Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Moebius 50K - 2012

Moebius 50K – Aug. 25, 2012

This was a new race for me.  I signed up after I saw my facebook friends talking about it.  It looked like a good local race to run, a month after Burning River 100.  

This is the 2nd year for this race. The race director is a local runner (well-known and highly respected in the running community), Steven Godale, who lives nearby and treats this race and course as his baby. He created two trails and even mows the lawn in some parts of the course. He hand-mades medals by painting a piece of wood, very original.

The course consists of 5x 10K loops around a lake in Aurora.  One week before the race I did a training run in the actual course, two loops.  Here is a group picture from the training run, plus the course as it looks in a Google map:

The course is considered easy, but I realized during the training run that it is not as easy as I thought.  There is a variety of running surfaces, technical trails, grass, asphalt, including some very uneven areas.  The only easy thing about it is that there are not as many uphills as other trail races.

Considering the course, plus my legs and training which did not feel great, I set a goal of 5 hours (10 min/mile) pace for the race.

Here is a group picture with facebook friends (Zach, Gale, Dawn, Kristin) before the start of the race:

Here is the race director (Steven Godale) giving the last instructions, and a picture from the start line:

As the race started, I sprinted ahead to take a picture of the leading runners:  Vince Rucci, Michael Epp, Matt Shaheen.  So, for a brief moment, I was the leading runner in this race!!!! :)


Soon after I took this picture, a guy came from the back running really fast and passed everyone.  We looked at each other like "Who is that???".  And, "Does he know that this is a 50K?"  Because he was running as if it was a 5K!  Well, our questions were answered later when he lapped just about everyone in the course (some runners twice!) and finished first with an amazing course record time!

This race went differently than my other races. Normally, I start slow and have nearly even splits. But this time I started fast, trying to keep up with Connie Gardner (a celebrity in our area, ~17 hour finish in Burning River and top female in just about every local trail ultramarathon race), and finished slower, getting passed instead of passing other runners.

Because of the loop structure of the race, I got to see other runners, especially slower runners that I lapped.  Here are pictures of Kristin, and Dawn and Kimberly:

My time for the first loop: 53:52 (8:50 pace). By the end of the first loop I got passed by Connie Gardner plus 3 more runners. All of them, except for one, finished ahead of me.  I was in 7th place (overall) in this loop.

Second loop: 53:43 (8:48 pace). In this loop I lapped the first runner. These are 10K loops, so any time less than 1 hour is fine with me.  There was an aid station in the middle of the loop but I did not stop in these first 2 loops.  By the end of the loop I was in 9th place overall.

Third loop: 56:13 (9:13 pace). In this loop I got lapped by Verelle Wyatt who won the race with the amazing time of 3:21, a course record that should remain in the books for a long time.  I was very surprised to see him pass me so early, but now that I have seen his loop times, I see why.  His 3rd loop was his fastest with a time of 38:33 (Amazing!  My *road* 10K PR is 41:20).  I also got passed by two other runners, Jim Mann and Dan Hopper.

Fourth loop: 58:27 (9:35 pace). In this loop I passed Tyler James, a young guy who seemed to be struggling.

Fifth loop: 59:47 (9:48 pace). I managed to maintain my placement in the race during this loop (no one passed me, I did not pass anyone, other than the slower runners that I lapped). I enjoyed running this last loop and knowing that this was the LAST time I was going through the different areas (by now, the entire course was engraved in my memory). I used to dislike loop courses because of the temptation to drop out before the race is over.  Now, I do not mind them so much.  I actually like getting familiar with the course, loop after loop.

Final time: 4:42

This is a trail 50K PR for me, the previous being Buckeye Trail 50K with 4:55 in July. The BT50K is a harder course and the race director had predicted that I can run the Moebius course 10 minutes faster, which is about what happened.

Despite this good finishing time, I was 9th overall (out of 67 starters), not a good overall placement for me (I am used to finishing at the top 5-10%) which means that there were some fast runners running the race. I did finish first Grandmaster (over 50) and my award was a lawn chair :)

Here is Steven Godale, approaching the runners with a box that looked like pizza.  But, instead of pizza, we were offered the hand-made medals.  Because each medal is slightly different, we got to choose.  I think some runners would have preferred pizza :) but not me!

After the race, I stayed around to take pictures of friends finishing ("Wild" Bill Wagner is finishing in the picture below), enjoy the sunny & warm weather and eat (we had a picnic.)


Good food, good friends, good weather, fun times.  Well-organized race.  That's a race to repeat year after year!

No comments: