I knew the running competion in Colorado would be tougher than Alaska, based on sheer numbers of people as well as climate. Jefferson County--where I now reside--alone has as many people as the entire 49th state. Add in the other large cities and regions as well as a huge proportion of people that run out here and you're going to have deeper fields. And the weather? It's -40s in Fairbanks now, while we're enjoying 60s and up to 70. In January? That's late May weather in the Interior. Although I miss the easy access to skiing I don't miss -40s. So it's a pleasant change to be here and you sure can get in some good workouts, but so does the competition!
Speaking of which. Four races into the campaign since early November and indeed I've faced some good competition already. At state level races (USATF XC championships in November and RRCA 5 mile championship last week) I've gotten a 3rd and a 2nd. Three guys, all named Dan. What's with that? I did some checking and that's some heady company. Two of them hold all-time state records in our age group, one at 10K the other half marathon. I'm a little hmmm on downhill courses, but nevertheless the records count. One of the Dans also has a world masters championship gold and silver medal, as well as recent top 10 rankings in world masters running.
So it's going to be tough to break through into the top of the 55-59 age group, but I'll give it a go in the next few weeks and months. I'm already planning a schedule and hoping to meet these guys on the roads and trails.
Coming up -
Winter Classic Four Mile (Jan 31)
USATF XC (Feb 7)
Screaming Snowman 10 mile (Feb 21; but tentative on that one)
Probably a random 5K in March
Platte River 1/2 marathon (April 12)
Either Bolder Boulder or Trent Waldron Glacier Half marathon in late May (depending where I am over Memorial Day weekend)
And then some mountain and trail running over the summer, with Pikes Peak ascent as my primary goal race.