I've always wondered what "clicks" for certain athletes when they make the decision to 'race' rather than just run an event. Is it ego? Is it confidence? Is it their coaches orders? Or is all of these things combined that entice the athlete to push their limits, make the most of the experience and see what happens?
Past events of this distance have been different for me. I've felt prepared but have approached them with an attitude of "let's just have fun and finish". And while there's nothing wrong with that attitude at all, I've come to realize that there might be something to this whole "quality over quantity" concept. I've trained quite a bit this summer and for once, feel strong, confident and am ready to motor over what should be a very easy course (and much cooler temperatures).
I feel like I'm at that stage with my training and am ready to leap into my upcoming race in Colorado this weekend. The Bear Chase 100k is situated just outside of Denver and looks like a great course to cut loose and go for broke. The 12.5-mile looped course touts extensive stretches of single-track trails with a couple water crossings and just over 1,000 ft of gain over each loop. No sweat.
So, let's race.
Oh, and did I mention the scenery?
P.S. Thanks to Trail Running Magazine for the free race entry. You actually *DO* win stuff online folks :)
* all photos courtesy of the Bear Chase Race website.