Saturday morning the 4:30 AM wake up call got things underway.
4:30 AM at the Comfort Inn
We headed off to the race where we met up with Steve and his buddy Kevin at the registration area. We also saw Frank and Emmy and met their friends Hiro and Yuki. It was nice to chat with everyone as we looked forward to a great day of running.
As we headed out into lap 2, we we’re maintaining the same pace. A few miles in I realized a major bonking was awaiting me if I tried to keep that pace. I was already feeling some significant fatigue and it was very early in the race. I was getting worried that I ate too much of my kids Halloween candy!! This was starting to feel like it was going to be a long day! So I dropped back from Mark and Keith as they looked strong and kept on attacking the course. Now I was running alone and trying to find a comfortable rhythm. My bottle belt started to hurt my stomach. My mind was focused on how crappy I felt and I was in a definite funk. I was starting to doubt if I was going to make it to the end of this race… Wtf?! I tried to turn my thoughts to just making it to the end of the lap. I thought if I could just get through this lap, then I could get rid of the belt and go with a hand bottle and that would help my stomach out. I figured I could also grab my ipod and maybe some tunes could re-direct my focus away from my discomfort.
I finished lap 2 in 2:13 and then took a few minutes at the turn to get myself together. Towards the end of lap 2 Kevin caught up to me, so we headed out together for lap 3. We got into a nice steady pace and it definitely helped to run with him for awhile. No belt, tunes and some company was exactly what I needed to get back into doing another 25 miles. I plugged along and completed lap 3 in 2:22. After a couple minutes of refueling, I headed out for the fourth and final lap, 6 hours and 45 minutes into the race. I had to nail the last lap in under 2:15 in order to go sub 9:00. Ok let’s go for it. I headed up the long incline early in the lap at a good clip. It took a lot out of me. My breathing started to get out of control. I had to walk a bit to catch my breath. So I toned it down and figured I’d just try to keep moving steady and maybe pick it up in the second half of the lap. I tried to pick up the pace, but every time I did, it felt like I was redlining. I kept going as best I could and hung on to the finish. I couldn’t muster up a 2:15 final lap. It took me 2:33. I missed out on a sub 9 but I did manage a respectable 9:15 and took a ½ hour off my previous 50 mile PR and now have a new personal best time. I finished in 28th place out of about 150 runners. G.A.C. puts on a great race and the people are awesome. It’s a well supported event that’s lots of fun (except for the part of having to run for 9 hrs. J .) It was an excellent day and a great way to finish off the year of trail running!
How the other guys did:
Kevin finished his first 50 mile race impressively just under 9:40.
Keith rocked the course and went sub 9 with an 8:44! Awesome job brotha!
Steve kicked some butt and was just ahead of Keith.
And Mark attacked the course from start to finish and reached into his soul and pulled out an unbelievable race: 8:07! 10th place! Truly incredible. Remember we’re not runners, just a couple of guys who run…
Mark, Frank, Keith and myself