Friday, October 16, 2009
2005 Pisgah/VT50 - RR
I stumbled upon these old race reports on a long forgotten blog i used to have and figured they'd be perfect to add to my archives here.
2 Weekends, 2 Ultras:
My 4th year at Pisgah was a personal record setter for the 50k at 7:02 and change.
Stretching before the race, a familiar face approached me. It was Rob from Mass, a guy I ran pieces of the Jay Challenge Marathon with. We ran together for the first 3-4 miles. He said he was out just to coast, but he must have just felt right and took off. He turned me onto Stonecat, which is a 50 miler/marathon that’s down in Mass in November. Ironically, Gilly, a familiar face from the VT100/50 races comes flying by me at aid station 17. I decide he’s the first person I’ve seen in about 4 miles so I should try and keep up for awhile. I say the bonehead comment of the day of “hey is that a GAC shirt you have on?” We talked for a bit, he said he’s one of the guys that puts on Stone Cat and I should head down for the race. Later that night after coming home and looking up the Stone Cat race, come to find out….GAC stands for Gilly’s Athletic club. Boy did I feel like an ass hat when I read that.
Man I felt like hell though. Between the 5+ bee stings on the back of my neck and the 1 on my right bicep by mile 6 I was ready to call it quits right then and there. Thankfully I had my mp3 player for the time between mile 18 cresting Pisgah itself until the end of the race because I swear I saw maybe 2 people the whole time. It was a great day for a run with a nice bbq’d burger at the finish with my name on it.
Another race in the books.
One week later at my 6th tour of the VT50 I set yet another PR @ 6:49!. Talk about a cold start. I’m glad I hung that tarp between the trucks because the dew was so thick it was essentially misting. There is nothing like waking up at 4:45 am and getting dressed in 39* weather before running 31 miles. As the 650 bikers and the 200 runners all gather down at the starting line my pop and I have a cup of terrible coffee along with some month old doughnuts. The race starts and talk about a quick start, it was probably the quickest I’ve ever run the first section of the race. I’m running with Delbock and a guy I guess he works with that also did the Jay Challenge named Mike. Mike has a high tech watch that beeps after every mile so he keeps saying “hey only another 30 miles to go, only another 29 miles to go, etc.” After the first aid station you go into the first section of trail before the split. Delback, Mike, and My father are a good distance ahead at this point. I’m running with 4-5 local mother’s dubbed the “mom bombs” who are just out having a grand ol’ time. I actually leap frog with them until Mile 13 where we meet back in with the 50 miler crowd. At this point I just about don’t see ANY runners until the aid station 27(keep in mind that the VT50 bikers are flying by at a rate of 2-3 a minute, and I’m able to leap frog with many of them on the steep uphill single track sections). Between Aid station 21 and 27 I hear one biker ask another biker what time it was. He responded 1210. So that kept my mind busy for the next 3-4 miles trying to calculate how fast I’d need to go for the rest of the race to break 7 hours (which was my goal since the week prior I did 7:02). I came into the last aid station at 12:45 and I knew I could do the last 3 miles of the race in under an hour. So at the first downhill I take advantage of gravity and start running a little harder. The trail goes back up and my speed goes back down. It’s an up and down course for the last 2.5 of the last 3 miles. Then they send you across the slope and then straight down into the lodge area. Well about ¼ mile from the end or so I’m like….shit that’s another runner. Another 50-100 feet down the hill I’m like….shit I think that’s Mike. I turn on the jets and I can feel myself starting to catch him. We cross over the bridge about 200 yards from the finish and he’s probably still 50yards ahead of me. I yell down “I’m going to catch ya mike” and he turns once, doesn’t recognize me. Then he turns again about 10 feet later, and waves. Now I know he recognizes me and he doesn’t think I can catch him. The only thing that was running threw my mind was “That SOB doesn’t think I can catch him!” I start tearing down the hill now in the last 100 yard stretch. About I dunno, maybe 20 yards from the end he looks over his shoulder again and sees that I’m only 2-3 strides behind him and flying. He starts to sprint as well. I’m gritting my teeth because the 31 miles of trail have been pretty grueling on my body and I’ve decided screw it I’m running threw the pain. I can hear the crowd make the sound of WWOOOOAAAHHH (you know the same sound the crowd makes when they see someone is teetering on a cliff before they fall) I fly past him and beat him by 1/10 of a second. He goes….”you bastard! How the hell did you just do that?” I smirk and lay down for a minute. I guess no one told him the Charlie story from my first VT50. We shake hands and each go our own way. As I’m walking back up the hill I get tons of smiles and congrats from the crowd. Along with a few “did you catch him?” To which I said “hell ya I did” I picked up a few things that fell off in the sprint to the finish and then I sat with a shit eating grin for the next 4 hours waiting for my pop to finish.
He and Delback come in just under 11 hours. As they sit down and have some food I tell Dave to ask Mike how he did. My pop goes, “see I told you he’d catch him before the end.” I laugh and I said, “yeah maybe 2 feet before the end but that still counts right?” My dad goes, you didn’t do a Charlie did you? I plastered on the same shit eating grin and said yeah. My dad laughed and told the story from a few years before to Delback. I hope he passes it along to Mike so he doesn’t make that mistake again.
3 for 3 on ultra’s this summer. All flying solo, it’s been a strange adventure but I do believe I’m adding one more long race to my schedule. Stone Cat coming up in November. So stay tuned for that race’s review