GearJunkie.com’s Patrick Petschel reports on the Native Eyewear 10K at the Teva Mountain Games in Vail, Colo., on June 7, 2009.
Humbled and awed are two words to describe my experience running the Native Eyewear 10K at the Teva Mountain Games this past weekend. I came into the event with a healthy dose of reality expecting to get hammered by the altitude and the race’s 1,800 feet of elevation gain.
Right from the start, when I looked at the line heading straight up the ski hill, I stopped caring about how fast I was going to finish this race. I just wanted to make sure I did eventually finish.
The course had both exceedingly difficult climbs and descents. After consulting with several other runners, it was hard to find a place on the course that was actually flat. The single-track descent off of Post Road was exhilarating, and the steep double-track descent on Main Lane challenged runners to simply stay upright and in control.
I’ve completed marathons, mountain bike races, and more triathlons than I care to think about. The Native Eyewear 10K was easily the hardest single event I’ve ever completed. I can’t wait to do it again next year.