Old Man Winter Rally: 10K Run


Serious Winter Fun: Lyons, Colorado

This was hilarious. A week out from Old Man Winter, I knew the weather was not going to be awesome. Three days out and the weather seemed like it would be dangerous. I’m all about adventure, and even pushing my limits, but 5 hours with temps in the teens and roads covered in ice seemed like maybe too much. So I switched from the 100K bike ride to the 10K run.

BUT the day before the race, Saturday, the weather was brilliant! Sunny, blue sky, and 50-degrees. So I did something I had been planning for a while. A 100K+ bike ride with 10,000 feet of gain. Repeats up Pinewood and Carter — the local climbs in Loveland, CO. It was fantastic, and tougher than I imagined.

Which is to say, the morning of the race, I was pretty spent. I had started biking Saturday at 11am and finished at 5pm. I didn’t sleep well at all (am I the only one who gets TOO tired to sleep??) I ate oatmeal and toast for breakfast on Sunday, which is rare for me. If I’m racing, I usually can’t eat anything — a banana or a Clif bar at best.

We drove down to Lyons and the weather got crazy. Tons of snow, roads were a mess. We arrived 30 minutes early and the line for bibs was still crazy-long. The run start was delayed because of it. We started at 10:45 instead of 10:30. After the first half-mile, it was clear that pace was out the window. Conditions included deep snow on the roads trails. I wore microspikes, but honestly, I don’t know that they made much difference. It was more of a “just stay upright” tromp. On the single-track it was basically impossible to pass anyone. We became a line of cattle.

As we were heading back to Lyons, in the last mile of the race, I saw people loading up their bikes in their cars, and cleaning them off. I instantly knew the bike portion had been canceled. The county deemed the roads unsafe. I’ve never been more proud of a decision than to bike all day Saturday and run Sunday. Runners were the only ones who actually got to “race.”

I loaded up on free Clif and Nuun. Stood by the fire. Took in the hilariousness of the whole thing. An epic winter race that had just a little too much epic winter. I wore sub-zero tights, a long-sleeve shirt, fleece vest, ball cap with buff over my ears. I should have worn glasses to block the heavy snow. I was actually never cold, just had lots of snow in the face. Sufferfest puts on a great event, even when the event barely happens!

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Micah Ling

Challenge me to do something outdoors and I'm almost definitely in.
Cycling, Running, Open Water Swimming, Triathlon, Trail Running, Track and Field, Gravel Biking, Road Biking, Alpine Skiing, Climbing
Loveland, CO

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