Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Youngstown 50K - 2012

Youngstown 50K – Sept 15, 2012

I ran the 25K of this race last year and I had a good time, so I decided to tackle the 50K this year.

The week before the race I was feeling a bit out of shape. One week earlier I barely finished a 14 mile run and then felt beaten up! So, I was not sure how this race would go. I had a feeling that things would not go well.... But, I was wrong :)

100 runners showed up at the start, including some of the "usual suspects":

The temperature was 52F in the morning and sunny, rising to 70F high, perfect running weather! The race started at 8 am. Here is a picture from the start:

The course is challenging with several very steep hills and quite irregular ground (lots of rocks). I wore the MB 110 shoes that I had in the first 40 miles of Burning River and had my usual low-carb egg breakfast in the morning.

I started the race rather fast but kept going without problems. I was chasing and was being chased by some guys (some of them running the 25K), so I was running faster than I would, if I had been running alone. 

My time at the half (25K) was 2:22, which is actually 4 minutes faster than my 25K time from last year! At the 25K mark I was in 8th place. My time in the second half was 2:28, 6 minutes slower than the first, but it is not fair to compare the two halves, because the course is different and the first 25K is faster than the 2nd, thanks to a long road stretch.  (BTW, my time in this mile of road was 7:40, both times.  That's fast!)

Here are some highlights from the course:  A long metal staircase near the start, a historical building, long wooden stairways in an area that reminded me of the Ledges.  The topography of this course varies a lot!


Early in the last loop I passed 2 runners away and then, nothing. No one passed me, I did not pass anyone. I was thinking, this is the race where nothing happened. I cannot even write a decent report.

In the last 4 miles I realized that there is no one behind to challenge me, and no one in front that I could catch, but I still pushed hard, racing mainly against the clock, and finished strong.

This photofinish picture was actually staged two hours later :)

Final time: 4:51 (This is my second fastest 50K trail race).  Placement: 3rd overall!!! (This is the first time I have placed at the top 3 in any race!)

Considering the difficulty of the course, this appears to be one of my best races in 2012!

After the race I stayed to watch other runners finish, had a couple of beers (nice touch by the race organizers :)), ate, and enjoyed the sun (beautiful weather) and company of other runners.

I then went to the nearby Gardens and took 3d pictures of flowers. The admission was free and my pictures turned out well (one of them won an Honorable Mention in an International 3d Exhibition!)



Overall, a great day!  Good challenging course, good race organization, good food, good friends.  This is a race to run again and again!

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