Yes, there are a number of races yet to be run this year - but not by me. So, it seemed time to reflect on the long 2009 season before it faded away in my memory as planning for 2010 takes hold. Here, you'll find my "best of" list for 2009. I thought about including the "worst of" as well. But, in the balance of things, it seemed a little petty and belittling to what on all accounts was a really fabulous 2009. (The truly inquisitive can still glean the season's downsides in my Attackpoint training log).
A toss-up between the Wasatch Front 100 and Pocatello 50. For pure effort and grit and successfully working through some tough times, it's Wasatch (see Best turnaround). For pure performance, it's got to be Pocatello.
Best race schwag:
The chock-full and esoteric Coyote Two Moon goodie bag, which included one very nice Patagonia Slopestyle Hoodie.
Idaho's Hyndman Peak (12,009), with my wife.
Best video of someone else's race:
While it's hard not to give this to the AJW/Kevin Sullivan Leadville regurgitation special, it has to go to the pacer's view video of Kim Holak's Hardrock (below):
Blitzen Trapper's Furr, which played a key role on one of my winter long runs, and which I played over and over during the night at the Bighorn 100.
Entering the shaded woods of Bare Ass Pass at Wasatch after the baking heat between Big Mountain and Lambs.
Best quest for vertical:
The climbs up and runs down the snowy slopes of Sun Valley's Bald Mountain ahead of March's Coyote Two Moon 100k.
Getting past the early-stage GI meltdown at Wasatch and making it to the finish in decent shape and still OK time.
Best hardest track workout:
A Brad Mitchell special that finished with a 20-minute "tempo" with AJW and Brad leading the lightning charge. I stumbled home afterward with a tingling face and drank 32 ounces of chocolate milk.
Best training run:
The April quadruple Carbonate/Vorberg loop. 32 miles with 6,000 feet of climbing that felt about as effortless as it gets. Also inspired Best running-related poem.
Best running-related poem:
I didn't write too many this season, but the hands down winner was the This is Just Say knock off, which actually made it on the wall of my wife's office.