Monday, December 19, 2005

A HUFFER Speaks Up on Runners World



The HUFF 50K Report
Posted: Dec 19, 2005 8:56 PM

As the story goes i can honestly say that ultra-marathons are one of a kind. Driving over the day before from Ohio i was having mixed feelings about what was going to happen at my first 50K attempt. Reasons to panic was the weather situation of wind and snow pounding my car for the entire 3 hours. also, the whiteouts and the narrow, flat 2 lane roads were being swallowed by snow. Why worry now for what was going to occur later.

When i pulled into the Super 8 motel in Huntington it felt like an eerie feeling. follow the icy covered roadway into the motel with only 2 cars in the entire lot and wind pounding my body as i entered the motel. i watch too many scary movies of this stature.

Race Day:

my alarm went off at 4am and my wake up call at 4:15 woke me up out of a shallow sleep. 2 hours later i was on my way out the door into a cold and icy day. after heating my car up i followed the directions to the camp site and parked my car. parking in the lots was similar to woodstock where cars would block you in and everyone had their lights and walking around.

The Start/Loop 1:

i had my yak trax on and was ready to embark on a journey of a lifetime. the huge cannon went off and we started running. then we slowed to a walk for the first turn into the snow packed trail. there was a line of runners and no way of running faster unless you stepped into the deep snow and ran passed them raising your heart rate.

by mile 7 i noticed my right shoe had totally disentigrated and ripped. my yak trax fell off several times and i kept on looking down at my shoes to see how they were doing. not good. Before i crossed through the chute i went to find my bag in my car to change shoes and fill up on gatorade. i passed the chute at 2:03. Wow, it will be a long day.

Loop 2:

i ate some food and told myself to run as hard as possible to make up time lost, maybe a 1:45 or so. i sprinted every bridge section or road i found. then i settled into a pace that felt great. by the aide station after the bridge i ate some food, had a gel and shuffled on and my brain turned off and just took the course in chunks. lap 2 was a 1:53.

Loop 3:

if i kept a 2 hour pace for the next loop i would be sub 6 hours and very happy. this time i chunked up the course and ran. the last loop was weird b/c there was no one around to run with and gun fire every couple of minutes echoed through the air. when i got to within 2 miles i wanted to cry for some reason, i felt great but the last mile took forever until i saw the bathrooms. some guy came out of nowhere and sprinted to the finish and i tried to do the same. i crossed the line and bent over to catch my breath. the aide helpers asked if i was okay since i was staggering and bending over. i felt like saying, "you run 32.4 miles and try to stand up right, shut up and let me walk".

i walked over to my car and i just wanted to cry but i fought back the tears and changed clothes. went over to the food and ate some chili and seafood gumbo. i downed a red bull, 2 shot expresso drink, a coffee, and gatorade and got into my car and drove home behind someone doing 90 mph the whole way.

this was a great experience and this is the first of many to come. so, would i want to do an ultra again? Hell yes but something longer. next up will be something like a 50 miler or more.

Lap 1: 2:03
Lap 2: 1:53
Lap 3: 2:01
Total time = 5:57

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