The picture above portrays many a serene Sunday at Applegate lake, but if you look close you can see that on this day a battle was brewing up in the hills that ring the reservoir. The Granite Man 10 miler came on the heels of the Triathlon/Duathlon held on Saturday where wetsuits, bikes, and pounding feet set the scene for this steadily growing series of events.
This years Granite Man was a tale of two pre-race vibes. As much as many of us would have loved to camp at the beautiful aforementioned lake complete with community and camaraderie another group stayed back in A-town to pay homage to what had become a lifelong endeavor. One of our own, Chris Rennaker, or Renegade, or Renninger to some, finally graduated from sales associate to sales representative. No, not quite he's still working on that, but he did conquer the Masters program at SOU and is now ready to teach the youth of southern Oregon all things environmentally sound. So we all wanted to know what would become of this celebration and subsequent race. Luckily for us the RD raises the starting pistol at 9, making the journey south of Jacksonville a little easier to handle.
This race is in it's 5th year and the course has been a staple for all of us when we circumnavigate the lake in winter and the snow levels require it. It's a little bit of a grunt as you ascend Collings Mountain in the first 3 miles gaining a quick 1,000ft. From there the course undulates the ridge and you catch quick glimpses of the Siskiyous. This year it was hard to miss the Red Buttes and Greyback Mountain as they glared white, just like a shirtless runner waiting for summer to show. You then descend back to the lake where the trail contours the water level back to Hart-Tish park.
Erik Skaggs had won the race the 3 previous times and would be tough to beat on this tailor made course. Likewise, this was Jenn Shelton's first race in southern Oregon and she knew the time to beat. For Erik there was redemption as he bested Tyler Davis who had placed in front of him at this years Pear, while stamping out a new course record. Jenn followed suit (of her man) with a new course record of her own even after staying up all night trying not to hear her high school girls CC team through ripstop walls.
So revelers went four deep in the top 5. Pretty impressive numbers, but they don't tell of the true granite man on that day. Coach Bob Julian took an impressive dive on the descent around mile 7 trying to allude yours truly and still managed to run within inches on the finish line for a would be 4th before hightailing it back out on the course unknowingly. He did make it in before heading to urgent care where he is reportedly doing well.
Here are the results, but the pictures below behold the real glory.
|Yes purple shorts and no this isn't the swim portion.|
|Erik and Tyler take it out early.|
|Here's that picture Jenn, if you're lucky you might stay there at the 4th of July run.|
|Pete kicking it old school with the headphones AND 32oz Gatorade.|
|Erik is pointing to Leland to get back into his house or put a shirt on.|
|Friday night's theme, Rubix Cube party|
|Annie thinking this is too close to Western States.|
|Meghan's wonders if these will help with all the snow glare at WS100.|
|Laura's LED western cap is not the most awesome part of this shot!|
|Tim wonders if this bag can carry a cougar home? They're pretty heavy.|