Sunday, August 05, 2007

2007 Bairgutsman

Rough night’s sleep. Up at 4:30 to get ready and gather my things. Drove to Fruit Heights in Farmington where I joined about 152 other gluttons for punishments at a church parking lot. Almost everyone wore a fuel belt or backpack to store hydration and energy needs. I had 20 oz around my waist and an extra water bottle in my hand, plus some energy blocks and gels. I ate a banana while stretching.

Richard Barnum Reece, the founder of this race, started us off at 6:00 am. The Bairgustman, or Bair Gutsman (I see it written both ways in different places) is an 11 mile trail race up Farmington Peak and down the back side. 

The first mile is moderately uphill, through a neighborhood and into the trailhead. Then things get serious, with a 4000 foot elevation gain in about 4 miles. The race quickly becomes a fast hike for most of us. The trail is single track in most places, and sometimes almost no track at all. In fact, if it wasn’t for this race, I think the underbrush would swallow up the trail altogether. My bare legs quickly became covered in small cuts, and scrapes.

I’ve heard that in years past, the trail wasn’t marked at all, which obviously made for a tougher trek up the mountain. This year however, there were plenty of signs and markers to ensure the Forest Service didn’t have to send out any search parties. While this may have disappointed some of the old timers, I think it benefited the race overall. Despite all this, I still managed to take a wrong turn in the ferns, but a fellow racer spotted me before I got too far and gave a shout out. Thanks guy in yellow.

The last 1000 feet to the top were the toughest. The angle was nearly vertical, and by then your muscles were tight and sore from non-stop climbing. They had an aid station waiting at the top where I drank a little water. It felt wonderful to be able to catch my breath and jog once again. I believe the elevation was around 9200-9400 ft.

After running along the top ridge, we followed a dirt road down the mountain. I really enjoyed this part of the race, and made pretty good time coming down. I finished after 3:01:22. I think I was like 61st overall, the 52nd man, and 20th in the 30-39 category. Not great, but respectable. The fastest runner came in at 2:04:09, and the slowest finisher took 5 hours 11 minutes.

They had lots of food at the end where people stood around trading stories. Because this was a point to point race, I had to hitch a ride down the canyon with some other runners. Thanks to the nice couple in the BMW and Robin in the back for giving me a lift down the canyon.

They had photographers there taking pictures along the way, so I will try and track some down and post them later.

1 comment:

Brent said...

Nice job. I'm trying to psych myself up to do this one day.