TV appearances aside, the Ironman Lake Tahoe cancelation was a major letdown following a long season of training. I had lofty, but realistic goals of running a sub-4 hour Ironman marathon and ultimately breaking 12 hours – provided I nailed my strategy. I will never know what could have been that day at IMLT. Instead, I took a page out of my other race mishap this year – Wildflower Long Course, and registered for another “redemption race” – Skyline to Sea marathon.
Taylor and I are fresh off an amazing weekend in Utah, and we were lucky enough to run North Face Park City 13.1. Between the altitude (almost 10,000′), the ribbons of single-track peppered with rocks/roots, and the elevation gain (~3400), it was a slog to say the least, but it was a great way to prepare for my marathon this weekend.
Skyline to Sea starts at roughly 2500′ and descends all the way down to sea level. Although there are some climbing sections – the course features over 2000′ of elevation gain, it’s net downhill and should make for a fast race as long as I can find stable footing. My goal is simple: 4 hours or bust.
Setting pace goals for the trail is always tricky, but given the elevation profile and my propensity for running downhill, I’m gunning for a fast finish. My current trail marathon PR is a 4:11 on a course with over 4000′ of climbing, and my speed has improved substantially since then. Either way, Skyline to Sea will be a great training race for North Face 50 miler in December – not to mention Mt. Tam 50K next month. No smoke, no altitude, and no excuses on Saturday.