last year i had been able to partake in the triple threat weekend over the Memorial day weekend which consisted of the CHINO VALLEY 10K, the Jerome Hill Climb and the Saugaro National Park 8 miler...this year however...coming off of the Lean Horse 100 I wasnt sure if I was going to be in any shape to run all three races...well as it turns out I was but the 8 miler had sold out so i would miss my chance at tit again this year.
Disappointed in myself for missing out on signing up in time didnt stop me from enjoying the two other races however I guarantee you that.
first up was the CV 10k which meant that i got to head up north to see my friends in the Mountain Milers (Dan, Julie, Ken, Rob, and Steve-O, just to name a few). It also meant that I got to hang out with my buddy Billy Gebhart as this wekend is one of his traditions as well. The race is a nice small town street race that consists of a one mile stretch followed by a 4 mile square and a return trip to the start/finish area on the previously run one mile stretch. the race is deceivingly tough as it has a downhill start which makes most runners (including myself) go out way too fast. the race then turns evil as there are some nice rolling portions around mile 2.5 and then just turns into a nice wicked long drawn out climb through mile 5 and into the finish. It is realy fun and one that i love to do over and over again. ;this year, despite just coming off of the 100 miler I was able to PR in the race, PR overall in all of my past 10 k efforts and win my age group! I can't wait to do it again next year!
The next day brought along race number two - another one of my favorite races....the Jerome Hill Climb! This ace is 4.6 miles of beautiful hell! I love it! Again I get to run this race with all of my Mountain Miler friends and all of those from the valley to as this is an ARR sponsored race. This year my friend Pat Reichart missed out on the ace due to an injury...she was greatly missed. This race, as I said is beautiful yet it is HELL. The scenery provides the beauty as we run through the town of Jerome, past a ghost town/mine and then up, up, up to the finish line atop of Jerome's Hill. Despite all of the though mountain races that I have done...this little 4.6 miler provides a really challenge each year as you try to go as fast as you can up this beast just so you can walk back down when you are done. This is my kind of ace as I love to climb and it actually sort of levels the playing field as I can actually bat some of my super fast street racing friends to the top or at least give then a run for their money! I was still a bit jacked up from my first sub 24 at Lean horse and the 10k PR the day before but I was still a bit tired too and to make matters worse I was late getting started in the race as I was the last one in the bathroom line since I had helped out with registration and got delayed in walking down to the starting line. After making are of business I started the race a few minutes after the gun went off and I immediately stared to tear up the first climb up into town. I quickly caught up to the rear of the pack and started to weave my way in an out of the cattle traffic jam. Yelling hello to many familiar aces along the way the first hill came to a close as I rounded my way through town and to the registration/parking area. After this quick little break from the first climb...climb number two and the power climb portion of the race began...this was a brutal little climb that covered about 1/4 to 1/2 mile and was fairly steep. This was then followed by the last climb which zi-zagged its way up out of town and into the canyon walls and cactus blooms - he beautiful part of the race...although you don't really notice it during the race. Finally after working my way to the top and crossing with yet another race PR for the
weekend I relaxed a bit and watched some of my friends cross the finish line as well. Shortly thereafter I began the walk/job back down to the parking area..this time making sure to take in the beauty of the surroundings.