The saddest thing about the race being over is that no longer can you ask me about my fat ass and get anything but a puzzled look. My 50 year FA 50k was so much more fun than I would have ever expected. The date of the race unfortunately was sandwiched right in between the very popular Bunk's 50K anniversary run the prior weekend and the Superior runs the following weekend. Because of this fact and that the FA was the Friday night of a holiday weekend I expected a very low turn out. However my running friends did not disappoint me!!! Amazingly 27 runners showed up to run either the full or at least part of the way. Lapham Peak Park Ranger Ed allowed up to use the Treker building as our racing headquarters/Euchre tournament facilities which turned out to be absolutely perfect and kept us from dealing with the windy, cold, wet weather in the wee hours of the morning. Many thanks go to Kevin Grawboski and Jeff Mallach for organizing the race and promoting it so well. They did everything but write my race report!!! With a hectic August in front of me, it was welcome words to hear Jeff say that they would take care of everything and I would only need to show up. I can't tell you how much thanks I give to them and everyone else who assisted on putting my FA together. Thank you all VERY much!!
Way back when we first discussed the location of the FA I actually thought 5 black loops would be a great idea for the FA. Even though everyone I asked said it was ok, there was something about the winced eyes that made me rethink the plan. Kevin devised a fantastic 50k route that I plan on using when a 50k is required in my training plans. We ran two black loops with out and backs on the Ice Age trail in between the black loops with a little bit of a paved bike trail. The mix of the terrain of easy trail and the more technical Ice Age made an interesting route. We were provided at the beginning of the race with a nice fall breeze, this soon turned into a rainy and windy mix. The rain however let up after an hour or so into a beautiful evening with clear sky and lots of stars.
The ever swift Joel ran the entire race with Saul who was running his first trail distance over 16 miles (a natural???). They finished prior to Julie and I coming in to warm up in the Treker building and down some delicious home made soup before heading out for our last loop. The seemingly invincible Brad who completed a staged run the week before and running Sawtooth the following week was finishing up his final loop at that time as well as Marcel, who was the only runner to have completed the Bunks and Angela's 50k FA on back to back weekends!! The ever patient Julie a week after completed 100 miles hung back with me on the final loop. Upon checking my watch during the loop I was convinced at times I had to be moving backwards. We finished up the loop and the 50K amid cheers from everyone still in the Treker building a bit after 1am. Unknown to me the Angelas FA Euchre Tournament had already started and was in full swing!! The tournament finally fizzled out around 5:30 when we all decided that we needed some shut eye.
Huge thanks to everyone for attending this and making my 50 year old birthday one that I will always remember. I am very lucky to be fortunate enough to have such a great group of friends that I can enjoy my passion of trail running with. I have to pinch myself every now and then. And yes, Brian I was sad when my FA 50k was over!!!
P.S. If you did not pick up the very collectable Angela's 50yr old FA pint glass - please let me know. I have extra's.