Solid start to the year! I wont go into all the details but I kept things in control, had a great time, ran solid, and did not puke once. low-five with skin!
I met up with my friends, and cabin mates for the weekend, John and Dave over on the Missouri side of the river, thew all the race gear and whatnot for the weekend in my truck and headed down toward Mountain View, AK. It was a little cool and raining out on Thursday but with what the weather has done lately, it was anyones' guess as to what we would get over the weekend.
After about 5 hours in the truck we arrived at the Start/Finish of each days race, the Blanchard Springs Campground . We checked in, chatted a bit with some other runners, then headed to our cabin over at the Syllamore Lodges. We were lucky enough to snag the magical "Dreamcatcher" cabin. Exactly what 3 guys who would be our running in the woods for 3 days needs, a cabin tucked away in the Ozark Mountains with a jaccuzi tub and a giant dreamcatcher above one of the beds... mine. It was a pretty mystical setup. All kidding aside, the cabins down there are a good setup. They are priced well to split 3 ways and everyone gets their own bed to sleep in, clean towels, along with full kitchen and a hot shower. Its a heck of a lot better than running a 50k then a 50 mile then sleeping on the cold ground or in a car.
50k - The first day kicks off at 9am which is good for folks coming in that morning or who had been traveling all day on Thursday. It was chilly and I had frost on my windshield but not a cloud in the sky. The forecast called for 55 so I went with arm warmers, a sleeveless shirt, gloves, and shorts. I had the gloves off within 2 miles and the arm warmers down within 5. It heated up to close to 70 I would bet. I kept the fueling simple. I started with EFS drink in one hand and EFS Liquid Shot in the other. I put down the EFS shot in 4 gulps over 2 hours then switched to just gels. I switched between straight water with Salt Stick pills or EFS in my bottle as I had a refill of it out at a drop bag spot. I ran medium hard the whole time then kicked it the last 5 miles to end the first day in 4:49. A solid effort on a tough course.
50 Mile - I ate two dinners and drank a lot of fluids after the 50k. This was needed to keep the calories up but I was paying for it the next morning. My stomach was in knots and just not digesting properly with the gun went off. I ran grumble guts for about the first 10 miles then things finally settled down. My intentions for the day were to run even, keep my stomach, and enjoy the day. No lolly-gagging, but not running out on the fringe all day and hating myself either. Diet for the day, just as the 50k, was a steady intake of EFS drink, Cliff Shot Gels, and a few bottles of EFS shot. I settled in at a good effort and just stayed in it for about 45 miles running with friends and chatting. I hit the last 5 hard and came in right at 9:51.
"20k" - I use quotes becuase this thing was every bit of 14 miles if not even a little more. Another 2 miles is no big deal in the grand scheme of the weekend, but an extra 25 minutes sure seemed like a long time. It was cool and pouring rain and my cold that I had been keeping at bay all weekend was hitting me hard. Anyway, nothing special here, just kept chugging along until it was over. 2:14
Overall - I ended up 5th overall behind some major talent. Nick Lewis, Ashley Nordell, and Darren all crushed it. Also, Aaron from KC who finished 4th had a really solid weekend. I can't complain about anything. I went with the idea of just taking each day as it came and ended up running well and not turning myslef inside out to do it. This is why I run.
Notes - This race is a lot of fun. Being able to interact with other runners for 3 straight days makes this event worth checking out. Each day after the run you hang out, cheer in the other runners, eat, and hang out some more. That is a really unique opportunity that you wont find at other runs. Usually you see you runner friends before the race then maybe out on the course later and potientially afterward, but that is usually it. This race you get to do that 3 times. It's very social and if you like that part of ultrarunning (and who doesn't?) then this should be on your calendar for next year. Just keep your head up as the marking on this course is a bit... loose.
Weekly Totals: 110 miles and 19:30 hours of running,