GZ's race report.
Mario Macias- 1:50
Greg Ruckman ( - 1:57
Michael Aish- 1:59
Lucho (me)- 2:00
GZ- 2:15 (wins his own prediction contest) first Master
Winds gusting to maybe 40mph with temps in the 20's. Windchill maybe in the teens (there were frozen puddles on the road) and it was spitting snow at the start.
Mario jumped immediately to a significant lead. I settled in with Greg Ruckman and we worked in to the wind and at mile ~3 caught a walking Aish ("I'm getting my ass kicked!") So he joined our group but kept throwing in surges that dropped me. Aish and Greg stayed just ahead the rest of the race, bad call on my part not to stay with them. After Summit Lake I brought them both back to within 20" but could never bridge because they were trading off taking the wind which at 13,000ft was very significant and absolutely frigid. I would get close and then get hammered and have to ease up. After the race Greg said that he and Aish were working together to keep me away, neither one wanted 4th place.
Funny thing about "racing" at that altitude... I would push but nothing significant would happen, like my legs were operating at 50%, which they were. Over-all I never felt strong at any point really, just a flat, grinding feeling. After GZ crossed the line he jumped in with us and rode down. He asked (in a frozen mouthed, slurring, drunk voice) how far ahead of him I finished and I guessed maybe 3:00-4:00. Hypoxia has funny way of messing with perception. I'm psyched to finish so close to Aish, the guy's awesome. And only 10:00 off Mario, even if he was jogging, is respectable in a ~2:00 race.
Fun race, miserable conditions.