Leadville Silver Rush 50 Mile race
They threw us in the deep end right off the start line with an ascent of the very steep (but short) Dutch Henri hill. I had practised walking up this hill a couple of times the previous day and I was glad of that as I knew just how slowly to take it so my heart rate wouldn't go sky high. I couldn't see the point of starting with a climb like that, to get you off kilter right at the beginning.
I had decided beforehand that I would walk the uphills and run the downhills, and in that way I would be able to make the cutoffs along the course. As it transpired there wasn't any flat terrain on the route so I didn't have to consider how to tackle this. Even though I was probably as acclimatised as I could be for a run that is all above 10,000 feet I still couldn't run uphill without great discomfort. But nobody was running the uphills. Nobody. I didn't hear the awful gasping I had heard from the runners at the Breckenridge race but I could hear some people were having a hard time breathing. Luckily for me I did not have an issue with my breathing all day.