Saturday, December 10, 2011

Chubby Cheeks 2011

Another great day on the trails with old and new friends at the 2nd annual Chubby Cheeks.  I don't know the exact numbers, but I'm guessing we had somewhere around 50 runners today.  They came from all along the Front Range from Laramie, Wyoming down to Colorado Springs (CRUD showing up strong again) and as far west as Aspen.

I took off with the early 7am wave knowing that the pace would be a little slower than last year when we had clear and dry trails.  I was expecting to be out there about 8 hours today for the 50K (7000+ feet of climbing) and I was just about right.  In fact, no one went under 6 hours on the 50K this year.  I pretty much ran the first 14 miles to Arthurs Rock with my CRUD friend Rick (early favorite for the Quad Rock 50) and off and on with fellow FCTRs Kyle and Sarah.  Plus a few other out-of-towners who I was glad to play tour guide for.  Unfortunately, everyone opted for shorter courses so I ran alone for the next 7 miles around Lory State Park until getting back to Arthurs trailhead and our one aid station.  I hung out there for quite a while chatting with our awesome aid station volunteers, and then quickly lots of familiar faces started to accumulate from the various start times and course options.  I finally convinced the crew that it was getting a little too chilly standing around, so I took off with Pete and a strong group of 8am 50Kers.  I pushed along with them for a few miles before realizing I was working harder than I really wanted to today.  It wasn't long from there, however, until we were all back at Nick's warm house drinking beers, stuffing our faces, and giving our best excuses for running slow this year.  I thought the trails were just perfect today, but I don't think everyone agreed with me.

Huge thanks to Nick and family for opening their home again to a bunch of smelly runners.  I hope everyone had as much fun out there as I did today and it was great seeing you all!  I'm already looking forward to Ponderous Posterior in January.

All photos here.

On top of my favorite rock.

Rick Hessek crushing the climb on Stout Trail.

Kyle and Sarah trudging through Mill Creek Trail.

Rick and Brad enjoying the scenic Howard Trail.

Taking in the views from Arthur's Rock.

Aaron fixing everyone up at Arthurs Aid.

Top 50K woman Shannon finishing strong on Westridge Trail.

Complete certifiable results below (Young Money's 50K course record performance of 3 hours flat under review due to accusations of severe short-cutting of the course)

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