Once or twice a year I like to do a workout that is unordinary, unique, and just plain hard. For athletes that live in Colorado, we are never short of options to get in workouts that fit these criteria. On July 4th, I set out on a journey where I did just that.
The plan was to ride from my home in Highlands Ranch to the base of Mt. Evans (55 miles) where I would switch to running shoes and run to the summit (14.5 miles) all the while with seemingly endless climbing.
I left my house at 6AM (elev. 5,660) and made it to Echo lake at the base of Mt. Evans in about 3:40 which included about 6,000ft of climbing. The altitude there is a little over 10,500 ft so at this point I was pretty spent. However, what would really make this workout different than any other would be the run to the summit, 14,264ft. I met the family in the parking lot, put on my running shoes, grabbed a flasks worth of 7 Vanilla PowerBar gels and headed out.
It couldn’t have been more pretty on Mt. Evans road. I was feeling good until I hit Summit Lake at 12,900 ft. I was armed with my Timex Run Trainer giving me lots of useful data. Then the layers started to peel off rather quickly and the rain (and actually a little snow believe it or not) was starting to fall. I had to battle a fair amount of holiday tourist traffic as well on the last few switchbacks to the top. By the looks on their faces you would have thought they all thought I was crazy. When I finally reached the summit, I was completely spent. Legs were super tight, I was hungry, but very proud of the workout. It didn’t take more than a few seconds after I was just about to collapse to have a couple from Kansas ask if I was alright, then asked if I could take their picture for their Christmas card. I agreed, and when they asked what I had done, I simply told them that I ran to the top. I saw the man shake his head as if to say, “Are you nuts?”
I stayed on the summit for only a few minutes until I started feeling little shocks all over my skin, which I later found out was due to lightning in the area. This was not a safe place to be so I headed down asap. I saw other people experiencing the same thing and many of them had their hair standing straight off their heads because of the static.
Overall, it was a great workout and something new and exciting. We need to do different things in our life that we can learn from and enjoy, and this certainly was it for me!
Total data from my Timex Run Trainer:
Starting elevation: 5,660
Ending elevation: 14, 281
Total elevation gain: 11,674 ( I descended a bit as well so this is total ascent)
Total distance: 70.08 (just shy of 70.3)
Total time: 6:15