Monday, September 2, 2013

Yeti Snakebite 50k – The trail of fate cuts a strange and winding path.

       What a weekend. Great pre-night at Annie and Bryans place. Thanks to them for putting us up. Jason, Rachel, Bo Katie and Myself.


This was the first year for this race and I got some problems with the websites “What” section.
50 mile and 50KM races designed to help runners achieve a new distance and allow veteran runners to run a speedy time or tune up for upcoming fall events. Both races utilize a variety of relatively easy trails, including weaving single-track and broad open fields, as well as narrow trails along the Chattahoochee River. With moderate hills and trails, the course is designed for fast times and for those looking to try their first trail ultra.

      Just let me pick this apart for a sec before I go into how amazing this event was. “veteran runners to run a speedy time” yea freaking right maybe in fall but not in that weather. “and those looking try their first ultra” yea go ahead if you have a death wish.

      Ok now that I’m done with that. What a great trail that the RD Jason Green set up. Great mix of everything. Single track trails with climbs and fast drops, rocks, roots, open road (mix of gravel and pavement). Rivers, streams, crazy castle in the middle of the water.  There were some fields of high grass and whatever grows 10 feet tall that I could do without but great trail well the sections I saw.
We all got talked into the 50 mile the night before and HUGE props to Bo and Rachel for finishing it and Rachel for her first 50 miler in that kind of heat. Jason went down to the 50k and the rest of us well we were there. Haha

     I started out at a 12 min pace looking to use this as a training run for a race latter this year.  As I got to the 3rd mile I said the hell with that this is going to get hotter than Cremator so I picked up the pace a little to avg out to an 11 min pace. I still did not want to move to hard my hips have still been acting up a bit and I would have a 7+ hour drive the next day for work. It was hard to keep that 11 min pace due to the fact the heat was really getting to people and anytime we hit single track I would be stuck behind a long line of people walking. I started getting a little ticked off because I would say excuse me or on your left and they would say ok but not slide over. It is single track people with shit footing (big rocks and such) slide the hell over like normal people and don’t just say “OK” never seen that before in a race or well ever.

     I hit the first Aid Station and went looking for GUs and they did not have any. Not uncommon at Ultras but I have only been using them and not real food and was scared what “food” would do to my gut. They did have everything a runner could ask for in the way of real food so I ate a little something and took off. About a mile latter; Yep, I’m fucked. Gut got jacked up and hips started hurting BUT that sweet castle in the water was right there and I stopped and got a nice look at it. I was not expecting it to get that hot and humid and was in no way ready for it. That on top of the hip pain starting and only 11ish miles in I knew I was not going to run the 50 miles and would just turn around at the 50k turn around. I want to be 100% for a run latter this year and don’t need to compound injuries. When I hit 15.5 miles I thought where the hell is this aid station? I saw the 1st place runner but no one after that for about 3 min. I knew I was not that close to the lead pack and that they should all be passing me like a long time ago. I hit 17 miles and thought O hell now I’m lost. It was that tall 30 foot grass with a path cut out. I yelled “AID STATION!!!!!! WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU!!!!!!! Hoping someone would hear the cries of a lost child in the woods and come to help. Then I see Andy come racing down the hill. A quick high five and I was good. I knew then that I was still on the trail and that the leader was just kicking the shit out of everyone. I still thought crap where is this aid station? I’m in some neighborhood in little kid shorts and that’s all. Dirty, sweaty with a little limp. Any self respecting parent would kick the crap out of me and tell me to get out and stay out. At that point I hear a little party going on. 18ish miles there was the 50k turn around. I got there and said how many miles back? And is this 18 miles? Thinking my Garmin was just off by about the distance of the price of a new one. “Yea 18 miles you cut out a 3 mile loop on the way back” the girl with the clip board said. Well think God I would like to spend my $ on a vest and not a new watch.

     I stayed at the aid station for about 20 min thinking of what I needed to do. 50m/50k/drop? One of the Aid station workers (Ultra runner) I know because of how he was talking to me. “what you still doing here?” “O no you came to run the 50 so you need to get going THAT WAY” “here suck on this pop sickle while you move down the trail” “you hurt? You don’t look hurt”…. You can’t pay money for good support like that. That only comes from having good people helping at an event that has been through some real running pain. It’s not just the words it’s the tone in them. I said to myself I would just wait for Rachel and Bo before I made up my mind on what to do. I knew I was not going to run the 50 and I knew that I could finish the 50k and still get some rest for the work drive the next day but at what cost? I want to be 100% latter and if I keep going Ill just keep the hip messed up. I know I can go 20 miles with little to no pain after last weekend but the pain started at mile 10.I saw runner after runner drop down to the 50k or DNF. I talked with Richard and Kurt who both were DNFing and thought it’s best for me to do the same.

     I sat there for a little over an hour thinking I would just reset my brain and keep going but I could not stop singing this in my head.

On a warm summer's mornin' on a trail bound for nowhere,
I met up with the race; we were both too tired to speek.
So we took turns a starin' out the window at the darkness
'Til boredom overtook us, and it began to speak.

It said, "Son, I've made my life out of readin' people's faces,
And knowin' what their hearts were by the way they held their eyes.
And the race got deathly quiet, and my face lost all expression.
it said, "If you're gonna play the game, boy, ya gotta learn to play it right.

You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your miles when you're sittin' at the aid station.
There'll be time enough for countin' when the runnins done.

Now Ev'ry runner knows that the secret to survivin'
Is knowin' what to throw away and knowing what to keep.
'Cause ev'ry races a winner and ev'ry race a loser,

There'll be time enough for runnin' when the healin's done.

     Once Rachel and Bo got there I let them know I was dropping and got a ride back to the start. I knew that Bryan would be getting to the 50 mile turn around soon and would just give him Rachel’s stuff out of my car. Once I got to the 50 mile turn around I did just that but saw Rachel and Bo pop up. Both of them looking strong and I knew she would be finishing her first 50 mile. She asked for one of my handhelds and they headed back down the trail.

     I think a lot of people were not expecting that heat and dropped down to the 50k or 50 mile because they have plans of other runs latter in the year and did not expect this first year event to be so well organized. Well we were wrong. Jason and his crew did one hell of a job with this event and I know that next year that 50 miler will be on a lot of people’s hit list. 

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