Alison Bryant - Cup Crazy

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Crazy for the Mountain Cup

By Alison Bryant

Yes, I did spend a grand total of 20.5 hours in Montana last weekend to run the Don’t Fence Me In Trail Run.  Yes, with the 2 hour drive to the airport, 3 flights to get from North Carolina to Montana, and the same to get back home, I spent much more time traveling than in the state of Montana.  But it was worth the trip, I had a great time.

My Montana adventure began when I landed in Helena, MT and found out that Jared Scott’s flight had been delayed 2 hours.  He was to pick me up at the airport on his way into Helena from Bozeman.  The Helena airport is very small, so small in fact that they do not have parking attendants.

So of course no buses into town either.  I ended up hitching a ride with a guy from Helena I met on the plane who was also running the race the next day  (Thanks Chris!).  He took me into town and pointed out the local outdoors store, Base Camp.  I wandered around town for 1.5 hours, looking like a vagabond, dragging my roller bag behind me.  Jared finally made it to Helena and we grabbed some dinner and got supplies.  We then headed out to our campsite, which was right on the race course.  We set up camp, visited with some hikers and their dogs, and helped a wayward dog be reunited with his owner.  Jared said that he likes that trail runners are willing to walk up a hill the day before a race.  I agree.  Here was the view from our campsite.

The race started early the next morning.  I ran into one of my college teammates, Kelly, whom I had not seen for 12 years before the start!  The race started right off going uphill, which I like.  The first climb went well, as I ran along with Nikki Kimball.  Then we started down and Nikki and Kelly went past me.  The later climbs were tough for me that day, although my legs felt good on the decent.  The course was not very technical, except for the last decent (of course!)  It passed through some fields, where I was surprised to run right past a group of horses.  I slowed down more than I would have liked, evidenced by the fact that I was passed by more people than I passed.  I managed to hold off all the rest of the women though and finished up in 5th place.  Although I had been hoping for a higher placing, I know I ran the best I could for that day.  I realized  after the race how little mileage I really have run since being injured this winter.  I ran my first Mountain Cup race (BelMonte 25k) after 9.5 weeks off and 4 short runs.  So at least I am heading in the right direction!

For the race I wore the Crosslite 2.0’s.  I had left the Crosslites in my closet for a few weeks after receiving them, mainly because their name scared me.  Cross-LITE.  I have not embraced the barefoot running craze.  I am a severe overpronator and have always worn heavy, bulky shoes for training.  I have not put on a pair of racing flats in years.  However, when I finally wore the Crosslite 2.0’s for a training run 2 weeks ago, I was elated!  These shoes have excellent heel support and stability despite weighing only 8.6 ounces!  The Crosslite 2.0’s have enough room in the toe box to accommodate my large bunion without relacing the shoe (which is a good thing, because with the lace cover, I don’t think I could relace the shoe).  After the 30k mountain run in Helena, I had no knee, SI joint, or bunion pain or blisters, something that I cannot always say when I wear other shoes.  I think I am addicted to the Crosslite 2.0’s now, I have often been wearing them for training runs and plan to order another pair so that I can alternate pairs and still run in the Crosslite 2.0’s two days in a row.  My opinion of the Crosslite 2.0’s is that they are a minimalist shoe for the person who wants more support than most minimalist shoes offer.  If that is you, I highly recommend that you get a pair of these for yourself!



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