Monday, April 5, 2010

Race Recap: Croom 15M

Saturday was supposed to be my first 50M at Croom. Since the broken foot set me back a bit, I had to settle for the 15M race. Marc St. Angelo and his great family invited us over to their hotel for an amazing pasta dinner. Great carbo loading with new friends is awesome! Ashlee and I shared a hotel room with John , Toni, Michele and Jim and would have gotten a better nights rest if the smoke detector didn't have a low battery. John finally got up and ripped the thing off the wall. We were still up at 4am to get over to the park. The 50 Milers started an hour before us and many of them had finished their 5 mile loop and were on the big 15 mile trail when we started. We headed out and I found myself in a small group of 6 or so people just behind a pack of about 8 guys. I thought it was pretty cool to be up front. I had to check my pace to see if I went out too fast but I was certain that I was fine. Our group thinned out and I was probably in 10th or so as we began passing the 50M runners. They were all very friendly and encouraging. I felt like I was cruising along just fine, drinking my NUUN and taking in some GU Pineapple and Hammer Montana Huckleberry-new flavor which is awesome!! I only filled up my bottle at the aid stations and took off again. I came through the road crossing at 1:16 and felt that I had a legit shot at my goal of 2:20. I am not really sure where that goal came from, I just thought it was doable. The 2nd half of the course was where the hills all came in. They all had names and were all walk-ups. I really dug deep to storm up them and went right back into a run at the top. I tired a bit up some of the hills but thought I found a 2nd wind with about 4 to go. That only lasted a mile or two before I hit another lull. I knew I was getting close so I just tucked in behind a very strong 50 miler. We got to the base of Tucker's Hill together and the photographer told us only 1/4 of a mile to go. Tucker's Hill is more like a staircase of roots and rocks. Once we hit the top, I wished the other runner good luck and peeled off to cross the finish line, in 2:18:36. They gave me a mug for being a top finisher, which is cool! I ended up 15th overall and 2nd in my age group. I helped out a little at the main aid station as many friends came thru. Marc had discussed his ironclad gut for ultra running the night before so I had a fresh cheeseburger waiting there for him after his 2nd long loop! To my dismay he only wanted 1/3 of the burger. But he ate that down, refueled, rested up, put lotion on for the hot sun and then went out there and killed it on his last loop for his first 50 Miler!! After some rest and food, I went back out to the road and met up w/ John Pyle to finish the last 7 of his 50 miler with him. He's got guts thats for sure! Michele also rocked the course, finishing 2nd female overall in 8:31 in her first 50 mile race! More big things to come.