The Fruita weekend pretty much marks the beginning of the Colorado ultra season. I believe the 50-miler is the first ultra on the Colorado running calendar (don't quote me on that), which in concert with the fact that it's very well managed for a reasonable price and held in a jaw-droppingly beautiful location, makes it a race that I am thoroughly looking forward to.
In 2007, I had signed up for the 50 miler, but after getting lost for a good half an hour, just a mile from the turnaround, I decided to call it quits at 25 miles in a somewhat pedestrian 4 and a half hours. I skipped the 2008 rendition in favor of the Horsetooth Half Marathon here in Fort Collins (another great race), and then came back in '09 looking for a spot of redemption. While I ran a strong race last year, with the exception of a painful last few miles, I know I've got a better time in me on this course. Hopefully I can run a race that I'm happy with this year so I can finally get back to running the Fort-Collins-Running-Club's Horsetooth Half which has to be one of the best half marathons in the country (and one of the best after-parties: think lashings of free New Belgium beer and great live music).
Anyway, I posted a look at the Fruita competition for all four races over at RunColo.com if you feel like taking a gander. As you'll see, it's a pretty strong field this year in both the male and female 50-milers, with some interest also in the two 25-mile races.
As a side note, this will serve as the second installment in the five-race Burch vs. Clark 2010 showdown. And just as a reminder, Burch took a 40-second drubbing in the first leg in Salida last month.
As a second side note, good luck to GZ and JV who will be six or seven hundred miles downriver on Saturday taking on the Grand Canyon double crossing, aka the rim to rim to rim (R2R2R).
And then a third side note wishing Brandon, Brownie and Mike in Austin all the best in their sub-3-hour quests at Boston on Monday. My money as far as finishing times are concerned is on Mike, Brownie, then Brandon, although I'm confident they'll all duck under the 3-hour bar.