The RD's: "The beautiful Mrs. Henry and that guy" (those are Bret's words, not mine!)
I think in a race with two or more ultra distances, the "main event" is always the longest one. Ultra runners operate on a "more is better" mentality, so I think the competition/participation tends to center around the long event, but for me, the 50k was the right option. I joked all week that I was only running the JV event. That was not to belittle the 50k, but I just wanted to keep the race a light-hearted affair and not make too much out of it in my head. Also to keep things light hearted I decided to play along with the "costumes encouraged" aspect of this pre-Halloween race. So I broke out the costume box (doesn't everybody have one of these?) and found an old dress from a 60's party. My pre-race activities included finding all the right accessories to complete the look. I even spray painted my shoes white! Unfortunately, the shoe tech materials don't take paint well so the shoes turned out more "Nurse Ratched" than pseudo-white vinyl awesomeness, but A for effort, right? ;)
Go Go Girl! Get it? Cause I go, go! I know, genius, right? ;)
The first lap needed a headlamp for navigation and served as a warm-up. I was in 5th or 6th place behind a handful of guys, at least two of which were 50 milers. My second lap was significantly faster and I worried that I would pay for it later, but I managed to stay pretty consistent for the rest of the day. I moved up steadily throughout the day and finally caught the second place guy on lap four. The last lap was fun because all the 10kers started about 5 minutes before I completed my 4th lap, so there was a lot of new energy on the course for my final loop. Plus, the 10k back of the packers were really displaying their Halloween spirit and I traded a few laughs with several other decked out ladies when I passed by. Now why weren't there any guys or more ultra runners in costume??
Who hired these clowns?? Just kidding, Geof and Larry!
The first place guy in the 50k was a 2:20 marathoner from Eugene (a town that seems to be over-flowing with 2:20 marathoners!) who was running his first 50k and didn't have any problems going 5 miles beyond his usual distance. He was definitely out of my league and kept me from enjoying an overall victory by pummeling me with a 3:21 finish. But I surprised myself with my pace and even ran my second fastest marathon ever (3:13) en route to a 3:51 finish time. My time was 8 minutes ahead of third and it broke the women's course record by 31 minutes. Mostly though, I am just psyched to feel like I am running well and enjoying it again!
For you gear and equipment types out there, here is a list of the high tech stuff that I wore to achieve my 50k PR:
- The Original Inc, 100% polyester dress in fluorescent orange. Surprisingly comfortable, though I'd recommend this for cold weather only as polyester doesn't "breathe" very well. However, when I run in tech fabric I usually smell like a homeless person by the end of the race (TMI??), but the polyester was stink free! I was pretty shocked by the washing directions: "dry clean only." Seriously, who dry cleans polyester?? Fortunately, it has withstood multiple machine washings with no ill-effects.
- A new pair of sock sleeves (aka Benmoes), K-mart, $2.00, some assembly required. I needed to combat the cold but not detract from the over look. I think the words "war is pointless" and the peace symbols on the converted socks added a special touch, tough it may be a bit of a faux pas to mix the iconic 60's styles of the go go girl and the hippie. But I figured I had a little bit more leeway since I was born in the 70's.
- Joe Boxer hot pink gloves (K-mart, $1.00). Classic ladies magic stretch gloves in a bright new shade!
-Hot pink hair band (K-mart, 3/$2.00), to match the hot pink gloves!
-Injinji knee high compression socks (Free Western States schwag)
- Spray painted (white) Brooks Adrenaline Shoes. As mentioned, this didn't exactly achieve the effect that I was hoping for, but even more disappointing was that nobody seemed to appreciate that I had sprayed my shoes. C'mon people, where is the love??
My post race attire still needs some work.