Hard to believe this is our 5th consecutive year doing the Pinnacle Challenge. It has been interesting to see this race change and our team change over the years. We started off as a decently fast hodge-podge or runners and riders with basic expectations who surprised ourselves with a 2nd place finish in our first year.
We were hooked on syrup and dead set on bagging that narrowly missed win from the first year. Luckily our Blue Zoo family runs pretty deep with athletic talent so even when some team members went missing we were able to field a team and even find some ringers in the process.
One year the Blue Zoo took first and second in the Co-Ed division and last year we narrowly missed a shot at the overall title due to probably the most inopportune flat I have ever gotten in my entire race career. Even so we were still able to defend our crown in the Co-Ed. But it looks like that jug of syrup is going to have to be truly earned from here on out.
The fields have been getting stronger over the years and this year was probably the strongest across the board. Lots of extremely fast runners in all divisions and one of the biggest turn outs to date. I did a lot of sizing up in the parking lot and thought I had our competition figured out and fairly well managed and everything was going to plan heading through the race but we were caught out by a new sleeper group I knew nothing about and narrowly missed out on that Co-Ed win similar to year 1 for the Blue Zoo. They had just the right mix of strength where they needed it and we just couldn't quite close the gap at the end and they nipped us by 2mins and change.
Unfortunately for me I wanted to be exactly 2mins and change faster on my leg than I went but I did post a personal best for myself on the road leg coming in about 25secs better than my previous best.
I really need to start treating this like a race again and really warm up and prepare myself the right way, I just couldn't get the blood to the legs in the first few miles. That usually happens when you go from 0 to threshold in about 200m. I have been getting a bit lax with this race over the last few 'easy' years but nothing like a narrow second to shock you back into form. Everyone else did great. Xtina was back after her baby making hiatus and put up a very similar time to 'back in the day', Adam basically killed it in the MTB (dont believe him when he says he doesn't ride anymore and is slow), and Jeremy destroyed the trail run yet again with a scorching time bested only by some other ridiculously fast runner.
Not sure where these runners came from this year but there was A LOT of talent on hand. Fastest road runner threw down sub 5min miles for 5 miles.
So another year down and it has become apparent that the Challenge has made a name for itself and earning that sweet sweet syrup is going to take a bit more focus next year...