Road Trip plus Day 1 -
Once again this race turned out to be the most fun, and scenic race I have done. This is one that is just done for the pure joy of running regardless of pace. Jeff and I headed to Arkansas at 11 am Thursday. This year instead of camping I stayed in a small cabin with Jeff with a comfortable bed, kitchen, satellite TV, and more. We arrived late afternoon checked into the cabin, picked up race packets and headed to dinner for a buffet at the Pizza Inn in Mountain View. Then back to the cabin, prepared for Friday’s race, watched ER and then off to bed.
We got up at 6:30 am and arrived at race headquarters around 8 am. The race site was about 15 minutes from where we were staying. The area was hit hard by an ice storm in early February so we were limited on the trails that we could use this year. Volunteers had cleared some trails and the plan was to use trails and forest roads to make up the difference. We found Allan at his campsite and then visited with other runners before the race and I got to see Ashley, the female winner that I ran a lot of the miles with last year.
The first race was supposed to be a 50K but ended up being a marathon. We started out up a big climb which was the same as we took last year for the 50 mile. This time though it wasn’t quite as painful, but still not pleasant to start up this big climb. I never could seem to catch my breath. Maybe I should have run a warm up?
The first 10 miles were on trail and I ran with Ashley. There was an aid station about every 5 miles. At the 10 mile we ran on a forest road for an out and back. It was at this point we learned the course was not going to be a 50K. I don’t think anyone was too disappointed as it was still quite challenging. Once we got back to the trail I had Ashley run ahead of me. We ran a couple miles and then I told her I was going to stop to pee and to go ahead and I would try to catch up. I tried but wasn’t feeling a whole lot better so just kept moving.
I had been drinking Accelerade and taking an Accelerade gel every 5 miles. I used about 1 of my bottles each 10 miles. By then I felt naseous/queasy but didn’t eat any solid food which may have been my problem. Mentally, I felt good (but no speed) so I keep pushing on and about half mile before the end Po Dog catches up to me. Once he sees how close we are to the end we decide to finish together. Last year I had finished with someone each race and thought I was going to go in alone, but it was nice to finish with someone. I headed off to soak legs in creek with some other runners. Allen finished in 4:31 and Jeff in 5:15.
42K (26.2 mi) - 4:20:19
12 of 44 men
13 of 56 overall
Temp: 34 at beginning and 48 at end.