Taos Up and Over 10k
Third overall, second male overall
View Larger Map
After last week's ascent run at Pikes Peak, I wanted to take advantage of some decent training I'd been doing recently so I headed up to the third annual Taos Up and Over (TUAO) 10k run with Allison, Chris and Rose. Rose and I both had run in the Pikes Peak Ascent last week but Rose was in wave two and had disappointedly been turned around at the A-Frame during the PPA so she was really looking for a finish at Taos.
The TUAO runs 2,600' vertical feet up the ski area and then back down via a course that's all dirt road jeep trails on the mountain. Neither Rose nor I had run it before.
This race was the complete opposite of last week's race on Pikes Peak. For one, the weather today was perfect. Also, the race is super low key and there were probably only 60 runners there. It's also much shorter. :) Just like I like it.
At the 9am start, I started in the front and quickly settled into second position at a comfortable pace. Unfortunately, though, I've come down with a small cold so my lungs were immediately feeling tight and somewhat burning. I was not optimistic about the lungs holding up but as I got higher, they felt better. My strategy was power hike on the steeps and hope those that were running ahead of me would tire out from the inefficient running up steep stuff. After about the first mile I was in fourth position and watched the first female and first male head up looking strong. The runner in third was running up the steep stuff and generally slowing down so I knew it wouldn't be long before I was able to pass him. I passed him just before the first water station where I powered down a gel and cup of water and kept the power hiking alternating with running on the lower angle terrain. At the top of the climb at mile 3 I watched the first male crest over in pursuit of the first female. I hit the top of the climb in 43:52 and hoped I'd catch the runners in front but as I looked down, I couldn't see them and figured I wouldn't catch them. The views of the highest peak in New Mexico, Wheeler Peak (13,161'), were awesome. The descent followed steep jeep roads down that were a bit loose at times so it was challenging. I was still able to run fast down though and held a 6:14 minute/mile pace for the entire 3.2 mile descent. I moved quickly and didn't expect to be caught and didn't expect to catch anyone. That's how it went all the way to the finish--uneventful and pretty quick. I finished in 1 hour, 4 minutes and 5 seconds for third overall, second male overall. For my effort I won a free day lift ticket for Taos Ski Area and now that snowboards are allowed, I'll definitely use it! Rose came in around 1:17ish which was good for third female overall. A very productive day for the Los Alamos runners!