Lion? What lion?
How many race directors get to start their race report with “Fortunately, our top two runners were only briefly sidetracked by the mountain lion?” Not many, I imagine. But what a way to start.
We did indeed have a lion encounter at our Second Annual Suffer Better Trail Run, toward the top of the race’s first big climb. Thankfully, despite one of the two runner’s urging to “chase it,” the two leaders dutifully stuck to the course and finished 1-2 about an hour and a half later, none the worse for their feline encounter. The lion’s presence says so much about this run – described by many of our runners as more of an adventure run than the usual trail run. No buffed trails here; instead much of the single track was originally traveled by our local 4-hooved residents, the many elk and deer who call this home. When the overall winner, Alex Parulis for the second time in our event’s short history, is killing the field at just over 9 minute miles you know the course is a tough one. Jane Murawski, our top woman, and a Suffer Better event newbie, was hot on their heels, finishing handily in the top four overall. Well done and well run everyone.
Forty-three hearty souls toed the line on a beautiful early fall morning at 7800 feet. Equal numbers of men and women runners wound their way through gorgeous Aspen and pine forest and on forest roads for five miles, including 3 climbs up to over 8400 feet. Then they did the same five miles in reverse, finishing with a steep uphill grind to the finish banner. Waiting for them there, along with the Suffer Better crew, were fresh fruit, a delicious kale and noodle salad, cold beer, all the re-hydration drink they might need, and the unmatched camaraderie of their trail running tribe.
Conservation CO came to explain their goals and enlist our runners' support. The list of sign-ups was long! Our sponsors made it all work for us and our runners, and we can't say thank you loud enough or often enough: Real Athlete Diets, SkratchLabs, Berkeley Park Running Company, TikTok Ink, Upslope Brewing, Popsockets and HokaOneOne.
Proceeds from our 2nd Annual Trail Run will go right to Conservation Colorado to support their work to protect and preserve the valuable places we run, ride and hike. Your help means more than you know. Thank you.