Add to Technorati Favorites "Going the Distance!": Yours Truly 50K at Green-Rock and Rocky Raccoon 100 Miler This Weekend

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Yours Truly 50K at Green-Rock and Rocky Raccoon 100 Miler This Weekend

David, Jerry and I at the Yours Truly 50K

Today a group of us tackled the Green-Rock Trail near Six Flags for the Yours Truly 50K. The day began out a bit chilly with the temperature around 22 degrees as we gathered at the trail head for the 8:00 am start. The group was made up of fellow SLUGs Jerry Frost, Greg Murdick, Travis Liles, David Stores, Jeremy Bolt, Lee Hess and myself. You honestly couldn't have scripted a better day with sunny skies, temps reaching into the upper 50's and the trail probably in the best condition I've ever seen it; just an absolutely amazing day to spend running through the woods with a group of close friends! My run went pretty well although I began bonking really hard around mile 25 and never fully recovered until I was comfortably back at the car and the run was over. At one point I said to Jerry, "You know how people say they hit the wall? I'm beyond that, I'm actually in the wall!" My legs were jello and I had that all over drained feeling most of us are so familiar with and although all I wanted to do was lay down we continued to hammer on. Jerry's comment back was, "That's good, right? It'll serve you well down the road, it's all part of training. Savor it!" You've got to love Jerry! As you may remember from previous posts Green-Rock is a somewhat technical trail with many steep climbs and very rocky so there would be no speed records set today. David led the way finishing around 7:05 with Travis shortly behind him, Jerry and I finishing in 7:23 and Greg Murdick finished just a little behind us.

After the run Jerry showed us pictures from the HURT 100 trail where he ran a loop during his recent vacation to Oahu. The trail is amazingly beautiful but undescribably difficult; I've never seen roots like that and can't imagine running 100 miles there! Not wanting the day to end, we marveled at the pictures and chatted a bit more but soon went our separate ways. As I drove home from the run I couldn't help smiling the whole way back; it's days like these that remind me why I love this sport so much!

Picture of the Rocky Raccoon Course from the race website

Friday morning I'm heading down to Huntsville, TX to pace my good friend and Running4Recovery founder, Brad Holzworth, to a finish at the Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile Trail Run. Crewing for Brad and I will be the newest member of the R4R team, Suzy Vandyck, who is traveling down from Vancouver, BC to support Brad during his journey. According to A Step Beyond: A Definitive Guide to Ultrarunning by Don Allison:

"This race offers a unique opportunity to run a 100-mile race in the middle of the winter. Rocky Raccoon also provides the first time 100-mile runner a course that can't get much easier in terms of terrain or design. The course, a mixture of forest service roads and relatively flat and well-groomed trails, consists of five 20.2 mile loops with four well-stocked aid stations. Being prepared for any type of weather is a good idea, as the sun can get hot during the day; nights may be cool however, even in mild years.
The course is very well marked, and the multiple loop format means that route finding after 80 miles should not be a problem. However, people still get lost. Paying attention to the marked intersections and understanding the course map are important to running the course correctly. The trail can be muddy in spots, and many of the low-lying areas around the lake can be flooded. Most of the streams are bridged, but if the water level is high, the potential for wet feet is present."

The list of people I know running this race includes Bill Niktakis, Kevin Dorsey, "Bad Ben" Holmes, Gabe Bevan, Kyle Amos, John King, Dale Perry, Bob Marston and Matt Bickhard. Also playing supporting roles are my good friends, Rick Mayo, who will be pacing John King in his first 100 and Gabe's wife, Tiffany, who will be there cheering him on to the finish. I am really excited to see some close members of my ultrarunning "family" along with making many new friends down at the race but most of all I'm pumped to pace Brad during his first finish at the 100 mile distance (no pressure, Brad :-)

Hope all of you had a great weekend and were able to get some miles in out on the trails!
Happy Running,

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