Sunday, July 15, 2012

Dances with Dirt Devil's Lake 50k race report

4:42:54 (Final Results Pending) 9th OA

Low 70s and humid and at the 5:30am start.  I drove down Saturday morning, getting to the race course 45 minutes before the start.  I am not sure where the 45 minutes went - I was not ready when they called 5 minutes to start.  I quickly got my camelback filled and stuck 12 gels in my Race Ready shorts.

I am not sure where I got the wrong idea that we did the ski hill loop twice.  It took we 4+ hour to realize my error.

Last year we started straight up the ski hill, this year we ran a mile along the base and then bushwhacked back and forth up the ski hill.  Just like last year - The lead group missed the turnoff into the bushwhacking area.  The rest of us followed like sheep to the slaughter - Luckily being slower I only ran a hundred yards off course.

I have found out in trail races that I have done, I have my own rhythm - maybe because I am 200 pounds - but I climb a bit slower and descend more quickly than those around me.  In single track when its hard to pass - I really dislike running other people's rhythm, so I purposely let people go past and took it easy on the ski hill loop. 

The ski hill loop was set up easier than last year and soon I was on the Ice Age trail heading toward Devil's Head Lake State Park.  I pretty much ran by myself the next hour plus.  Last year we climbed up to the bluff twice - This year we went up the long gravel trail to the top of the bluff, ran a bit at the top and came down.  The mileage was filled in with an out and back to "The Bug Pit".  This out and back was a long decent followed by a couple miles of prairie running - Many tight spots were created as I came back while meeting other runners going the other way.  This was not a nice trade off - Climbing the bluff up the stone steps was a much nicer / harder course.

On the way back from "The Bug Pit" I had @ 3:30 on the watch and I started to get a funny feeling I might be wrong about the 2nd ski hill loop.  I faintly remember someone disagreeing with me when I said we would be running this loop a second time.  I still wanted to save something for a 2nd ski hill loop - So I half walked, half ran the long climb back. 

As we headed back away from the state park I had 4:20 0n my watch and now I knew I was heading toward the finish and not another ski hill loop.  I cranked up the effort to maximum.  Soon it was the last 2-3 mile downhill back to the finish line.  I was flying, I am guessing I was averaging sub 7 minute miles.  I could have cranked it up a bit more, but I must have passed 30+ half marathoners on the narrow trail.  I also managed to to pass 3 - 50k runners.

We poured out off the Ice Age Trail onto a paved trail with a slight uphill - My quads turned into Jello.  I fought to keep running for a couple minutes - Then gave in to a little walk ... A spectator asked my why I would walk 1/4 mile from the finish.  Oooops my bad - A little embarrassed I powered to the finish.

My friends Richard and Renee were just before the finish line giving me a shout.  Richard has been fighting a severe case of Lupus for 2 years and is finally able to start running.  He did the 10k ... Last week the Afton Alps 25k - Yes he is my OCD brother from another mother!

My other friend Mike finished the 50k a few minutes ahead of me - Now has beaten me 2 out of 3 races we both have done.  He runs fearlessly and is mentally and physically strong enough to hold on to finish well.

I sat around another 3-4 hours enjoying the good beer they have at the race and the company of other runners - This is my favorite part of this race! ... Well my favorite part of most races.

Thanks for reading - Good running to all!

1 comment:

  1. Had a good time hanging out and drinking beer post race.. even though it is not my favorite type of terrain. Renee and I both thought we would come back again. The constant energy from music and people at the start finish was good for her and the post race was excellent. Great Run Dopplebock, way to go not breaking any bones this year.