Pheew, what a weekend. My travels this weekend took me to Meeteetse, Wyoming – a rural town situated in the Absaroka Mountains about 9 hours northwest of Denver.
I was looking to experience some challenging terrain at high altitude…boy did I get what I bargained for. The race starts out at the base of the mountain range, following a remote dirt road and eventually turning into a single track shooting straight up the mountain. From there, it’s a grueling climb to the basin. It continues on the outer ridge, twisting and turning through tundra and volcanic-like geography.
I went out pretty hard, and was actually leading before a few people overcame my pace on the ascent.
Perhaps the highlight of the race is an insane 1000 foot descent before heading back to the finish line. I found effectiveness in essentially “rock-surfing” down this descent. I was glad I took the race directors advice and brought gloves, as using my hands became my braking system. I had so many rocks and debris in my shoes by the time I reached the bottom, it felt like I had bricks on my feet.
It was a closely-matched and competitive race in the lead pack, with the handful of us constantly advancing on each other and trying to overtake each others pace. The course does get remote in some spots but for the most part was well marked and had water aid volunteers in all the right spots.
Once making it back to the final half mile or so on the dirt road, I had let 3 people slip by and refused to drop anymore spots. I basically broke into a sprint and finished 4th with a time of 1:41. It was a great race.
Post-race food was tasty, and race director John Fernandez had cool stuff for top placers and raffles for other prizes. Everyone was friendly and I had a great time. This was my first time to Meeteetse, WY and I definitely plan on coming back for the race next year. They seem like a tight-knit community and I can say the drive from Denver was worth it.
Now if you’ll excuse me I’m gonna stretch my legs, which are very sore compliments of the Absaroka Mountain Run.
Meeteetse Rec: https://www.facebook.com/MeeteetseRecreationDistrict