Monday, August 25, 2008

Ghidotti Phoenix Run & Sierra Brewfest

Greetings from Chris. *The first paragraph is about running, the second about beer. My two favorite things! Proceed accordingly. As usual, Brewfest weekend was dominated by high temps. For the first time, I ran a race about 7 hours before getting drunk as a skunk. Unfortunately for me, I spent most of June and part of July in a walking cast. I've spent the last 5 weeks getting back into running shape, but it's taken me 5 weeks to run 115 total miles at an average of 7.5-8 minute pace, as opposed to 75-90 miles a week below 7 minute pace in May. Last week, I was able to run a 5k on the treadmill at well under 18 minutes, so I thought i'd have a chance at running with Larry, Jeff, and Austin, who all ran just over 18 minutes last week. I started conservatively on the initial downhill before co-leading the race with Larry when we hit the first of many hills. There were several ridiculous hairpin turns on this mostly trail course that you didn't see til you were right on top of them. The volunteers seemed to enjoy waiting til you were about to pass them before telling you which way to go. I beleive this might be the slowest 5k course I've ever run. I was not planning on attempting to run in the front til late in the race, but by halfway, i started to slowly pull away on the downhills. I ended up coming in 1st in 19:02 (it was harder than it sounds ). Larry was second across the line in about 19:50, and Peter was third, a week after run-hiking the entire TRT! Due to an error on the race flyer, Austin (last weeks winner in 18:02), and weekly age-group champ Zach showed up late. The race director was nice enough to let them run solo, and allow there times to be inserted into the overall results. Obviously, many will have mixed feelings about that. It was nice, since it was the RD's fault that they were late-the 8:00 race time was 8:45 on the flyer but correct on the web, BUT...i don't know how happy i'd be if i was beat out by someone that i wasn't able to actually race against. Austin ended up officially placing 2nd, about 15 seconds ahead of Larry, and about 30-35 seconds off the lead. I'm sure it would have been a totally different race for both of them had they been racing each other. While it was a fairly succesful return to racing for me, I'll probably skip this one in the future. There are already 2 better races run around the trails in this area...without the break-neck turns and poor orginization. I'd like it on the record that Austin tried to kill me the day after the Brewfest on the Western States trails, burying me during an 8 miler in near 100 degree heat...it was actually a nine miler, but i was seeing spots at 8, so i slow-walked up the last climb...then went to In-N-Out for "recovery".
Here's the link to Steve's article in the Union...
http://www.theunion.com/article/2008195475096
The following are the rankings on the 52 beers that were sampled by yours truly under a 95 degree sun later on race day. Deschutes, Stone, and Moylans sat out this year, leaving the competition for best Brewery wide open. As far as the individual beers go, the first half of the day was dominated by hops, before getting a pleasant surprise with two longshot beers from Sam Adams that we voted on for future mass production. (B) is bottled. scores are out of a possible 100...1. Sam Adams Coffee Stout 92 (B)
2. Auburn Gold Digger IPA 91
3. Boulder Hazed and Infuzed 86
4. Sacramento Red Horse 83
5. Backstreet Belgian Brown 82
6. Anderson Valley DBL IPA 81
7. Blue Frog Scotch Ale 80
8. Boont Amber 78
9. Sam Adams Cream Stout 76 (B)
10. Blue Frog IPA 75
T11. Sam Adams Irish Red 72 (B)
T11. Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale 72
13. Sierra Moonshine Honey Bown 71
14. Sacramento British Pale 71
15. Backstreet IPA 70
16. Boulder Porter 69
T17. Sam Adams Blackberry Wit 68 (B)
T17. Hoppy Amber 68
T19. Hoppy Black 67
T19. Boulder Amber 67
T21. New Belgium 1554 66
T21. Sierra Moonshine Sp. Wheat 66
T23. New Belgium Fat Tire 65
T23. Hoppy Red 65
T23. Alaskan Amber 65 (B)
T23. Sam Adams Summer 65
T27. Backstreet Copper 64
T27. Sierra Moonshine Pale Rye 64
T27. Sierra Moonshine Smoke 64
T30. Buckbean Black Noddy 63
T30. Black Diamond IPA 63
T32. Blue Frog Red 62
T32. Auburn Wheat 62
T32. Sierra Nevada Anniversary 62
T32. Alaskan Summer 62 (B)
T36. Sam Adams Oktoberfest 61
T36. Sierra Moonshine Black Ras. 61
T36. Pyramid Apricot Wheat 61
T39. Boulder Copper 60
T39. Alaskan IPA 60 (B)
41. Sierra Nevada Pale 59
42. Backstreet Pale 58
43. Trumer Pilsner 57
44. Backstreet Wheat 56
45. Pyramid Hefe 55
46. Pyramid Thunderhead IPA 54
47. Leinenkugel Wheat 53
48. Sam Adams Brown 52 (B)
49. Pyramid Curve Ball Kolsh 50
50. Black Diamond Hefe 48
T51. Buckbean Orange Blossom 42
T51. Hoppy Blonde 42
90's are exceptional, 80's very good, 70's good, 60's average-above average, 50's disappointing, 40's=don't bother. We skipped Firestone, Fox Barrel Cider, and Wyder's Cider. Rubicon ran out half way through. Beerman's, Butte Creek, Fifty Fifty, Lost Coast, and Wolaver's were no-shows. I'd say the top 5 were Sam Adams (2 in the top 10, and both were in bottles!), Anderson Valley (2 of 2 in the top 10), Sacramento, Auburn, and Boulder, with Pyramid, Black Diamond and Buckbean bringing up the rear.

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