It's a tough job, but somebody has to be the meat in the sandwich!
It was a really nice morning. It was Cold while standing but perfect for running. This is an out and back course on rolling mostly single track trail. This is a very runnable and fast trail 50k. It his some decent hills but nothing that required walking for long periods of time.
Rob and I started at a comfortable pace. That lasted about 3 minutes before he realized that the race had started, and took off. I saw Lloyd, for the first time about 3 miles in to the race. I would see him at least 3 times during the race at three different spots. It seemed like he was helping out everywhere! He was very supportive each time I saw him, Thanks Lloyd! My goal for this race was to run a relaxed easy race. Right before
Coming out of Boston Store aid station I was leading a small pack of runners. At this point, Gabe, who was volunteering at the aid station (because he didn’t register for the race before it filled) decided to join us. He would end up running the rest of the race with Steve and I which was a big help, and it was nice getting to talk with him, Thanks Gabe! I started to pick up my pace here, but was still not really racing hard. Early in the pine lane section we were past by the three front runners, all within a couple minutes with a larger gap after the front three.
When I got to the half way aid station I was told our spilt was 2:43. I was really happy with that and thought that I might be able to run a negative split if I pushed hard from here on out. Leaving this aid station, Dan really took off. Despite our increased pace we wouldn’t even come close to seeing him again until the finish! Way to go Dan! As Gabe and I made our way back to Boston Store we picked up another runner. Steve from Columbus (Not the same Steve from
This was Steve’s first ultra. He has done many marathons and has even qualified for
After refueling at Boston Store we were ready to make the final 12 mile push. I was feeling good at this point As we made our way back where we had come from a few hours before it seemed like we were hitting some good up hills which I never remembered running down, funny how that always seems to happen. It was nothing to severe and they were all relatively short, at least compared to the beast of a course Rob, Gabe, Adam and I ran last weekend!
I started to get fatigued after the last aid station with 6 miles to go. So much for taking it nice and easy! I was pushing pretty hard, but not too hard. The last mile or two seemed to take forever! As we hit the road with less then a quarter mile to the finish Steve began to fall back and concede victory. I wasn’t having that. I told him we would run neck and neck until the final turn, I would make a “1,2,3 Go!” and we would sprint to the finish. He agreed. So when we got to the turn with about 50 yards to go we start sprinting, if you could call that a sprint. We crossed the line in 5:33 and change. I didn’t accomplish my negative split, running 2:50 for the second half, but I think some of the up hills in the last 6 miles were harder than the up hills at the beginning. I was still happy with my second half effort and was pleased with my overall time. Yet another 50k trail PR, besting last week’s time of 5:51.
Rob and I showing off the sweet bags we got at the end of the race. We forgot to coordinate shirts for this weeks race, damn.
After the race we all hung out and chatted a while. It is nice to come into the finish in the first third. Most of the runners are still there chatting, even the frontrunners. I met E-speed and her friend MT who TORE UP this course! Finishing in 5:26! It was MT’s first ultra! I got to talk with Fred Davis, and Roy Hager, which is always an honor as these guys are ultra legends! I stuck around to watch all the awesome runners behind me finish. Steve (from Mohican) came in a little later in, dirt all over his back, he took a good spill. Maria, Red, and Debi all finished there first 50k’s
Mohican Steve and I, after the finish
After hanging out for a while Steve and I went out for lunch before heading our separate ways. I really enjoyed this race. I most of all enjoyed the chance to hang out with so many of the friends I have had the pleasure to meet in my short running career. This is truly and amazing sport!
I just want to say that it was an honor having the opportunity to see Maria, Red and Debi all finish there first ultras! You guys did incredible. I hope it is the first of many, but even if it isn’t, you will never forget this race! You all worked very hard for this, and you did it! YOU GUYS ROCK!!!!