May 11, 2004 at 12:45 am #1500
This is my favorite race. It is a really big local event, a showcase of sorts for the locals to demonstrate their hospitality and prowess on the trails. I take the run seriously, but seldon am in peak form for this thing.
Those who know me, have heard me grouse lately about how beat up I am. Ten days ago I was hoping to just break 8:00. Suddenly in the week of the race, I found I could actually run a mile in under 8 minutes again and my confidence rose.
Ryan was willing to step in and take the crew position (as was Peace if needed) and did an outstanding job. We were perhaps the silentest crew out there. While others yammered, Ryan and I exchanged stuff, said a couple words and bid each other adieu. I told Ryan to keep it simple and he did just that. He anticipated excellently and how he squeezed in crewing as he did for Tania I’ll never know.
I know how to run this course. Sometimes that is good, sometimes it is bad. Because to race over this distance makes one go beyond these parameters when they shouldn’t. I run best here from the back and the way I had been feeling was the only strategy I considered. I was out in 71 on a shorter blue loop this year and was surprised it was this fast. I settled into the 8-9-10 position until about 20 miles when I started to pull away from a couple guys I was with. I ran in 8th from 20 miles and started the long slow grind. Hit Easterly at 3:21 (the course changed some this year so the earlier landmarks were reached faster this year by several minutes) and as is typical, was running my slowest all day from here until confusion corner which is a bit over 9 miles.
I didn’t crash here, but I just kept trying to find the elusive hot spot. Instead of gaining ground, I was losing it. The good news for me is confusion corner. I rally here almost every year. It’s about 17 miles to go and the race begins. Everyone I see I ask how far ahead is the next guy. Ten minutes, seven minutes, four minutes, three minutes……you get the picture. This helps me keep my focus, I virtually run every hill to gain ground. At horsemans (37 miles) I get word from Earhardt that bodies are just ahead of me. I am not feeling chipper, but I head out towards Emma Carlin just over 3 miles ahead in anticipation of seeing exactly how far everyone ahead is because you turn around and come back at 40 miles.
Not a half mile into the woods and I take down Dave from Sioux City running his first 50 mile. He looks tired, we acknowledge one another and I press on in 7th. Not much farther ahead going uphill I spot Paul from Missouri (passed me at 95 miles last year in the 100 mile) at the top. I start pushing a bit but the bastard isn’t slowing down. He’s going to make me work for it and for the first time that day I get on my horse to catch him 2 miles later at the turn at Emma Carlin. We exchange strategies as we now know just how far ahead the next couple guys are which is about 2-3 minutes. Paul lets me lead and we run fairly strong in an effort to hall them down. In the grassy knoll area (new this year) I spot Setnes about 100 yards ahead in the “S” turns. I immediately am on the gas kicking ass because this means 5th place. Soon Paul and I get back into horsemans as the pit crew awaits. Kris Setnes is having me strip some extra clothes off, I downing cokes like a german shepard on a rib roast, Ryan is trying to get me a bottle, and Earhardt is laying out the race before me. I blow down my 3rd coke and get on my horse up the hill. Paul shouts encouragement to me and I press for the next guy. Over the next half mile I finally spot Joel in 4th and I wrongly assume I am going to haul him in soon. I am now starting to see runners coming the other way and I spend little time this year saying much of anything. It is hotter than the hubs of hell, my legs are shot, it’s nothing but turns, twists, and hills and I am audibly grunting.
I didn’t know it at the time, but Joel knows I’m putting on the bums rush. I seem to catch him on the hills, but he gains it back everywhere else. I get as close as a 100 yards, but he is not breaking. People are now telling me that two people are just ahead. Apparantly we are closing in on Andy in 3rd, but I can never catch a glimpse of him.
At Young road there is 2.6 miles to the finish. Ryan gets me gatorade and I chug as much as the gills will take and bolt. I’m in fairly bad shape, but experience tells you the other guys are about ready to crack as well. Joel must have blown through the station because I can’t even see him now. It’s about a mile to the next station so I dig down and try and work the long downhill stretch here to Bluff.
Coming into Bluff, Kris Setnes yells ahead if I need anything and I shout back “Stand aside” just like John Wayne did in The Searchers. Kris and the aid station personnel are yelling that two guys are not that far ahead. The problem is I can’t see them and after 48.4 miles you kind of like to have an idea if it’s a possibility because the nuclear excellorator is low on uranium if you know what I’m saying.
I am now running in the 7 range. I know it is under 8’s but at this stage it is hard to know. I catch a glimpse of Joel with about three quarters of a mile to go and there is no way I can close a couple hundred yards. I keep driving in hopes of a miracle, but I never gain sight again and finish at about 7:10:52. Joel is just over a minute ahead and Andy is 15 seconds ahead of him.
Those guys never quit. I have never not run down people at this race from 10 miles out and being that close. I was impressed and we all came away satisfied with our efforts. I covered the last 10 in 1:25 which is 8:30 pace over the glacial eratica. Not my best, but damn close and I am prouder of this Ice Age than any other I ran.
Kudos to Ryan, he was a calming force. Kirscbaum ran another good race on what turned out to be a hot day. Paul was glassy eyed when I passed him, but I knew he would finish. Laura crushed her PR and looked like she had ran a 5k when I saw her. Linz ran an impressive opener for a 50k trail race. A much better time than my first and mine was on the road. Kooch and I haven’t talked yet so I’ll catch up with him later.
And Cameron. Jerry, you ran with the exact amount of enthusiasm needed for this race. You looked confident and actuall refreshed when I saw you. When Jerry came into the finish, you would have thought Bikila was entering the stadium barefoot at Rome in 60′. I will never forget your finish, it is why I do ultras.
Thanks to all. Beers on Kooch.
May 11, 2004 at 12:57 pm #14512
Congrats. Great report – fun to read. I especially like this visual…
downing cokes like a german shepard on a rib roast
May 11, 2004 at 1:17 pm #14513
Awesome Fun Stuff Doubley! You were meant to run long! you ever race a horse named Hildago 😀
May 11, 2004 at 2:10 pm #14514
Fantastic race, and even better report! Loved the metaphors, esp. the “Hotter than the Hubs of Hell” one 😆 Not too bad for a guy supposedly not running worth a darn! I’ll have to go and spectate some day, as I live 20 minutes from the southern end. Great job again DD!! Awesome, simply awesome!
May 11, 2004 at 2:23 pm #14515
cameronMemberDouble wrote:you would have thought Bikila was entering the stadium barefoot at Rome in 60′.
i should have started doing calisthenics 😆
May 11, 2004 at 5:52 pm #14516
RyanKeymastercameron wrote:i should have started doing calisthenics 😆
I would have paid to see that. 😈
May 12, 2004 at 12:11 am #14517
Great race and report Double! It was awesome to see you cranking out there, you were working real hard at the end.
This event was alot of fun to watch, in part because there were so many people I knew. It almost makes me want to enter the 50K next year.
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