What? I didn’t think he was racing. However, just before the race, he got into a car and sped off with another dude. Weird. Anton is like my trail running idol if you will. Forrest Gump runner. Add mountains. That looks like Jesus. Minus the earrings.

We got underway and the wind was terrible as usual. Direct headwind on the way south. Just like last year. Screw this place. I made good work keeping it steady and staying in packs to draft. But kept moving up through the crowd to find a nice rhythm. Wanted to hold mid to low 8s on the way out. Did a good job. When I hit the first aid station, I was surprised to see Anton standing there offering me Heed sports drink. That’s where he went!

The first climb put pressure on my gut and I was feeling sloshy. Not good. Would have preferred not to have that so I stayed cautious. When I hit the top of the hill on the way back, it was fast sailing back to the turnaround point. That was the best spot of the course all day. Felt great.

Made my way out on the 2nd loop and wasn’t so excited on the way back out. Slowed down a lot but the wind was stiff and the course is slightly different on lap 1 vs. 2 on the way out. Much more up and down. So I struggled with a slower pace but just kept moving. Got back to the top and ran back to the finish about as hard as I could muster. Felt strong but could have been a bit more tuned in. Here are the splits. You can see the downhill sections easily. The one long one at mile 12 was when I stopped for a minute to talk with Anton. Had to do it.

So I did carry my Mino and figured I would give this a shot. I only took a few during race shots but they were bouncy as hell and unwatchable. Oh well. But I think it is worthwhile as you see the Anton guest appearance!

And that was it. Did better than last year but not sure how to compare. I finished and went home — 2+ hours later! What?

More to the story. I went to my truck and due to some tiredness and weird parking job, I unlocked the car with the remote and stripped down to my shorts and threw it all in the backseat. I had fresh clothes in the front passenger seat. So I shut the door and walked around the truck. I wasn’t 3 steps and I heard CLICK. What the fuck was that? Did my doors just autolock. You have to be kidding me. I started pulling on the doors thinking “no no no”. Shit. I am locked out.

This wouldn’t have been a problem except: 1) I live 70+ miles away, 2) my wife is at home enjoying a relaxing morning in bed i think, 3) it is freezing cold and I am cooling down and I only have on shorty shorts and shoes. WTF? Kill me now. So I see a ranger and I ask him if he has any “break into my car” equipment. Nope. He can call towing guys. Nah. So I borrowed a cell phone and called my wife. Took her a while to even find the spare keys. Still freezing! We even tried the remote unlock through the phone trick but that shit does not work — at least not on my truck. So the deal was done — Kim had to pack up the troops and come down with the keys. It is going to be 90 minutes to 2 hours depending on traffic. Now what?

I was cold. People were offering me shirts and more. But I felt so dumb and I was exhausted so I wasn’t thinking straight. The ranger said I had to get warm or he was going to get nervous. I went over to the race command to see if there were extra shirts or trash bags or something I could steal. Nothing. I didn’t have the smarts to just ask. I was embarrassed at what I did. Finally some older lady comes walking by me in a parka and makes a big deal about how I MUST BE FREEZING. I told her no. Wanted to punch her. I snuck off around back and had a brainstorm. Matt Carpenter fainted in a port-o-potty after one Pikes Peak Marathon. They had to go looking for him. What if I just make that my shelter? So I found the furthest port-o-potty in line and got inside. Locked the door and tucked into a ball. Wasn’t like a crying moment. It was survival. I felt like Man vs. Wild now. Have to wait it out until help arrives. When would they get there?

I had no watch — in the truck — so from time to time I would venture out of my new home. I didn’t want to interact with humans and act like I was freaked so I would walk over to the scoring table and around to the front and look at the official race clock. Then add that to the start time of the race. Then I knew the time. And then I would march back to my shelter wondering where the hell my wife is. I tried to make it look to the scorers like I was waiting on a friend to finish the longer 50k. I bet I had them fooled. Why it mattered? I don’t know. It did at that moment.

I later asked my wife how she thought I kept busy for 2 hours in the port-o-potty — I mean shelter. She answered, “A lot of masturbating?”. I responded quickly. NO! That would be weird. Instead I spent a lot of time looking a moles and stuff on myself. Lock yourself in a box for 2 hours and see what you do. I have a whole new appreciation for solitary confinement now. I also began to notice that body hair naturally grows at very differing lengths on my body. What is up with that?

Anyway, I figured out after about an hour that I could just stand on the toilet in the shelter and see out a vent to see if Kim was driving up. No more scoring table. Ah ha! I felt like it was a small win. So I kept watching. Seemed like 1000 cars before they came. I saw them drive up and darted out to the truck. Apparently, Sydney sees me first and says, “Look! There is Daddy running naked across the parking lot!”. Great. They opened the door and I jumped in. Nearly human again. Until I smelled the food they stopped for and was about to steal it all and run off with it. Guess they FORGOT to bring me some. Haven’t eaten post race and all and was stuck in a shit box for 2 hours freezing. Food might have been nice. But there was one thing better — KEYS! I unlocked the H2 and set the cruise control for home. Never to talk about this incident again. Until now I guess.

  • Luke Ma

    Hahaha. Epic post race adventure. I’ve heard of guys not wanting to ask for directions but not asking for clothing and hiding in a “shelter” is a new one.

  • jmock

    Cool video. Bernie Boettcher takes pics during races, but you went way above that.

  • JM, did pictures before but video seems so much better. Plus it is easier. Just turn it on and cut out bad stuff later. Pictures required too much stopping. Plus, the camera slid right into my RaceReady shorts pocket for maximum efficiency.

  • Holy crap – that sucks. Sorry to hear about that … I had to double back and re-read for a moment – I thought maybe you were totally butt ass naked after popping out of the car. Glad to hear you made it.

    Nobody really gets piece of Pikes, I think it gets a piece of you.

    Great header photo.

  • jmock

    Looking at the thumbs on Co Runner Mag, I thought this one was Anton at first! Oops.

  • Knew you would appreciate that photo. I went to the site to pick it up and was amazed. That photographer did a great job with the setup.

  • Oh, those aren’t New Balance shoes. Easy way to tell.

  • Tony’s hot! Can you get him to give me water at the Heavy Half?

  • Wow, you have some pride!

    I loathe port-o-lets, no way could I have done that, just the thought of it creeps me out. At work, if I am taking a deuce in the stall and another guy sit downs in the stall next to me, I get out of there as fast as I can, I just get weirded out.

    When I finished Denver Marathon in ’07, during the rain. I was standing around trying to find Kelly and her parents who had my clothes. Some lady working came up to me and offered me her big parka saying I looked like I was about to get hypothermia, which I immediately said “Yes!”

    Hopefully Kim didn’t give you too much of a lashing when she got there!


  • The shelter was really clean FWIW. Surely, if they had been on the course with 1000s of runners, it wouldn’t have been the same.

    When Kim arrived, I think the anger died down when she realized I was a moron and already paid the price.

  • Years ago, I did Boston. The people I was supposed to meet at the end of the marathon mixed up where we were supposed to meet. So HOURS after the marathon, I am in the streets of Boston, with no money, just running clothes and a space blanket. These women offered me a shirt to keep warm. I took it … and then I noticed it said in large letters on the front “I HAVE PMS and A GUN. ANY QUESTIONS?”








  • Kristin’s just taking her p90X anger out on those that workout and enjoy it. “You can do anything for 30 seconds” Kristin!

  • The Caps Lock key is on the left side of the keyboard under the Tab. Looks like you don’t know where it is.

    OnStar? Yeah, I haven’t paid for it in years but I ripped it out with my truck makeover in February. Could have saved the day. However, still glad I don’t have it.

    Otherwise, ouch!

  • Lisa Hayen

    This was awesome commentary! I’m considering the 30 mile Greenland race for next year – my last ‘big’ race (and my only ultramarathon to date) before the hubby and I start trying to have children. I have to wonder if running the same loop will kill my brain.

    BTW, not that this helps now, but I’ve read that the body doesn’t digest lettuce quickly. It’s probably not a good idea to eat a salad the night before a big race. I’ve also learned (the hard way) to avoid Mexican food, lots of meat, and garlic. Even with this consideration, Immodium can work if you take a pill (with some food)half an hour before the race.