This 50k is a 3 mile out and back(ish) on a one lane green-way very flat. This was a great test run for the 50 miler that I am looking at doing latter in the year. The 50 is a 25 mile road out and back. My plan going into this run was to just finish in 5 hours so I could get to another run that started at 2. I also needed to test my road shoes out in that kind of run (I stick mostly to trail running and know nothing about distance road running), see if I liked the out and back set up and some other stuff.
This Ultra is promoted as a top of the line Ultra with a 10k added, so I was expecting a great event even if I don’t like many road runs. The check in went quickly and we picked up our timing chips. My friend Rachel came from Alabama to run this one as well. The race was to start at 8am and it was a not so nice 30ish degrees outside. From the setup in the gym I was thinking WOW cannot wait to see what is chilling at the aid stations. They did some stuff in the gym and about 5 min before the start I walked down to the starting line with only 3 other runners. I stood there wondering where everyone was thinking I really needed this race to start on time so I could get to the next place I needed to be that day. At 8am (race start time) the timing people came out and gave a 10 min talk (no one could hear anything he was saying) before we started. Part of me just wanted to start running and maybe it would just start the race.
As we finally got under way about every (1k) was marked for the 10k runners and there were a lot of course marshals out for this 3 mile out and back. About every mile to half mile there were course marshals standing, water or one of the three turnarounds with people tracking your number. With all this I was surprised to see a bike and 4-weelers all over the course. With all the hipe that was surrounding this run I was expecting more from the aid stations then water, power drink and power bars but I was set with all the stuff I had in my drop bag not needing to stop at any aid station. I did not want to spend too much time at the aid stations so I had 3 handhelds ready for drop and pick up with GU and water. Each out and back the 4-weelers would pass me 3 to 6 times almost hitting me most passes. The start of the 3rd out and back I was getting really ill with this so I grab my Ipod and kicked up the pace a little so I could just be in my own head. (you know I was upset if I left 2 hot chicks to run alone) I was hoping this would help calm me down. After about 30 feet into the start of my 3rd out and back I had to hop out of the way of one of the 4-weelers dragging a trailer. This was a greenway (one lane) with out and back racers, normal weekend use from locals and now you throw 4-weelers on the course going as fast as they can go. WTF? I could not calm down about this. At the start of my 4th out and back I said something to the timing table about getting them the hell off the race course. I was not the only runner they were coming WAY to close to. I was looking for reasons they would be driving back and forth like that. Were they cleaning up trash? Nope trash still in all the same spots. Were they taking stuff to the other end of the course? Nope trailer always empty. I asked one of the people at the split what they were doing on the course and even he said just getting in the way. I saw a few runners having to tap the biker that was part of the event to get him out of their way so they could pass him. I was so mad it was time for me to call it quits and go home. (well go grab a drink before my next run).
My news year resolution was “keep it simple stupid” I keep going back to the Casey Abrams song Simple Life and the one line “if it gets you annoyed then what is the point” I do these runs to calm myself and get rid of any crap that is filling my head. When I am not have a good time; not talking about pain from running, from low spots or fatigue but just generally not enjoying the day then why be there.
The next day I messaged the RD about this not to bitch but to just say I think the 4-weeler drivers were being irresponsible and dangerous. From being a former RD I know that you can’t control everything and there is a really good chance he did not know how they were driving on the race course. There are a 1000 things a RD has going on race day. I know the intensions of having them out there were to check on runner’s safety. It is hard to keep track of every little thing. I once had a biker riding with a person running in one of my events on trails where bikes were not allowed to be and when all the trails were shut down for only the runners. So I know things slip sometimes. The RD responded saying that he understood the problem and that he would not have them on the course next year.
Rachel killed it ran a 4:30 for her 50k and placed 3rd female. Not to freaking bad for your 2nd Ultra. WAY TO GO GIRL!!!!! I learned that I really need to look into better road shoes. My ankles and knees were really week the next day and the upper part of my right foot has been feeling funny. I have a BAD heal strike when running on the roads and need a better pair of shoes to counteract that. I need to train better just over all. Normally I have an extra kick latter in the run but I could not get my pace to stay at an even 8 min mile after mile 15. I guess taking 2 weeks off is not all that great of an idea. I know in cold weather like that I need nipple band ads body glide is just not going to cut it. I need to start training with GU again and not just use it in events my gut has been jacked up the past 2 days. I now know that I don’t like short out and back course but I think I would like the 25 mile out and back for that 50 miler. One thing I will never forget for the rest of my life was the dude running the 50k with a 30 pound waited vest on. (I’m just guessing 30 based on my experience with them could be more or less). I asked him on one pass what he was training for and he just smiled and said “O nothing” I loved it.
I don’t want anyone that reads this to think I’m just bashing this event. Every runner has a different perspective of runs. It’s just not my kind of event but could be another runner’s favorite.