Sunday, November 9, 2008

2008 Stone Cat RR

Yesterday morning was the Stone Cat 50 Mile Trail run in the Willowdale State Forest, in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Mark and I cruised up Friday night and met up with Keith at the race hotel in Danvers ,MA. While hanging out I informed Keith of his new nickname: The Mayor. Keith is one of the nicest guys you’ll meet. Wherever he goes, he works the room, meeting new people and chatting with everyone. On the trail he’s encouraging and always going out of his way to give some positive words to fellow runners. Everyone knows Mayor Magnus!

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.

Mark and Keith getting in the zone

Steve, Kevin and Mark

At 6:20 AM the race started. We (Mark, Keith, Kevin and I) headed out onto the trails and pretty quickly we got a reminder of how much single track trail there is on this course. The plan was to try and knock out each of the four, 12.5 mile laps in under 2:15. That would give us sub 9 hr race. We moved pretty aggressively on the first lap and Mark, Keith and I finished it together in 1:55.

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 and I with the Stone Cat

Kevin and Steve chillin after the race

"The Mayor", myself and Mark sportin' the 50 mile finishers jackets

Mark, Frank, Keith and myself

Frank introduced me to Hiro and Yuki. Next month they will run the Hawaii marathon completing their quest for a marathon in all 50 states. Very cool. It’s only taken them a little over 4 years. Awesome and congratulations!

Hiro, myself and Yuki


Lauren said...

Dude, you're freaking incredible. I'm so proud of you.

Marcy said...

CONGRATS!! Dude you're way speedy. Incredible!

Yeah the kids Halloween candy . . that shiz will get you every time. Just another way the kids will screw you :P ;-)

fire0419 said...

Awesome job Scott! I wish I had been there to "handle" for you guys!

AnthonyP said...

9:15 is a great time. Congrats !

Bruce G said...

Sounds like a great event, and mixed with 3 PRs makes it a day to remember...The perfect ending to a damn good year!!!!!!!!!

CTmarathoner said...

Scott -congrats. great race report and photos!! Like them all, but my favorite is the photo of you and mark with the 'Stone Cat' (Frank said Stone Cat had some beer:))) And, yes, the halloween candy -I know te feeling -had a big cookie at aid station 1 that caused unrest in the stomach for awhile!!
Really good race --nice to hear that you mentally pulled yourself out of a funk. Sometimes just focusing on small goals like getting through one lap and losing the fuel belt helps.
Amazing that you got through the first lap in 1:55 and held it together!! I really liked this event alot -it was well worth going to. Glad you met Hiro and Yuki.
BTW -we have a 'mayor' down here also-Marty, a race director and teacher at Trumbull HS!!!

Scott said...

Yeah, Emmy, he was more like the "Stoned" Cat! :) I liked his Pabst Blue Ribbon sticker the best...

bill carter said...

Hi Scott

Great race report and makes me all that much more sure that I want to do a 50 miler. I am planning to do the Mohican Trail Run in Ohio in '09 and when I read about races like yours it gets me totally excited.

BTW, I started laughing out loud when you said " Remember, we're not runners". Dude, you are totally a runner. And anybody who goes 50 might be just a little bit of a crazy runner in my book.

Best of luck.