Monday, March 10, 2014

Sand Mountain Marathon Race Report - I WON!

Last week I ran the inaugural Sand Mountain Marathon. What? You've never heard of the Sand Mountain Marathon? Possibly because it didn't exist until a few days ago when I went out and ran 26.2 miles...around Sand Mountain.

The race registration was free priced right. Thankfully there was no long bus ride to the starting line. The course started on a little side trail I've never been on before. I hoped that it would lead to the towering cliffs of Sand Mountain. The trail had as much sand and rocks as Kenny G has hair.

I'm disappointed in the race organizers. The trail marking was terrible. Actually nonexistent. But I figured as long as I was climbing I'd be getting closer to my destination. After about an hour I reached this rock tower. That's a good sign. I added three rocks of my own to the top.

I soon realized that I was nearing my goal, the edge of the towering red cliffs. I was surprised to be the only racer who would be able to enjoy some amazing views. It could be because the race director (who happens to be myself) capped the registration at one.

I've been to other overlooks on Sand Mountain but never this area. The scenery was incredible. I didn't mind some of my race time ticking away to hang out here for a bit and soak in the views.

The entire expanse of the desert opened up in front of me.

One more picture before heading back down the mountain:

As you can see from all these pictures, there was one dominant color on the race course: RED. Mile after mile of red. And then out of the blue.....something that wasn't red. (Speaking of all these colors, I'm colorblind.)

When I got back down the mountain I stopped at the only aid station in the entire race. The aid station happened to be at the race director's rental car. Why a rental car? Because someone backed into the RD's car and it was in the shop. One aid station for a whole marathon?!?!? Seriously weak.

I wore the new Altra Olympus shoes for this marathon. They made it the entire 26.2 miles right out of the box. I LOVED them. They have more cushion, similar to Hoka shoes, except way more comfortable. Mark my words, you'll start seeing these shoes all over the place because they are basically awesome.

Once I got down Sand Mountain I finished my miles wandering around Warner Valley. I ran past the cliffs that I had stood upon miles earlier.

The race organization was clearly lacking in many areas. No course marking. One car aid station. And the race photography consisted of the race director handing me a camera and saying "Hope you like selfies." Jerk.

I couldn't find anything I didn't love about those Altra Olympus shoes. They were the perfect mix of cushion, tread, and comfort.

Those of you on the east coast, I wanted to let you know that my shirt is available to serve as a fluorescent lighthouse to guide ships in fog and rain storms. You're welcome.

The finish line festivities were terrible. Absolutely no spectators. No party. Just stop the Garmin and you're done.

Here's the good news: I WON THE MARATHON. Granted, I was the only one who ran the marathon. Granted, the race was capped at one entry. Granted, this is the first and last time I will ever win a race. But I won! Instead of a medal, the race director provided this cup of heaven, also known as Dr. Pepper. Super Big Gulp. Super unhealthy. And super delicious.

I feel so blessed that my body has been eager to run and recover quickly. With this 26.2, that made a marathon, 50 miler, and 100 miler within 33 days. I think maybe that's my record.

The course scenery was beautiful. Will I run the Sand Mountain Marathon again? Definitely. Will that race also end with 44 ounces of heaven? Definitely.


  1. Along with your outstanding accomplishments, I find it utterly amazing that you continue to find new trails you've never been on. Like, really? Ha. Congrats on the win...and that "medal" is better than any medal I've ever gotten from an RD! :)

  2. Sounds like quite the fabulous race! Congrats to the winner and the RD and a Super Big Gulp sounds like perfect swag.

  3. This post is awesome. And hilarious. But mostly awesome. And now I really REALLY want a Dr. Pepper.

  4. I'd be sending a strongly worded email to that RD. He seriously needs to pick up his act if he wants you back next year.

  5. A win is still a matter what. Congrats :) Love this post!! You are too much fun.

  6. I really really want to come down and run with you! Such amazing scenery! Congratulations on your big win! ;)

  7. Congrats on winning! I was thinking about trying those shoes next, seems like sometimes I just need more cushion, although I do love my Torins.

  8. I would love to run this next year!!!! :) (or next week??) ha!