Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Hidden Peak Hustle

The Black Diamond retail shop has gotten into the trail running game with a full compliment of shoes and clothing now available.  I think this is a good move since many of the traditional lines between climbing, running, hiking, etc are being blurred as athletes are experimenting with speed.  

Many records on iconic peaks have fallen this summer as more runners are climbing and more climbers are running.  My favorite account is by Andy Anderson on his new FKT (fastest known time) on Long's Peak in the Front Range.  It's amusing that a lot of us are trying to run to objectives, solo the easy stuff, and then run out (kind of like Alex Lowe in the 1980s and 90s except still not even close to his level). 

In an attempt to promote their involvement, the BD store put on a great event around the base of Snowbird yesterday.  Both a 5K and 10 K course were laid out and around 100 people showed up to race and to have a chance at a very generous loot of prizes in the raffle.  

The 10K was probably the more competitive race with Dom Layfield winning after the early leader took a wrong turn.  The 5K was a nice change from some of the longer running we've been doing and the course was a beautiful loop that gradually climbed to a high point before a winding forested descent and then one last flat to slightly up hill mile home.  It was almost entirely on single track and was going according to plan...

Jason was supposed to win and I was hoping to maintain my position in second.  Win he did, and in the process picked up a nice gift card to the store.  Adding to his take for the day, he also came away with a new pair of carbon Z Poles in the raffle.  

The dirt podium with Jason taking the win
My day (and week)  was suddenly derailed when while descending through a patch of smooth shady trail, I came down full force on an inverted ankle.  Seeing stars, I tried to continue running.  Unable, I whimpered and tried to walk.  That too proved difficult so eventually I sat down for a moment before deciding to hobble back to the start/finish line as a DNF.  Instead of a gift card I won a discolored elephant cankle and at least a week off of any adventures.  And to add insult to injury, I came away empty handed from the raffle.

My elephant cankle
In spite of my troubles, the race was a success and the event went very smoothly.  I would like to return next year to see if I can at least finish (I believe the finishing rate this year was 99/100) and hope to see more of you out there.  But, in the meanwhile, check out the trail collection at the BD store.  The folks there are laid back, helpful, and all around good people.

And, for those wondering about ankle injuries, the Canadians are pretty good at performing research to create and validate clinical decision making tools.  One of their more famous guidelines is called the Ottawa Ankle Rules.  It's basically a simple set of yes/no questions that can guide a physician as to whether or not Xrays should be obtained.

They read as follows:

X-rays are only required if there is any pain in the malleolar zone and any one of the following:
    • Bone tenderness along the distal 6 cm of the posterior edge of the tibia or tip of the medial malleolus, OR
    • Bone tenderness along the distal 6 cm of the posterior edge of the fibula or tip of the lateral malleolus, OR
    • An inability to bear weight both immediately and in the emergency department for four steps.

    That said, if in doubt, I would recommend seeking expert medical attention.  I did even though I didn't meet any of the above.  My unofficial doctor squeezed my ankle, laughed, and said, "Sucks for you!"  Brothers are nice. 

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