Saturday, July 14, 2007

Summer Buckeye Trail 50k Race Report

After a few hours sleep I awoke at 1:00AM to make the 4 hour drive to Brecksville, Ohio in time for the race. I arrived about 5:30 and took a nap while I waited for my fellow trail runners to funnel in. After I picked up my packet and was pinning on my bib number in my car (It was too cold to be outside!) I saw Rob in my rear view mirror. I promptly got out to greet him. This would be the second 50k for both of us in two weeks. Rob told me that he heard the trail hotties talking about me at the other end of the parking lot. Beautiful women gossiping about me? What else is new, lol. After getting ready I mingled with some of my ultra friends for a few minutes before the race. I talked to Kim and Gabe who were volunteering, Sensationally Red and Debi, ready to tackle there first ultra! I also got a chance to meet Chef Bill! After a few announcements, we were off and running.

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 Boston store I met Brian Musik, (new to blogger land) A friend of Mike’s who I had seen pictures of before on his blog. He was running with Dan who was at Mohican, and will also be running Burning River. I ran the first 12 miles into Boston Store at a nice and easy pace.

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 Columbus that I ran with at Mohican), decided that he liked our pace and wanted to run with us. He asked if we minded him using us as pacers, you know I don’t care! I enjoy the extra company!

This was Steve’s first ultra. He has done many marathons and has even qualified for Boston! So the three of us pushed on. A few miles after the turn around I looked up and saw a familiar face coming the opposite way on the trail “Way to go, Steve!” I called out. It was the other Steve from Columbus that I ran with at Mohican for about 5 hours. I didn’t know he was going to be at this race, but was glad to see him. We saw Sensationally Red as we went through the lane of pines which Pine Lane is named after. She was running strong. As we came to the highway over pass on the pine lane loop, headed back to Boston Store, I saw a semi-truck coming down the highway. My instincts took over as I gave him the international “honk your damn horn!” sign. Steve quickly joined in. We though all hope was lost as the truck started under the over pass, then we heard the horn! This was an omen; it would be a good day! Right after this we saw Debi come out of the trail making her way to the turn around, she was looking so good!

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!!!!


Addy said...

Awesome job out there today!!! Sounds like you had a great race, and considering the 2nd part was harder, only a 7 minute difference between splits is amazing. You're such a phenomenal athlete and I just love reading about all your many racing achievements.

Great job out there today :)

Sensationally Red said...

LOL! I didn't know that was Rob next to my car. Yes, me and Maria were talking about that dreamy Josh being here. My running buddy, Jim, was admonishing me for talking this way since I'm old enough to be your mother. I knew he was going to make a beeline right to you! LOL! Really, Josh...I had the best time out there. I'll never forget it. I know I can tackle that course much faster. I had to do lots of walking the last 10 miles cause of my I-T bands. I can't wait to do another sometime. I hope you'll keep me posted on other 50k's in the area. I think trail running has been great for me! Boy, you sure are getting speedy! Congrats on a great race.

Rob "Buckeye" Powell said...


Great race and great PR! You cannot help it is you have all the hotties talking about you.

I smiled when I heard them talking and they looked like a kid caught with their hand in the cookie jar. I said "wait till I tell Josh the hotties are down here talking about him". Sensationally Red was red... ;-)They realized I knew you at that point.

E-Speed said...

You had a great race! It was such the perfect day! I am so glad to see you are running so well so shortly after your first 100. That says a lot! My friend MT keeps talking about those 100s. I think you guys are crazy ;)

You should do JFK this year. I think MT and I are in.

E-Speed said...

ps It was nice to finally meet you. I agree this community is awesome! Running with Fred and Roy is such a blast. Wish Flo could have been there yesterday to cheer us in!

Josh said...


Thanks, only 5 days until TRT!


You did awesome. I think you will go ALOT faster at this distance with a little more exprience. It is good that you didn't try to push your self to hard on the first race.


lol, my day was made before the race even started.


Yes, very nice to finally meet you! Maybe you and MT can tackle your first 100 together! I'm sure you guys will rip up JFK just like you did the BT!

Maria said...

Josh-you are AMAZING! What a great finishing time you had!

It was so nice to finally meet you and put a face to the legend that is "young Josh".

...and Red's no where near "mother" status as she put it. I mean really, haven't you always wanted your own Mrs. Robinson scenario?? LOL!

And speaking of hotties...Rob's pretty easy on the eyes too, wouldn't you agree Red? ☺

tony said...

Josh, only one bad thing about Saturday's 50K. That I didn't get to see you, Rob, Red, Maria, Deb, etc...and still haven't met E-Speed. I did get to see and got a hug from Kim! It's a shame, because I was running my Saturday morning 20 miler right out there, and saw a lot of the BT runners. Anyway, great race and time for you, and by all accounts you are moving up the ultra charts!

Rob...just think if the young strappin' Josh lad would have had his shirt off for the ladies!...oh my!!