I did this race 4 years ago when it was first added (the short course race of 7.3 miles has been around for many years) and finished in 2:14:02. Maybe I could at least beat that time today. At the start I looked around for Corey Hanson (4-time winner of this race) who also did the Bighorn 100 (7th place) but he was probably smarter than me and passed on the race this year.
From the start, I knew there would be little pep in the legs. The first 2 miles are all uphill and I can't remember laboring this much going up Horsetooth Rock Trail in a while (at least not this early in a run). I know this course literally like the back of my hand so maybe I at least had an advantage there. Despite the sluggish legs I was still running in 5th place in this small field of 24 runners. I tried to just keep 4th place in my sights throughout the race hoping that I could at least hold my postition or maybe make a move toward the end. The funny thing about doing a half-marathon a week after a 100-miler is that I felt like I was doing a 5K. I couldn't believe how short the race seemed. So I kept a steady pace and actually made my way into 4th on our second climb up by Horsetooth Rock. I took it to the finish with all I had on this day for a 4th place finish in 2:07:33. For as conservatively (not by choice) as I felt I ran this race I was surprised by my time. I think I may have had a shot at that sub 2hr two weeks ago. I may have to come out and do the course in a time trial training run later this year. So I was pretty happy with today and actually really enjoyed the race after the 1st 2 mile uphill grunt. I even got to bring home some hardware (a big rock) which rarely happens for me. I guess that is an advantage of getting old.
Sam Malmberg got the win in 1:47:49, a couple minutes slower than Corey Hanson's course record. I got to talk to Sam after the race and it sounds like he is ready to start gearing up for Pikes Peak this August. Maybe a sub 4hr?