They say that good (or is it bad?) things come in three’s… or is it four’s? Well, this was my third running of the Golden Gate Dirty Thirty, the 3rd time I’ve finished it in 4th place and also the 3rd (of 4) races this year where I’ve come in 4th. Geez! It seems that regardless of what I put into the race, some things stay the same. The first year, I ran cautiously as it was my first ultra since moving to Colorado. The second year (last year), I ran hard, wanting to be as competitive as I could be. And this year, I ran as well as my peak-training legs would let me while maintaining my focus completely on Western States.
What has also remained a constant about this race is how hard it is. And yet, each year I completely forget about that part until I’m 60 seconds in and already huffing and puffing! The 33 miles throw 8,500′ of gain and a little bit of everything at you: rocky single track, creek jumping, meandering smooth single track, rocky ridge scrambles, long climbs and steep descents, Rocky Mountain views, shaded forests and open hillsides. And that is why I love this course and look forward to this race as the butt-kicking start of every summer season.
Each year there are tons of familiar faces running the course, but this year in particular, we had over 25 Rocky Mountain Runners and 8 Boulder Track Club teammates toeing the line. To get to share the race with all of them was one of the highlights of the event. Here’s a great little summary of the race from our Rocky Mountain Runners team.