This will go down as one of the dumbest last minute decisions I’ve ever made. You might recall that I ran the Drop 13 last year. It was a super easy and GORGEOUS run, but my legs hurt for almost a week afterwards. By “hurt” I mean pain that prohibited me from sitting and so I gave up and started trust falling onto the toilet rather than painfully lowering myself. Running down hill with such a severe drop in elevation with absolutely no downhill training is stupid and because I planned to be smarter about running this year, I declined when Chad and his cousin, Seth, tried to talk me into running with them.

When Chad finally signed up, I didn’t even waver. “I’m already working that morning anyway.” I told him. But then one of my co-workers wanted to trade shifts and my excuse evaporated.

I kept hoping another excuse would come up as the days counted down, and Chad and Seth started planning for the race. It finally became clear to me that even without downhill training, even knowing that there would be lots of painful days following the race, that I wanted to run. I’m resigning myself to the fact that running events are fun for me now… it’s weird. I finally signed up for the race two days before the event which is officially the latest I’ve ever signed up for anything.

Like last year, it was a beautiful and very cold morning at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Drop 13 Start

The upside this year, was that instead of waiting at the top of the mountain for 90 minutes freezing before the race started, we got on the last bus up the mountain and were dropped off five minutes before the start. This is because they have a REALLY bizarre way of organizing the bus pick-ups in that they don’t organize it at all. So you have to nomadically wander from bus group to bus group hoping that they can squeeze you onto the next bus that arrives. And when that doesn’t work, you try again.

It’s hard to be too pissed about that piece of disorganization because not being 98% popsicle before the race started seemed to help me enjoy the run a little more than last year.

Drop 13 Amigos

Similar to last year, Chad and I ran together until the base of the canyon, which I think is just before mile 12. I know that we had a good wheezy laugh about a dead bird at the side of the road and how we should bring it home for Bella.

Then Chad finally gave in to his normal speed and he was out of sight before I could wave him on.  Fortunately, I didn’t lose my marbles and I managed to have a very sane and event free race.  I didn’t even have the usual 9 mile panic attack!

Drop 13 Half

We all came in under 1:45:00 which seems insane, and – just as I predicted – I was sore for several days after the race. The very worst is walking down stairs, following by sitting down, and finally, walking down any real or perceived decline. I managed to recover by Thursday this time which is an improvement of approximately 3 days over last year.

I’m not even going to say that I won’t run this race again, I’m just going to pretend that MAYBE next year I’ll spend a little time downhill training before I attempt it.

Event Specs

Event Managed by: On Hill Events
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Personal Participation Count: 2 of 2
Event Expo: No

Race Start time: 6:00 am, but you are supposed to be on a bus up the canyon by 4:30 am (-1)
Race Day Weather: 55-65 degrees
Race Features: beautiful views, all downhill (you run fast without even trying)

Water Stations: 6 | Every 2 Miles
Energy Supplement Stations: Yes | Cliff Shots or Gu (couldn’t tell) before mile 8
Race Course: 3000 ft Elevation Drop down Big Cottonwood Canyon
Running with Traffic: Yes, but there are police escorts monitoring the closed lane for runners

Finisher Medal: Yes (and they totally improved the medal quality this year!)
Special Category Medals: Yes

Half Marathon Rating: 9 out of 10