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mercThe roads are wet this morning from overnight rain as I drive up Lefthand Canyon to Jamestown.  If you’re a biker, then you’re familiar with Ward and Jamestown – both popular bike ride destinations uphill from the Greenbriar north of Boulder.  Ward splits to the left on the drive up while Jamestown is 9 miles uphill to the right.  The road actually continues all the way up to the Peak-to-Peak Highway.  I stop though and park across from the Merc in downtown Jamestown.  The town is covered in clouds but they begin to clear by the start of the race, revealing patches of blue sky.  Awesome running weather with 50° and no wind or precip.

Grossen bartThis race really started last night at the Großen Bart Brew Pub.  Chris and I quaffed a couple of drafts while we talked running.  That qualifies our outing as a strategy planning session for this morning’s 2.5 mile, 1000 foot hill climb.  I drank a Chin Curtain IPA (7.7abv) while discussing my tactical plans for charging up the hill.  I later drank the Friendly Mutton Chop Marzen (6.6abv) while strategerizing with Chris on future marathons.

BalaratThis is the inaugural Jamestown Juggernaut Half Marathon and Hill Climb.  All proceeds (of which they generated over $4000) go to local flood victims.  The starting line is drawn across the road at Howlett Gulch.  Joe Howlett was the previous owner of the Merc and lived at this spot until the raging 2013 flood carried him away, still in his house, down the gulch.  We honor him with a moment of silence before singing the National Anthem.  The race starts off with a 12 gauge shotgun blast at 8am.  This is a mountain town.

hill climbI run the hill climb rather than the half, partly because I want a good hill workout and partly because I don’t want to be too tired for the CU-Oregon game later tonight.  Karen and I are meeting Jed and Gretchen at 5pm at the Backcountry Pizza and Tap House.  We’re eating early to make time for the Wolfe’s tailgate outside the stadium.  Game starts at 8pm.

I have a decent start, running my first mile in 8:35.  The road turns to dirt after this, and much steeper.  The average grade for the entire 1000 foot climb is rated at 7.1%, but I suspect the second mile is over 10%.  I run my second mile in 11:46 and hold that pace to the end for a total 25:24 over the 2.5 mile hill climb.  Most of the Boulder High School boys cross country team finish ahead of me, but I passed a couple of them during the final mile.  They are rated 4th in Colorado and 16th nationally.  I think I could walk on if I were to focus on these shorter distances.  Awesome fall run in the mountains.  How was your morning?