Mt Baldy Ski Lifts host their 51st Annual Labor Day “Run to the Top” 7 miles race with a total of 4000′ gain. Being that we didn’t like our Pikes Peak performance, Bessy and I wanted some revenge. Also I (Roger) got hit with an extra low blow result at Balboa 4 miler cross-country run (XC), which I was already demotivated to do with a hamstring injury. The times put down at the Run To The Top are similar to a half marathon times (+/- 10 min). Its very grass roots, but yet a long standing race.
We slept in the car next to the start line, which was a perfect spot to enjoy the complete darkness and silence, this is an idea of the gorgeous starry night in Honda Suites.
The start is a 1/4 mile steep downhill that beats the hell out of you right off the bat. My fuel belt went all the way up to my chest, so I lost a good minute or 2 adjusting it on the course. Just like Pikes I had a little too much clothes on so had to ditch my shirt at mile 2. I was able to not powerwalk until mile 4…. 4-5 was technical, then 5 broke tree line to a so beautiful ridge line trail, better than Pike’s Peak… you are on a single track that if you do one bad step, you will have a good 1000′ fall. This is the “Devil’s Backbone” which is fun and beautiful that you can barely look up because you have to be so safe on your feet.
When you get to the finish, you assume there is a chairlift or bus to get back. NOPE! You have to RUN BACK DOWN 3 miles from where you just came… with competitors still going up! So this is really a 10 mile event. Luckily you can buy the chair lift ride down with your entry, from the 4 mile mark lodge, or like some other crazy folk, keep running going down. Bessy got first place in her age group, and 5th over all! There were lots of great competition out there.
See a full video online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dr9v47kZ2jM