I was a little nervous about this one. I haven’t been running that much since Western States, and I’ve done a total of one long run in the last two months.
The word of the day was patience. Chris Raulli (1st place at US 50-Mile Trail Championships) was running so I knew that a win was unlikely. The field was pretty competitive so I knew that even top three would be a challenge.
The course is comprised of four loops that are approximately 7.77 miles each. I ran the first loop in 53:04, and I was in 4th place. In perfect conditions, I felt that was a very reasonable pace. The second loop was a little slower – 55:06 – but I moved up into third place. The truth is, there was a pack of four of us running together on and off. I knew Louis from other races, but Zach and Ryan were new to me. Patience.
I ran the third loop in 55:59, and I dropped back into 4th place. Chris was long gone in front, but Louis and Zach were less than a minute in front of me. As I switched out my bottle for the last time, I felt like I had plenty left. My patience was paying off. Zach was having some cramping, and I went by him around mile 23. Near mile 28, I caught up to Louis, as he was working through some GI issues. He was having a great race, and I tried to encourage him to keep pushing.
I still felt strong and I could smell the barn. The climbing was over, and I could coast to the finish. I took a few extra looks over my shoulder – I didn’t want to get passed again in the final quarter mile like I did at Cayuga (a.k.a. getting Heffroned). My final loop was 59:49.
I finished second overall in 3:43:57 – approximately 7:12/mile.
I’m really happy with my result. Given my training (or lack thereof), I don’t think I could have gone any quicker. This is an excellent race, and Tim Hardy is a fantastic race director.
Kudos to Chris Raulli and Laurel Leone for their respective wins and course records.
Full results are available here.
Next up: Free to Run 50-Miler in mid-September