Race Report: 2010 Goblin Valley 25k
Turned this one into a bit of a road trip with Malcolm and introduced him to the finer points of being a running bum and traveling to small towns in the middle of nowhere for some race. With lots of time to kill in Green River, Utah, we had to get a bit creative. We were camping overnight before driving down to race the Goblin Valley Ultra in the morning. Our plans to play some golf were foiled by a steady rain that fell all afternoon. Instead, we poached some wifi from a hotel parking lot and watched Paul Blart, Mall Cop on my laptop plugged into the car speakers via Netflix. After that we hung out at a coffee shop for a while, got some less-than-good dinner, watched some more Netflix, then hit our campsite to get some sleep.
Luckily, the rain abated and we were greeted with great running conditions on the day of the race. This would be Malcolm’s second 25k, and this time I put him in charge of everything (pacing, nutrition, hydration, etc.). I had done it all at Gunnison, and wanted him to put into practice what he had learned. I was just going along for the ride.
As someone who only runs in the less than 5 mile range, he was a little intimidated by the prospect of going 16. He started out VERY slow and I kept asking him if he was feeling alright. Turns out I should just keep my mouth shut (big shocker), he was only doing what I had advised him to do and was pacing himself smartly.
His smart pacing would pay off as he would gradually pick people off for the rest of the race.
He settled on taking 2 Clif Bloks at 20 minute intervals and that seemed to work very well.
The course traverses a wide open expanse that is very exposed. Luckily it wasn’t hot and the wind stayed on the mild side.
Once we hit the turnaround our pace picked up and I could tell that Malcolm was more confident about going the distance. The course was an out-and-back, so we knew exactly what we were up against to get back to the finish line.
After a quick stop at an aid station, we set off to cross the wide open valley again. There were a few rolling hills in this section to break up the running stride a bit. Malcolm kept a great pace on the ups and downs and ran all of it.
The views are a double-edged sword. Nice to look at, but you can see that you have a long way to go!
Runners were spread pretty thin by this time, the pack was spread out over several miles.
It was a lot of fun to watch Malcolm do his thing and get himself through the race in such good shape. Never a complaint or frustration, just constantly expressing how cool this is. I could tell he is really starting to get why I do this stuff.
For the final mile, we diverted down into the actual Goblin Valley to run through the maze-like formations. There are no trails, so we followed plastic jack-o-lanterns as our guides. Malcolm ran this part so hard I had a tough time keeping up. I was sick earlier in the week so that is probably why I was dragging a bit (at least that’s the story I’m sticking with).
The race was a lot of fun for both of us and I was so happy that he had a good time. I’ve been having a lot of fun sharing experiences like this together this year. Two 25k trail races, a week-long backpacking trip, some 14ers, and a few other hikes and campouts.
On the way home, we stopped off to explore the Sego Canyon area which is just 4 miles north of the Thompson Springs exit on I-70. We spent a couple of hours hiking around and checking out some really cool petroglyphs. Some are thought to be 2,000 years old!