November 7, 2011

Montana Cup 2011

It was a dark and cold Saturday morning when the Missoula team loaded up on the bus and headed three hours east to Great Falls for the 2011 Montana Cup.  

This year (the course changes every year) the Montana Cup was held at a golf course in Great Falls, Montana.  The wind was gusting at 25 mph, normal for Great Falls, and the course was announced to be two loops around the hilly golf course for a grand total of 7.4 kilometers (roughly 4.5 miles).

Chloe watched on as the runners were warming up for the noon start.

Doing some warm up strides with the maroon colors of Missoula.

Chloe behaving so nicely.  Right Lisa?

All hands in for the Missoula team.

Toeing the line for the start of my first Montana Cup and my first time representing the our new home town - Missoula.

Notice the kid in the yellow.  I don't think I have ever seen anyone go out that hard in any race let alone a 7.4k.  He wasn't the only one, about 40 high school chaps took off like it was the last race of their lives.  Almost immediately I found myself in the back half of the race.

I knew that these young chaps could not hold this Usain Bolt pace.  My patience paid off and I slowly worked my way past the gasping early sprinters.

However, there was still a solid group at the front about 100 yards in front of me.  I slowly started to reel them in on some of the longer hill sections.

Around the 3 mile mark I caught the leader Alan King, who has won this race the last several years.  I would pull away on the up hill sections and he would recover on the downhills.

On the second long up hill section I put in a surge and took a decent lead.

With a mile to go I put my head down and pushed hard towards the finish.

Here is Lisa's famous finish line video.

The Missoula team, including the men's open pictured below, won most of the races.

After having some PBR and delicious Papa John's pizza Lisa, Chloe and climbed into the Jeep and headed home.  The drive home was so beautiful and the road reminded me of a roller coaster.

I snapped a quick picture of this lone horse in a field with the mountains in the background.

Knowing that I obviously had taken "the photo of the day" Lisa decided to one up me.  She got a really nice picture of the Rattlesnake mountains with a little lake in the foreground.

Like normal, Chloe (after a long day of playing pull the Lisa and barking at people) passed out in the back of the Jeep,  What a big baby.  Big paw.

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Originally from Strongsville, OH, I spent 8 years in Raleigh, North Carolina and have since recently moved to Missoula, MT. I have been a runner all my life and have recently started pursuing ultra marathons. Any excuse to be outside and on the trails.