Brad Mitchell (Scott) and Joelle Vaught (Montrail) took the top men's and women's spots, respectively, in Saturday's inaugural Foothills 50k Frenzy in Boise. Mitchell covered the challenging (6,000 ft of vert), largely singletrack course though the Boise foothills in a quick 4:13, with Vaught coming home in 4:32 to also claim second overall. Vaught kept Mitchell in her sights through the mile 14 turnaround on Ridge Road, but by the mile 18 Orchard Canyon aid station, he was able to gain some separation - and a couple broken ribs from a hard tumble - and hold his lead through to the finish. Full results.
For me, the race was a bit of a triumph, as it marked my return (if just) to ultrarunning following a two year hiatus after a rough fall on my knee just before Wasatch in 2009. To be honest, I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to toe the line again at marathon-distance, let alone anything beyond. But, as my injury was kept at bay by a very conservative approach this season, I was able to stitch together just enough long-run miles to make a hard 50k both possible and enjoyable. And that's exactly how it turned out. It wasn't a barn burner, but I was able to come through the finish feeling strong in 18th (5:23).
Though the Frenzy was a first year event, it came off with the clockwork precision that many seasoned races could only hope to have, and it's a great addition to the fall racing schedule in the west.
|6:00 am start.|
|First 90 minutes or so via headlamp on pretty buffed out trail.|
|The Run Junkie at the high point - Ridge Road turnaround.|
|Descending Ridge Road, making the way toward top of Robie Creek.|
|Idaho traffic jam.|
|Hard to beat open country in the last third of race.|
|Joelle Vaught - First (2nd overall).|
|Brad Mitchell - First Overall.|