Monday, May 28, 2012

Forget the PR 50K - 2012

Forget the PR 50K - Apr 15, 2012

We just came home from Mohican... First order of business: Get some Advil and make sure I have enough supplies for the next day, too, because I will need them!!

Here is a picture of me at the start, with water bottle and camera on hand, plus my red trail shoes.

 The course was hard... The race director takes pride in the difficulty of the course. It involved 6 river crossings, with no stepping-rocks-- nothing! Cold water up to the hips! The last crossing was long, too. Then, of course, you have to run with totally wet socks and shoes (and shorts).

After that, you encounter a hill called (there is a sign) "Big Ass Hill". And there are many other hills, equally bad, but without cute names. Plus, there are rocks: small rocks, large rocks. (I do not like rocks because they do not work well with my minimalist shoes.)

One part of the course was like an obstacle course. We had to climb over trees, rocks, etc. I needed both hands to grab onto tree roots as I was climbing, which was a bit of a problem as I was holding a water bottle and my 3d camera!  Here is a picture or Rachel Nypaver climbing that section. She was right ahead of me at this point.

But, I managed to survive. No falls, no incidents, just good solid trail running (and walking.) It is Greek Easter today. I had to choose between church or running and chose running! And, I got away with it :) (So far at least, nothing seems broken).

Final time: 5:31, 15th overall

Here is a picture of me and race director Rob Powell at the finish:

My goal was to finish in the top 15% of the 200 registered runners, or 30th place. I ended up in 15th place out of 155 finishers, so better than 10%. There were no age group awards and no ages listed in the results, so I don't know how I did among older (over 50 years old) runners.

In the last 3 miles I caught up with Rachel Nypaver, a young girl (24) that I like. She is a bit of my role model, when I saw that she finished Burning River 100 last year in 19.5 hours. What impressed me is that her pace was very even, which means that she ran most of the race, slowly but constantly, and finished 2nd female (in BR). If I could come close to this performance, I'd be thrilled.

We ran together and chatted. There was no one behind (next finisher was over 10 minutes away) so there was no pressure. When we got closer to the finish, I knew I had enough strength to sprint to the finish, but, out of courtesy, I let her finish ahead of me. This is the kind of gentleman-runner that I am. :) :) :) :) :)  Here is a picture just a mile or so before the end.

Rachel finished 2nd female and 14th overall with the first female 10 minutes ahead in 12th place overall.

Now that the pain has subsided, I have fond memories of the race. I will definitely do it again, and, in better running shape and without racing the day before, I believe I can do even better and maybe place in the top 10, or closer to 5%, which is what I did in my previous recent ultras.

One thing I have to say though:  I think the Buckeye Trail (the section that is part of the BT50K course) is harder than the Mohican course. I know that at least one friend (Brad Polman) agrees with me, too.

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