Race Report from LPTRunner Tom Schiessl...
|Tom Schiessl and Mary Gorski|
I signed up for this not really sure what I was getting into. Up to this point I had run six 50K’s in the past year (my first year of ultra looniness) and figured, what the hell.
I spent a lot of time training at Lapham, Muir trails, and Scuppornong with a variety of friends from LPTR but mainly Laura Reinders, Trish Diaz, and Jose’. The support from this group was fantastic, and the fact that Laura and Trish successfully navigated the 50K, as well as myself finishing the 50 miler (with Jose’ sweeping) is a testament to that.
Chippewa 50k with its freaky 70 degree weather and snow covered trail was my last long run prior to IA 50, but it didn’t prepare me for this. After some pre-race comments and a great rendition of the National Anthem, Jeff sent us on our way.
My plan was to run with my friend Dawn Chavez, which I did for about 18-20 miles. The time flew by as we yapped about all kinds of stuff. I had a sense we were going a bit fast, but I felt good, so I slapped that thought out of my mind. Mistake! I drew away from Dawn when I should have stayed right where I was. Idiot. I felt great and took off, thrilled to see friends on the way back, at the aid stations and road crossings. The wind kind of sucked at points, and the hail was flat out unexpected.
I bumped into the wall around mile 32 (I knew I should’ve run the 50K!). I slowed my pace but rarely walked, and really tried to eat. I trundled along until I got back to Horseriders, which is about 7 miles from the finish. From here I ate nothing, had zero urge, but oh did the ginger ale taste good. I pretty much death marched it in after that, running (shuffling) a mile, walking a ½, repeat. I hurt bad, but wasn’t about to give up. Especially with Deb closing in and giving me wonderful encouragement! As I got close enough to hear the cow bells and the crowd cheering, I picked up my pace with a surge of excitement! I was going to get this done, 50 miles! I came to the finish alone, with the place going nuts, saw my lovely wife and nearly broke into tears. The friends that ran over to congratulate me was overwhelming. Handshakes, back slaps and hugs from everyone, you would have thought I won. And in a way, I guess I did.