Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Umstead 100 mile: Lap 2 Pictures-And Race Report

At the turn around during my second lap.

With my family along the course. They popped out just before the second aid station, walked me through the aid station (cause Gilligan knows where to score food--I didn't raise a fool). Then we started the beginning of the sawtooths but then he abandoned me like yesterday's trash (again, see I didn't raise a fool!)

With my friends Emmy and Debbie. Both ladies ran a very impressive 100 miles in under 24 hours I believe! Debbie is from the DC area and Emmy is from Conn. They were both so energetic and fun throughout the race. It was a real treat when I ran into both during the out and backs

With my friend Kris W. as she approaches her 37.5 mile and I approach mile 25. Kris ultimately came in 2nd place women overall in an impressive 16 hours and a few minutes (the official results have not yet been posted). She is an AMAZING Athlete as well as a really nice person.

Wait a second, I need to retie my shoes again...this was about my 7th or so shoe tying during the early part of the race. Ultimately my shoes were too tight but I gave up dealing with them because I was not improving the situation.

I left the aid station and started walking with some food in my mouth and treats in my hand. Since the section right near the headquarters is a bit treacherous (okay I am a sissy and can barely manage walking down a paved street without falling), so I tended to walk this section or jog really slowly. Also heading out from the aid station is an uphill, thus to obey the “walk the hills” rule this section must be walked.

I headed out on the course happy and healthy. The day was getting warmer and the bright sun made me so happy. As I jogged I was able to see many friends ahead and behind me. I like this course because for several miles you are on sections when you can see (and for me cheer on) other runners. I assume for the leaders this is helpful for assessing competitors. For me it is so nice to meet and see other runners. At the beginning it is neat to see everyone so happy and excited about journey. And at the end, it is amazing to see other runners digging so deep to complete the endurance run.

During this segment of the race, I met up with Bobby (#183). He had a really long name but goes by “Bobby”. It was his first 50 miler and I know he finished. We spent several miles running together. Of course as with all laps I stopped by the unmanned aid station at the “T” intersection at mile 3/10, I grabbed some Gatorade as well as pretzels and continued on. He asked a bunch of questions because I had done this before and I tried to give him some advice. Mostly my advice is common sense. Take care of your body (most importantly your feet) and make sure to hydrate and eat. But also enjoy the experience. Bobby was good company and helped the miles fly by.

During this section I also met several Virginia Happy Trails Runners including Carolyn. Oddly enough I met Carolyn several years ago in the winter when Tristan and I were running at Maryland Heights (I was training for Umstead 100/VT 100 and Tristan was starting to train for a mountaineering expedition). It was nice to catch up with her and chat about local runs and events.

On the backstretch several of us have a bit of a nerve wracking experience, a deer comes running across the course about 100 feet in front of us. Knowing that during a local half marathon (Riley’s Rumble in 2007), a runner was taken away by ambulance because of a “Bambi” attack, I get a little worried. But alas, there was only one deer (not a pack) and no tragedy ensued. Although one of the conversation points was, there would be no shame in getting taken off the course early on because of a deer attack and better to be taken off early in the race rather than 99 miles in!

Soon enough we are doing the “loop de loops” near the second aid station. Nice volunteers refill my water bottle while I drink some Gatorade and snack on a variety of items. I have some banana’s, a hard boiled egg jettisoned of the yolk but that area filled with salt, some pretzels and M&M’s. Because the day was getting warm, I took off my long sleeve shirt and put it into my second drop bag. After resupplying with a bit more food and an extra cup of gatorade, I headed out of the aid station.

As I exited I see a huge black bear in the distance…no it’s not a bear, it’s my Gilligan. He is running towards me at high rates of speed. And I am running at him as best I can (unlike him, I do not have the luxury of knowing I have a good nights sleep to recover so I have to pace myself). Tristan gets a bit dragged by Gilligan but its okay. We walk a bit while I finish my drink. Then we jog for a bit while it’s flat. But that doesn’t last long because in the “sawtooths” there are so many hills. Once we crest the hill, we start jogging. Gilligan makes it about 400 meters before he decides he has had enough. And Tristan gets a little concerned Gilligan will lie down and refuse to move forward so after exchanging a quick hug and kiss, I head off to continue my journey.

Because my aid station break and subsequent jog with Gilligan I have slowed down a bit, thus my friends are well ahead of me. I make it through the sawtooths slowly, making sure I walk the ups and jog the flats and downhills. I am power walking pretty quickly which I think makes it so I am not being passed by runners but because of my AS delay I am well behind others. Thus this section I am pretty well alone. This is okay with me because I am happy to be with my thoughts. I am feeling very good, enjoying my run and having a great day. All of my training is coming together nicely.

Soon enough I am heading up Mt Everest to the unmanned aid station for my usual Gatorade and pretzel break. Here I see my friend Monica and take a quick picture. She is about 6 miles ahead of me heading out of mile 25, while I head in. It is good to see her.
I then see my friend Emmy and Debbie (who I met on Friday). I have known Emmy for about 3-4 years. We met initially at the 24 hour race around the lake in 2006 or 2007. We have sporadically run into each other since then including last year’s Umstead as well was VT100 miler. Emmy is really nice, so encouraging and a lot of fun. And yet she is a top notch athlete/runner frequently finishing in the top place in her age group. I met Debbie, and she is also really encouraging. Both look really strong and happy.
Three major hills later, I am getting close to the main aid station. It is time to head down the jeep road the last ~1 miles. Running along the jeep trail, I meet up with a group of 3 runners who were hysterically funny. We chat briefly. As we run we saw many runners heading towards us with popsicles. Yum!! I am highly motivated by this and pick up the pace a bit and express my desire for popsicles (really I have to go to the potty but apparently on this lap popsicle is code for potty). My 3 friends tell me to save some for them. I assure them I will. Getting close to the aid station, the crowds are amazing. They are loud, enthusiastic and really give off so much energy!

But alas they must be cheering for me to go to the ladies room, right? After a brief potty break (so far no peeing in the woods for me), I get back onto the course.

Heading up the hill to the main aid station I am surprised to hear my friend Kris W’s voice saying “Go Tammy”. I pull out my camera and snap a picture of us. Sadly I have no idea in front of us is her husband Randy whistling and catcalling in an attempt to take a decent picture. Oops!

We chat very briefly and I ask how she is feeling. She is doing amazing and suggests she is feeling good and doing well. She continues on at high rates of speed, while I meander along. I give my water bottle to the super nice volunteers and ask for some ice and water. While they refill my bottle, I go into the main aid station to visit my drop bag. When I get in, I decide to retie my shoes (I think this was about my 6th time since the start). Then I continue on the additional 50-100 feet to my drop bag. Stupidly I do not move it closer to the entrance. But alas I guess I really want a 101 mile race:-) I grab my sunglasses from my drop bag and then head to aid station to refuel and rehydrate.

The nice volunteer puts my filled water bottle in my fanny pack while I am feasting like a king! Since I am still happily eating, I grab lots of food including hardboiled eggs with lots of salt, potatoes with salt, pretzels, M&M’s. In fact I am double fisting food (which unbeknownst to me someone snaps a picture which is now on the web! I drink lots of Gatorade and ask for my popsicle. It is really tasty and I head back out onto the course eating it.

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