Monday, May 23, 2011

2011 Berryman Trail Marathon

When I signed up for Berryman in January, I decided to sign up for the marathon this year since with my disc problem I just wasn't seeing another 50 miler in my future and even a marathon was feeling doubtful.  Then I was blessed to have surgery in February so really didn't know after what my body would tolerate and how long it would take to get back and if I could get back to running the same as before.  Fortunately, I recovered quickly and things have improved to the point where I can say I could have done the 50, but since I like to push the pace a little, I am glad I did not attempt it with only 9 weeks of training.  That would have been crazy and I am trying make choices that I are little more sane than before.  Although I am sure still insane to 99% of people.

Rode with Jeff down to Berryman and camped with him and Shawn.  Karen joined us before heading to her hotel and we sat around eating dinner and enjoying the evening in the rain (we had cover).  Ate my Basil Cashew Chicken Roly Poly for dinner along with lots of other stuff including some yummy mac and cheese than Shawn made.  Felt like I was stress eating and probably overdid it a bit on the food.  Headed to bed around 9 pm.  Woke up 3 times and heard it raining.  The weather forecast for the morning was 60% chance.

We got up at 5 am and no rain and about 65F.  Had a shake with coffee and some of Karen's yummy muffins for breakfast and a banana.  I was in the bathroom for the 3rd time until about 6:25 which was near the start.  Walked over and we all 5 of us had our picture taken and then we were off in a couple minutes.  Seemed like everyone started really fast.  We had to run out and back on the gravel so at the point we went into the woods we had run 2 miles.  The 50 milers turn around sooner so end up passing many of them later.  First 3 miles felt kind of fast, but between the gravel and the trail going downhill probably okay.   Talked to Tony, a guy I have run with at several other events and then passed more people and didn't see him again.


I wore my Camelbak without a shirt since it was so hot and humid.  Heard a few whispers how I was going to chafe, but no problems at all.  It fit quite snug and comfy.  No problem on the flats and downhills, but uphill felt like I was carrying some extra weight for awhile.  I carried 2 Accel Gels, 2 sweet and salty bars, and 70 oz of Succeed, and Succeed caps.  I ran through all the aid stations.  When I passed Brad (running the 50) he told me I was the 6th marathoner and someone else did later as well.  I passed quite a few 50 milers.  Around mile 20, I caught up to a marathoner ahead of me. I felt like I was struggling a bit up the hills and at some point he got pretty far ahead again.  Then caught up again and ran right behind him for awhile. I didn't feel read to pass just yet and was starting to feel the heat.  We catch up to some 50 milers and then I decide to go around him, had a surge of energy, and picked up the pace.

Trail conditions were muddy but many parts very runnable.  The muddy sections really slowed my pace.  Only a few trees to climb through and over and that was the only time I walked a few steps.  Considering all the mud and the warming temps, I was kind of glad I was not doing the 50 miler.  I wore my GPS, but on this course, it isn't accurate so didn't pay a whole lot of attention to it, but gave me an idea of distance and pace which was slowing.  After I passed the marathoner, I could hear people behind me so pushed on the downhills pretty hard and very easy on the uphills.  Passed another 50 miler a few miles from the end.

The miles past the last aid station went very quickly.  Noticed my Camelbak felt pretty light and was soon out of drink.  This section went so quickly, I didn't even realize I was near the end.  I was thinking I had a mile to go and then noticed the paved road and then there was the end.  As I was running earlier and I thought I was going to be around 4:06, but since the end came sooner than I realized, finished in 3:56 and was 5th overall of 77 (12 of these dropped down to marathon).  Some guy ran just a little over 3 hours on this messy course which is just insanely fast.

I didn't feel like eating any solid food yet so headed over to our camp site and had a shake and a Powerade. Then headed back over to the finish since I was thinking Coleman might be finishing any minute.  Just before I got there I saw him come in.  Then we got to see Karen come in less than an hour later.  Both of them finished smiling and happy for their first marathon.  We waited around and got to see Jeff and Shawn complete their first loop and head back out.  Mike was there to pace Shawn and I got to talk to him a bit about Kettle Moraine 100 where I will be pacing him the last 37 miles in a couple weeks.

After Jeff and Shawn took off for their second loops, I still wasn't real hungry but ate some of the salads and a burger minus the bun.  Went to the camp site, cleaned up, and then headed over to the finish to talk with people.  Karen came back later and we hung out some more at the finish, camp site, and then back to the finish so we wouldn't miss Shawn and Jeff.  Shawn and Mike arrived first and seemed to be in good shape. Jeff finished about 20 minutes later.  We ate some more and talked and then I headed back home with Karen.

Really enjoyed having Karen, Coleman, Shawn, and Mike along with Jeff.  Most of the time it is just me and Jeff at this race so was nice to share it with others this year.  Also, enjoyed talking to a lot of the other runners that I only see at trail events.  I ran Berryman in 2007 as my first trail marathon and in 2008 and 2009 ran th e 50 miler.  Last year I didn't get signed up before it filled up.  This year I signed up soon after it opened and it filled up in 4 days!  Definitely looking forward to making Berryman an annual event and will sign up New Year's Day when it opens.  Hopefully, I will have the faith I can attempt to run the 50 miler next year.

Someone took photos this year.  I have posted the ones of our group here - Berryman Photos and all others are on Picasa -  Picasa Berryman Photos

Karen, Andy, Coleman, Shawn, and Jeff
 
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