2006 - RIM ROCK RUN - GRAND JUNCTION, CO
The 2006 Rim Rock Run was held on November 11th 2006.
There were 259 runners that started and only one DNF. The weather started out cloudy and cold with a temperature around 38 degrees. Most runners started out with jackets or pullovers but quickly started to shed the extra layer in the early miles of the race as was evident by the numberous piles of clothing along the route.
The race did live up to it's description with the first 8 miles being uphill. The first 4 miles were the worse but not worse than I have been training for. The roadway was new asphalt for most fo the race. Once the gun went off runners headed up the mountain. I had not driven the course in sometime and so did not know what to expect as far as the steepness of the course. By miles 2 it was obvious that some runners went out too fast and were already walking. The scenery was magnificent from the beginning to the end. the rock outcroppings were amazing. Running along the edge of the road around the top of the rim was a little scary with straight down drops of 1000 foot on the side of the road. WOW. Makes you wish wings were possible.
Once on top the 4 miles of gentle rolling hills were a welcome relief from the hard climb up. The support stations were well stocked along the route and the enthusiasm of the volunteers helped make the day go by faster.
The 10 miles of downhill is harder than it may sound. The pounding of the fast descent made my legs ache from top to bottom. I started getting leg cramps in my L leg around the 17th mile. I worked them out and continued on however the cramps came back at 20, 21 and 22. Mostly in the medial or inner quadriceps muscle. This happened in Steamboat Spring 2 years ago also around the same point. Both races have alot of downhill running. Next marathon I am going to try to vary my nutrition during the later parts of the run and add some salt replacement. I have been using my Gels on time but feel that I may sweat more than I am figuring.
The finish line is visible from the top of the canyon and looks so little down at the bottom. The serpentine route quickly descends to the end of the race. The finish line was lined with enough cheering fans to make the finish fun, the announcer calling out the names of the finisher and cheering them on.
I finished with a better time than I expected. I wasn't sure how fast I would be able to run the uphill half of the race. I had predicted a finish time of 4:00:00 - 4:15:00. I ended up with a 3:52:36.9
I felt great after the race. My legs being a little sore from the cramping, and the downhill pounding. The after-race refreshments were very good with everything from danishes to pizza and beer. The race results were quickly posted and finishers received a Finishers Pin and a Card with their time listed.
All in all this was a must do again race. I would encourage everyone to run this race at least once. I hope that this race continues into the future and I would consider it a yearly must do run.