What: Golden Gate Dirty 30 50K (and 12-miler)
Where: Golden Gate Canyon State Park | Black Hawk, CO
When: Saturday, May 30
Vertical Gain: 7,250 ft.
Elevation/Altitude: 7,750-9,500 ft.
Start: 6 a.m. (9-10 hour finishers) and 7 a.m. with three waves (5-6 hour estimated finishers/elites, 6-7 then 7-8. If you thought you'd finish between 9-10 hours - if only I knew what I was in for - you could have participated in the early 6 a.m. start
Field size: 462 (only 135 women)
Finishers: 387 (113 women)
DNS (Did Not Start): 40
DNF (Did Not Finish): 35
Placement: 10:16.12 | 371 Overall/104 Female Overall (almost last place, ha!)
THE BACK STORY
I love Colorado.
Back in 2009, I left my beloved sports gig in Chicago, gave my boyfriend an ultimatum (lucky for me he came with) and accepted a position/moved everything to a state I had never been to besides my interview. I had expressed to my brother that I was ready to move. That upon arrival in the Windy City, I knew my time limit was only two years. My brother having been on the road, traveling to every major city in the U.S. and the person that started us on this career path sent me a list of cities he thought best suited my interests. Denver was on that list of five cities and the one I immediately chose to target.
Let's just say, it was love at first sight driving west on I-70 into my new home. Ever since Casey and I left Denver in 2011 to pursue life on the road, we always said we'd move back. To us, there is no question that Colorado is HOME. We purchased our first place in the mountains in January 2015, but we still live primarily on the road and will be living in hotels for the majority of this year like we have for the past four years.
So, in late March when we saw our next event wasn't for another few weeks. We negotiated with our current company to let us return to our home in Colorado for the duration of those nearly three weeks. It's a win-win. We get to go home. They save on the hotel budget.
Immediately, I began to scour Ultra Signup for any local races I may be able to fit in during the trip and stumbled across the Dirty 30. Having not run much since Zion and entertaining my mom and Casey's brother, Andy, in CO during our return trip to Winter Park - I thought it would be a "fun" way to spend my last day covering 32 miles in Golden Gate Canyon State Park in Black Hawk, CO. Making up for all the lost time running and playing tour guide (which I also love to do, so please come visit us!) and a place (GGCSP) that I had never been to.
On May 9, just three weeks prior to race day, I pulled the trigger and registered.
7,250 ft of climbing? That should be fun!
Running between 7,500 ft-9,700 ft? I should be acclimated by then.
Ultrasignup has me finishing around 7:45, that seems about right.
Sure, Case. I'll be done around 3 p.m. We'll enjoy the post-race party, I'll soak in the stream, have a few brewskis and be at our hotel in Stapleton in plenty of time before the Blackhawks game starts at 6 p.m.
(I'm glad he puts up with me)
Riding in a vehicle for three days post race, crossing through three time zones, and eight states...
I should be fine.
I should be fine.
This is NOT a race to sign up for 3-weeks out.
Not a race to go out and "wing it."
Not a race you sign up for because oh gee, it sounds like fun!
Rainbows and butterflies are not permitted on this course.
All jokes aside, I DID have FUN and I'm still glad I did this race. It was brutal. It destroyed me. It chewed me up, spit me out, and only sick, sadistic, runners would understand wanting to do it all over again. But, next time I hope for a MUCH BETTER outcome...here's why...