Tuesday, September 21, 2010

You Won’t Call Me Superman: North Face 50K

Marty's Race Report - 

So I believe that many people have superpowers, even though they might not know it. For example, I postulate that Todd MUST have anti-gravity in his pocket; have you ever seen the dude run down hill? Seriously. And the Bunks have got that anti-aging thing turned up strong. I hope Tom has his retirement planned until the age of 140. And what about Julie and Angela? I mean, how can any human run for 100 miles, and then the next week run a 50K in the rain and laugh about it? Did I bump into an invisible force field surrounding them, like wonder woman in her plane?  And what about all these speedy people at LPTR? Like Robert, Kevin, Christine and Joel? I mean, if that ain’t super power I don’t know what is.


I can tell you the time. No really. I can. And I don’t need a watch or a clock.

OK, its not sexy, it doesn’t entertain anyone at parties very long, and its doubtful anyone is going to write a comic book about “Clock Man”. Its more like being a super accountant. It’s nice to have when you need it, but then you mostly forget about it. But hey, as Joel told me, “you know, you hang your hat on what you got, and go with it”.

So Saturday, dawn is about 2.5 hours away; I wake up, I don’t bother setting the alarm. A clock in my head. Punctual man.

BOOM BOOM. Thunder. Lightning strike the hour of 4 AM. Kitchen radio, I’ve got coffee on. Yawn. Time to move. What to take? What to wear? Dunno. So ALL the gear goes into the car. I’ll make up my mind later.

First task of the day. A running friend of mine had texting me asking me for my race time prediction. I chose not to answer him until I awoke. I think about it for a bit; the weather (rain) the course (easy) my training (huh? training? 2 – 20 milers since July); how I am feeling (great, rested) and text him my answer.

After my Dances with Dirt miss (short by 45 minutes, gah), I wanted realistic goal, and get back on my streak of not missing my prediction by more than 2 minutes. My last 5 road marathons I missed by a cumulative total of 8 minutes, the last two within 40 seconds total. Yes, that’s me. Time piece for a heart, 60 beats per minute… Thump. Thump.

My answer: 5:53.

I arrived at the Ottawa camp ground about 6, surprised to see that the 50 milers got off on time. I figured lightning would be the one thing that would delay the race; apparently not.

I see some familiar faces: Marcel, Joel, Jill.

Joel, by the way, has another superpower besides being very fast. He looks at me in my rain coat, and says “You gonna wear that? Man, its too warm.” ( I am guessing Joel is nuclear powered, since I never see him with a shirt on no matter how cold it is, and he never seems to sweat). “Really?” I say. “You think its warm enough?”. “Oh hell yeah.” So I ditch the rain coat.

I was REALLY glad I did (thanks Joel). I may have a superpower of time, but at around 60 degrees I can never figure out what to wear. Colder, no problem. Warmer no problem. But, rain? 60? It could go either way, and I could get cold or sweat my kester off.

Through the day, we had a little rain, a little sun, some mist on the trails. Good temperatures. The course was great; fast, flat, and muddy in a couple places (Scup wetlands, ankle deep mud yeah!), but mostly dry on the horse trails. Fun stuff, and I loved every minute of it. I got a lesson from Todd two weeks ago on how to run downhill, and put it to the test, and it worked well. Thanks Todd.

My race? Well. I could have done better (always can), and should have blown away my own prediction by a half hour. I ran into my own version of kryptonite: Intestinal fortitude. Yep. Like a clock, 20 minutes past the start and (most) every aid station, nature called.  I think I passed the same group 4 times. Each time I would get ahead of them, I was jumping off into the woods to, er, you know. Then I’d catch them again before reaching the next aid. Repeat.


But I felt great, and the running came easy. At the end, I even felt like I could have kept going at that pace. Good feeling. In the end, I ran a 5:52:52, within 8 seconds of my prediction. I hang my hat on it. I hang my cape on it.

It was a great after party, with all the LPTR gang. Joel showed his other superpower, in that he has a beer cooler that never seems empty. Really. I saw him give out like 457 beers, and there was still more in it when he left. And the thing is only 12 x 12.

Joel and Christine smoked their races, and it was great to stay and see Christine get her first place award. Yeah Christine! Joel was first place masters, and I am awed by his smoldering time. Steve ran this one as training run, and looked good as he preps for his goal race. Go Steve! Marcel finished with a great time, and it was great to see Jill finish her first ever marathon. Yeah Jill and Marcel!

Now I’ve reached 945 words, and that’s enough.

Except for a final few words about the race organizers and volunteers. Race organizers: Two words: Porta John (Two?? On the course?? TWO??? Are you kidding me??).

Volunteers: Robert, Deb, The Bunks, Craig, and the Mad Man Kevin (and the nice lady who put bandaids on my nipples) and all the rest: THANK YOU. For being there, directing on the course, for getting out of warm beds in the frikin’ middle of the night to make sure course markers were in place (Kevin you are nuts), for manning the aid stations with humor and helpfulness, courtesy and kindness.

Awesome race. I look forward to doing the Glacial 50 K in three weeks!

No comments:

Post a Comment