Trailer Trash


RR - Womping awound the Wildcat Widge 50k - Now with Photos! (Read 43 times)


Eat to run, Run to eat

    Race report for Wildcat RIdge Romp 50k, Rockaway NJ on Aug 10, 2013


    Short Version:  Went out too fast on a technical 50k course, first 10.5m lap in 2:33, but next laps were 3:21 and 3:54.  9:52 finish time. Counts as a training run since I learned a lot. Scroll down to see picts.


    Long version :


    I really had high hopes for this race.  I was feeling pretty good; I had an excellent training week two weeks before, with plenty of technical trail work, peaking at about 62 Mpw.   I was familier with the course, sort of, since I ran one lap last year.  After running a 6:15 in the Dirty German 50k, I thought that I could run this course in 8… maybe even 7:30. After all, everything was going according to plan. I got around 9 hours sleep two nights before, carb loaded according to plan and so on.  DW helped out and got a few last minute items, including calf sleeves and ginger candy. 


    But  I woke at around 1:30 and couldn’t get back to sleep. Finally got up when the alarm went off at 3:30, and packed my bag.  Left at 4:30, stopped for trail mix and gummy candy on the way there just in case,  and got to the start (at a local elementary school) around 6:10.  Had a leisurely prep for the race and met a guy I knew who was also running the 50k.  After  giving his speech, the Rick the RD ( started the countdown (he always starts his races EXACTLY at the advertised time, ready or not).   50 seconds.   20 seconds..and off we go at 7:00 on the dot.

    The course was  3 laps around a 10 mile loop, with an additional ¼ mile each way to get to and from the start line.


    The 50m and 100k racers had already left at 6:00; around 70 of us 50k’ers headed up the grassy shoulder past the municipal lot, and turned onto the first of many fire roads.  Turn right at the blue tape (used to keep folks from looping without returning to the start) and up a gradual hill.  The first section had about 3 or four trees across it, and not just the trunk, but several limbs to climb over, around or through.  At the 1 mile mark the trail turned off the fire road and went up a steeper section, which I walked up.  The next section had been a junkyard or illegal dump site in years past; the forest was littered with rusty drums, car and snowmobile parts, broken glass and pieces of old carpet. We were running along an ATV trail that wound through the area. 


    The next spot wound up confusing several runners that day, since the course was running both directions on the same road, and nearly intersected itself, but made a sudden right at the last minute.  Rick had warned us about this, and I had missed this turn last year, so I was ready.


    The trail was now single track, and more rocky with rolling hills.  Fully warmed up, I glanced at my HRM and was surprised to see that I was WAY over my target HR..I was going too fast.  I promised myself I’d slow down,  but didn’t really. Skipping along the rock tops going downhill was just too much fun, (and was the only time I would pass someone) and I wasn’t hiking up the hills all THAT fast really (I thought). I was just having a great time racing in the woods, on my game and in control.




    The trail proceeded uphill to an outcropping known as Hawkwatch, which offered a great view of the valley below



    The next section was a gentle downhill along a relatively smooth road paved with fine gravel, very easy to run on.  We returned to the head-on intersection, and turned right, through some tightly wound single track and popped out of the woods at AS#1, at mile 4.

    I picked a bag of trail mix at the AS,  and trotted downhill crunching away, past a scenic swampy lake



    Life was good.

    Soon after the fun began. The 3 mile stretch between AS1 and 2 was the most difficult part of the course.  There were several steepish up and downs maybe 200’ each.  There were fields of pillow sized rocks to run across.   Several rock peaks of hills and ridges to run across.



    I was still having a good time, and was running along the rocky ridge watching where I was stepping, when *BOIING*  a low hanging  2” diameter branch caught me right in the forehead.  That slowed me down a bit, and I adjusted my hat so I could see the next one.


    There were more downed trees to negotiate



    some shoe-sucking muddy sections,  and a few technical downhills to step down rock to rock



    and the big double stream crossing.  I managed to find a clear path across the first one, but for the second one did not trust the mossy rocks ( about 4 or 5 feet tall) and just ran through.  I then had to find a way to climb out of the stream bed.  We then ran upstream along a fire road, past a revolutionary era forge




    A climb up a 20’ boulder rewarded us with AS#2 at mile 7



    We then ran along the Split Rock Reservoir  dam,



    And hiked up a dirt road to re-enter the woods along some single track, still technical. 

    This gave way to what could best be described as the Cobblestones from Hell, around a half mile of fire road paved with softball sized sized rocks of all different heights.  Too small to purposely step on, and too big and irregular to not twist your ankle every few steps. Finally AS# 1/3 arrived,  (around mile 9) but since my pack was still full I didn’t stop.  More cobblestones. We finally popped out of the woods and ran down a residential street , doubled back up the trail and came to the blue tape barrier directing us back to the start.


    I finished the first lap in 2:33:10, faster than I had done the at the 10m race last year.  Looking good, I thought, at this rate I should finish in 8. Maybe even 7:30. Right on time.  I ate  some PB&J, bananas, got a new baggie of provisions  and refilled my pack with ice cold Poland Spring.


    Somehow, the hills seemed a bit higher this time around, and the downhills were not as quick.  I met two off course runners coming the wrong way, but was too unsure to make them turn around.  I had been trading places with a girl in a pair of green running shorts with “Beast Mode” across her behind, and with a pair of runners who saw me hit the tree branch, one of whom was now having issues with her ankle but was still going for it. Mostly though I was by myself.  I caught up with ankle girl at AS#1, who was calling it quits. 


    I was able to find a way across the stream without  getting wet, and thought  I’d change my socks at the end of the lap.  Somehow though, time had caught up with me and I realized I had slowed way down.  I headed back up the rock and refilled my pack at AS2



    Returning along the Cobblestones I started weighing whether or not I should complete the course.  I was way off my goal time, almost an hour slower than the last lap; my Right Achilles was getting sore; I had more races to run this fall and didn’t want to hurt myself before them; I was supposed to take Lee Ann out to dinner at eight, and I couldn’t seem to go any faster than about 18m/m according to my watch.  The aid station fare was no longer appealing, my stomach was upset,  and the water I had filled my pack with tasted like ass. Things were not looking good.  I ate a ginger candy.


    I had been passed by several much faster guys by now, and figured that they were in the 50 miler.  But as I pull into the start at just over 6 hours, I realize they have already finished the 50k.  UGH.   I changed my socks, but halfway through putting the right one on my right groin cramped up. It took several attempts to finish changing both socks.  I figured that if the cramps continued I would quit at AS1.  So, I took a few Endurolytes, applied some body glide to the usual spots, and leaving the victory party behind slogged it back out onto the trail.


    The ginger candy I ate earlier seemed to settle my stomach, but I wasn’t very hungry.  Since I had blown my time goal, I took a little extra time on the third lap to take some photos for this report.  Lots of hiking, but a slowish  shuffle-thing was all I could do for running anymore.  All I could manage was 18 m/m on good footing, downhill,  and 22 on the flats.  Jumping the 2 foot gaps at the stream crossing was challenging.


    When I came to the technical stuff I realized that although I had changed my socks, I had not reapplied body glide to my feet, and several hot spots were developing.  Crap, that hurt and I was wondering how much skin was sloughing off of the sides of my feet.  I didn’t dare look on account of the cramps, which had not recurred while I was running.  A few 50m runners passed me, but very rarely; No sign anywhere of any other 50k runners.  I came to the last AS, and she had packed up, leaving behind two jugs of water.  Staggered through the cobblestones, wobbled my way down the residential road, and came to the end with no kick  or race to the finish… but I was done.  9:52  After 9 hours, who’s counting seconds?


    It was Rick the RD and his wife, and a few others left at the start.  Rick made me a great PB&J, offered me a beer, and after stabilizing a bit and eating what I could, I changed and headed home for dinner.


    On the positive side I only had a few small blisters on each foot; I hadn’t cramped badly; I kept going for almost 10 hours; I finished (38% of 50k starters were DNF);  I came in 53/58 and not last like I feared;  I found clothes that didn’t chafe (ever since I cut the armhole seams out of my HATR singlet); I found out that ginger candy works for me; and most importantly learned the benefits of PROPER STARTING PACE!  It wasn’t the race I expected, but it was excellent training, and expect to do it again next year... faster.

    Stone Mill 50m 11/16/13  12:42

    Febapple Frozen 50k 2/22/14  9:20:55

    DIrty German 50m 5/18/14 12:06:16



    Faster Than Your Couch!

      Sounds like a really tough course, and you mastered it. Don't worry about the time, there are many things that can contribute to make for a relatively slow pace. You made it through, and you learned a lot from that race. Congratulations, way to go!

      Run for fun.

        Hey you're home from work and still no pictures!!!  WTF.    You did it, you finished and for that I say Good Job Man!!  I also have the problem of going out too fast but the fact that you tough it out in the end is almost.  Believe me, you  would have been more  mad at yourself if you had no finished versus not meeting you times.  Nice job, thanks for sharing.


        PS Get the PICs up. Clown

        08/05/17 Sierra Crest 50K

        08/19/17 Marquette Trail 50K Miler



          Sounds like a tough day out there. That is the problem with the loop courses. When your lap time falters significantly it messes with your head. Kudos for you for going out on the 3rd and final lap. It would have been pretty easy to pack it in there. It shows some mental strength that will come in handy for future races. Congrats, now give us those pictures!

          In dog beers, I've only had one.


            Nice job gutting it out.  Loop courses can be tough especially when you have a bad section and know you have to repeat 2 more times.  Hope the feet are ok.


                It wasn’t the race I expected, but it was excellent training, and expect to do it again next year... faster.


              Sounds like a success to me! ... And you finished! It's crazy how quickly a run/race can turn around isn't it?

                Way too push when it got tough, and it sounds like you learned a few things too, congratulations!


                Follower of Forrest

                  Congrats on the finish and pushing through a long day.  Nice report also...looking forward to the pictures.  Any thoughts of a round 3 with the Wildcat?

                  6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 54mi


                  A man may never run the same trail twice for it is not the same trail and he is not the same man


                    Alright, pictures!


                    Looks great!


                      Despite knowing better, I always assume that New Jersey is a completely urban environment. Nice looking trails.


                      On On

                        Race report for Wildcat RIdge Romp 50k, Rockaway NJ on Aug 10, 2013


                        It was Rick the RD and his wife, and a few others left at the start.  Rick made me a great PB&J, offered me a beer, and after stabilizing a bit and eating what I could, I changed and headed home for dinner.


                        I am glad you had a good time.


                        As I state to everyone, come in first or last I will offer you food and a beer.


                        I'll see you at Mountain Madness in Sept.  You will do great.