Race Report from LPTRunner Joe Fitzgibbon who completed his first 50 mile ultra yesterday at Ice Age!
Keep after it - Reflections on yesterday's 50 mile run...
Last New Year's Eve, I finished a 50k FA event put on by Tom Bunk. The day went really well and so, in the spirit of the holiday, I resolved to run the Ice Age 50 miler in 2012. Best resolution ever!
Fast forward to a day after Ice Age, and I am sitting in my easy chair with a scabby knee, ice on my ankle, a shiny new belt buckle, but more importantly, a sense of accomplishment, a feeling of gratitude for all the encouragement along the way and a desire to do it better. Here are a few of the highlights.
Blue Loop and out to Rice lake Went out really easy, hoping to keep it all together through the early part of the race. I kept hydration in check, took a gel every 30 minutes, and took some time in the aid stations. Between 12 and Easterly I saw the front runners coming back up the trail followed closely by some of the Wednesday night regulars - Robert, Kevin, Dave and Joel. It was great hearing some encouraging words like "Keep after it" and "Hi, I'm Kevin!".
Back to 12; Started to feel some pain in my right achilles. A few months ago I hurt my left achilles, and from that experience I learned that it is something you can run through - it just gets worse running up hill or with any power. Could turn out to be a long day....
Duffin; Met up with my wife, brother in law, and all the kids. It was nice to have the crew arrive, more so for the moral support than speed at the aid station. Time saved as Sarah filled my bottle was lost again as I looked at all the pictures my daughters had drawn for me whilst they waited. After running 30 miles, It was a real lift to see everyone.
Confusion Point; I asked the volunteer if the leader was in. Zach Bitter had passed back through CP toward the finish an hour earlier. Wow! I still had to run all the way to Emma.
To Horseriders; Got a few words of encouragement from Marty at a road crossing. I can't remember what he said, but I was smiling before I crossed the road. Thanks, I needed that.
Emma; I got to the aid station feeling really low. I couldn't stomach the thought of any more gels, my feet were killing me and for a brief moment I wondered if I bit off more than I could chew. Sarah was there with fresh socks and a box of mike & ikes. As I will filling my pockets with candy, she reminded me that my first 50k was last October and that day wasn't easy either. All of a sudden I had some energy.
Back to Horseriders; I fell. My knee was bloody, but I was more concerned that the strap broke off my bottle. I got up determined to run harder.
To the finish; My achilles hurt, but was getting no worse, and I had energy. So aside from the steep section at Bald Bluff, I ran it the rest of the way in. I finished in 11:31, longer than I had thought it would take, but within my goal of getting in before the beer is all gone.
A day later, after an ice bath and a ride on the bike, I am feeling pretty good. I've set my sights on Glacial - definitely the 50k. Hoping to train a little longer, plan a little better, and run a little faster than last year.
Thanks Jeff and all the great volunteers who put on an outstanding race! Thanks also to everyone who helped me get across the finish line!