Splits and Map
I have run this 50 miler 5 times and the marathon twice. In recent years it has been pretty warm but this year it was only 37F when we started and the high was 63F. I drove down with Jeff on Friday and David, Brendan, and Cody met us at the campsite which Jed and Brandy saved for us. I slept and stayed warm but woke up pretty frequently. At first it didn't seem that cold when we got up at 5 am but then started to feel it as I was getting ready.
I had a small bowl of cereal, pineapple and a Lean Body shake for breakfast and took my Succeed Pre-Race Pack. Only managed to use the bathroom once which was not a good sign. The 50 miler started at 6:30 am and the marathon at 8 am. Unlike last year, it was not warm enough to run without a shirt. I wore a short sleeve shirt and a long sleeve pullover with the thumb holes to keep my hands warm. We were allowed a drop bag at the start and Brazil Creek at 16 miles and 41 miles. The plan was to drop the long sleeve pullover there as it warmed up.
I had a variety of gels (some were free samples I tried), some Peach Tea GU chews (free sample), Beechnut Fruities (smoothie), Succeed, Carb Pro, and Hammer Fizz. I started out with Hammer Fizz in my bottle and switched to Succeed at 16 miles. Also, had a bottle mixed and ready to go at the start.
The course is two 25.7 mi loops and we headed straight into the woods. Not quite sure where I was placed as we went in but started pretty fast and was maybe in the top 10 with David behind me and a string of people behind us. I don't really like haven't that many people behind me since I felt like I was holding them back. At the first aid station David said he would see me later since he wanted to slow down. After continuing to have a pack behind me and a few passing, I finally pulled over to pee and let them go past.
At about 9 miles, I am thinking I am not going to make it to a port-a-potty so start considering my options and looking for some really good leaves. Once I pull enough leaves I head into the woods and was pleased I only wasted about a minute. After the first 5 miles, being 9-something pace, the next 5 were mostly 10-something.
I caught up to Paul before Brazil Creek at 16 miles. At the aid station, I added Carb Pro to my bottle, had a smoothie, and continued onward. At most of the aid stations I ate nothing or had a small piece of banana and and orange slice, and a couple chips once. After Brazil Creek, we turned onto a road for a quarter mile and Paul said he was going to take it easy up the hill. Not much happened the rest of the first loop other than passed 3 more runners.
Being cooler I thought my first loop might be a little faster than last year but ended up being 4:20:07 something which was only a few seconds faster than last year and didn't spend much time at my drop bag. I grabbed my bottle, another smoothie and headed out. I passed the only female ahead of me within a mile or so and another guy shortly after. Then I didn't see other 50 mile runners until mile 35 I caught another guy. I left my shirt at Brazil Creek.
My overall average pace slowed 7 - 14 seconds which fluctuated around 7 seconds for quite awhile. The last part of the course is more difficult and that is where it slowed even more. After mile 41, I started calculating in my head every mile my finish time if I could maintain an 11 minute pace. I figured I could finish in 8:57. This helped pass the time and I wasn't sure if I was going to see any other runners. Finally, just before the last aid station I catch another runner that says good, you don't look 50. He said he was 50 so we were not in the same age group. He wishes me well. I skip over the last aid station since I had enough fluids and even dumped some. My estimated finish time had dropped and I was hoping I wouldn't see any more runners but just over a mile from the end I passed another guy that was walking at times. He was not in my age group.
Ended up finishing in 8:52:29, 6th overall and a race PR. In 2008, I finished 8:53:56 and the course was 1.4 miles less. The course is now 51.4 miles and next year it will be even longer due to trail changes and will call it a double marathon. I did win the 1st place Master's award so was lucky to pull off again for the 3rd consecutive year.
Although cold at the start overall the weather couldn't have been better. I tripped on a few things but never fell. I did drop my water bottle once when I tripped while trying to keep my balance and it hit my knee. I felt like a had something left at the end so hopefully this bodes well for my upcoming 100 miler. Also, unusual is that I felt like eating immediately after the race. I had a brat, a few chips, and potato salad and then had a recovery shake and some yogurt. Usually, I have to wait longer to eat. Ankles are not sore and I am walking pretty well.
2014 - 8:52:29 (6th)
2013 - 9:01:13 (3rd)
2012 - 9:39:44 (4th)
2011 - 3:56:46 (5th) (marathon/course changes)
2010 - paced Jeff the second half of his 50
2009 - 9:15:33 (12th)
2008 - 8:53:56 (6th)
2007 - 3:37:39 (4th)