Saturday, August 2, 2014

Gateway to La Caille 7K Race Review

Me with my finisher's medal

Official Time: 35:11
Placement: 2nd place in men's 40-44, 16th overall
Results: Here
Race Website:Gateway to La Caille 7K
Weather: low 70's, no wind.

Mile Time Comments
1 8:11 Hoping for faster but this was all uphill
2 and 3about 8:30Stuggling here as the first half was majorly uphill. Sucking wind. Luckily the last half of the race is downhill so I was hitting 7:30 in the final portion here.
4 to finish7:10
Total Miles: 4.31

This morning I opted for a 7K race at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon at probably the swankiest restaurant in the Salt Lake area, La Caille.  This was the first annual race and in short, this is one I'd definitely do again.


This course is NOT easy.  The first 1.5 miles is pretty much up hill from the get go.  You start at 5100 feet and climb to 5424 feet by mile 2.4.  I saw a number of runners walking in spots as the oxygen deprivation and the non-stop nature of the hills will certainly challenge any runner.

After 2.4 miles the course starts its descent back to the start (you run a loop).  From miles 2.4 to mile 4 it is all downhill and my slow 8:30's suddenly turned into 6:30's at times.  This was a joy to run and I am sure I paid a price as I wasn't wearing my cushy Brooks Adrenalines, but had opted for my Saucony's.

The final .30 of a mile is a push up to the restaurant via their driveway.  This is a brick / cobblestone drive that is just absolutely beautiful.  Manicured ponds, flowers, views of Little Cottonwood, vineyards and of course the final "hill".  This hill is a nasty but short.  My pace fell completely off as I basically shuffled up it.

Tough hill at the finale


I took the strategy of going out fairly conservatively in the first half and then trying to take advantage of the hills at the end.  I think that largely paid off.  I anticipated, given the hills, that I'd finish in about 35 minutes and sure enough that's about what I hit.

During the warm-up I felt drained again.  My legs just felt dead and unresponsive and I just felt tired.  It may have been that I hadn't slept well or I needed a shot of caffeine.  The first quarter mile I was wondering if I was gonna have to walk.  Luckily, my racing instincts took over and I realized everyone was suffering as much as I was and overall I was in the top 20 (or better).


I received a really cool (and heavy finisher's medal).  The age group award I received was glass, so I had to be very careful with it.  Definitely unique and high-end as far as awards go.

Part of the deal of the race was that you'd get a breakfast from the restaurant (they are known for their brunches).  It wasn't anything terribly fancy, and sadly you could only go through the food line once (I could've gone for another plate or two). I did load up on eggs, fruit and a croissant.

Once again there were probably 2 women for every guy there.  Just incredible the amount of women who run races now.  I was looking at the finisher's sheets after the race and the women's side was at least twice as long as the men's.

2nd place age group award plus finisher's medal

Breakfast plus close-up of finisher's medal

Also the runners pretty much had free reign over the entire grounds, so I took the opportunity to grab some of photos.  It was an absolutely beautiful morning so I loitered around and snapped a bunch of pictures.

I am definitely curious about trying the restaurant.  While, I am definitely a Golden Corral guy over "foo-foo" food, this place looks like it might be worth the trip especially to enjoy eating outside on a nice summer night.

La Caille Restaurant Cottage

Flower display at La Caille Restaurant

View of the eating area

Little Cottonwood Canyon in the distance

Little Cottonwood Canyon in the distance

Flower covered bridge

Main Restaurant

One of many peacocks

One of the two entrance area ponds

Another section of the restaurant

Vineyards on the grounds

More vineyards on the grounds

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