Today I ran the Jupiter Peak Steeplechase. This is one of my favorite races. This is the third time that I have ran it. The race is held at Park City Ski Resort. They changed the finish location this year, so before the race I jogged over to the new finish to check it out. The new finish was all down hill and made the course about a half mile shorter.
The race started right at 8 a.m. 250 of me and my best friends headed up the mountain. The course starts out with a steep climb up a jeep road. About .75 mile up we hop onto some really nice single track. I was feeling the pain of having just ran the Speedgoat 50k last week and couldn't run the uphill as fast as I would've like to. The course works its way up the mountain towards Jupiter Peak. There were a few short or downhill sections, but for most of the first seven miles we were heading uphill. The final ascent up to Jupiter Peak is a brutal grind straight up the mountain. I reached the top of Jupiter in 1:13. Not bad for seven miles uphill. The next mile has a little bit of downhill and then the more uphill to the top of Tri-Counties Peak. The second uphill is a tough one. I was ready for the downhill.
After reaching the top of the second peak the course is all downhill. The first trail we hit is one of the best single track trails on the mountain. It winds through the trees and is very runnable. My downhill gears were working much better than my uphill ones. I passed about 15 people in three miles. After that I started picking off other runners as we cruised down. Towards the end there was a stretch where I could see a ways in front of me and saw that there were about 5 of us close together. I set a goal to pass them all. I picked off one but didn't catch the others on the single track. The final stretch of the race is on pavement. When we hit the pavement I poured it on strong and passed the remaining 4 guys before crossing the finish line. I finished in 2:37:36. That is slower than is past years, but this was the first time I ran the race one week after running a 50k. That probably had something to do with it. The new setting for the finish was great. This race just keeps getting better.