Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ultra Running

I was going to write about how my 50k went on Saturday but I really wanted to talk about the experiences I have had so far with competing and volunteering in Ultra distance trail races.

I have run in 4 and volunteered in 1 ultra race. I have meet quite a few folks out there on the trail and everyone, save none, are some of the best people I have ever met. I first met a fella named Curtis at the Bandera 50k. What a super guy, I tracked behind him the first 10 miles trying to pace myself. I then met him again at the Rocky Raccoon 50 miler. Still just a stand up guy. Another fella that I met at Bandera was a guy named Chuck. He gave me some suggestions on gaiters and then I saw him at Rocky. Ran the first 16.5 mile loop with him. We talked about ancient roman history and politics. He gave me more endurance tips and told me about times when he would do 500 mile endurance rides on his road bike. He also convinced me to join Hill Country Trail Runners . That was the best decision I have made in a while. What a group! At these races, its alot of the same faces again and again and what can I say? Everyone is helpful and willing to share their stories whether they be successes or failures. If you can say failure, failing not to finish a 100 mile race after running 80 miles is really not a failure. I I have meet a fella named Mark he is welsh I guess or at least that's what his blog says. We finished minutes apart from each other at the Rocky 50 miler and then at the Austin marathon, same thing about a minute or two apart. He is pretty good at this stuff, his splits are always pretty even whereas mine are lopsided from hell. I was giving him a hard time at Rocky saying, "Hey man, slow down or I am not going to be able to pass you!" He didn't slow down! HA! HA! I also met one of the guys who puts on about 10 races here in Texas named Joe. This guy is great. His races, if you get the opportunity to go to one are none less than 100% professional. It takes quite alot of volunteers to get one of these off the ground, but because of his personality and approach folks enjoy volunteering at his races. On Saturday I met a fella name Ray from the Dallas area. I met him briefly at X-timbers back in February, when my feet were all messed up, but I DNF'ed tat race and didn't get to talk to him again. After this race we had a few beers together with another fella named Mark from San Antonio. We ran together the last 3 or 4 miles helping each other with words of encouragement. I also Met Bob and Charlene while we were having some beers. Charlene passed me with like 1 mile to go, that hurt. But she was running like the wind. Another person I have met is Robert he is one of the Rogue Running coaches, a group that I am a part of but don't run with because of the issue I was having with my feet. We worked an aid station together at Hog Hunt 50K. Got to see some familiar faces, but this time I was on the other side of the table helping out. Robert knows his way around these races, training, and the ultra world in general. On his advice I got me some green LED flashlights that I plan on using this weekend actually for some night running. Moogie is another fella that was working the aid station with us. Super fella who trained on a treadmill on a research ship for a 100 miler. That is dedication now let me tell ya. Josue is a pretty nice fella that I met also. Super friendly and turns out we know some of the same folks through our work contacts. He is putting on a 100k run in Nicaragua . I am thinking about going down there to help set up the course and then run it. Maybe spend a week down there. I think that would be fun. One other fella I wanted to mention is Jason from Lake Jackson. We leapfrogged each other my last lap and his second lap (he was running the 50 miler). He was hurting as bad as I was, but he said he had to finish because his running partner is his 12 yr old daughter and she was calling and texting every five minutes asking how things were going. That was really impressive. Not only that but he was always in the best of spirits each time we hit an aid station. I am glad to be a part of a community of people with this kind of character. None Finer.

Before I close I want to mention the folks who helped me so much to get to this point, the point to where I could actually do 50K or a 50miler.

The ladies of the Schertz Running Club. I am the only guy. The rest of the members are ladies. I started running with them back in September of 2007. Laurie got me ready for my first marathon! I also want to mention Frances, Erin, Marty, and Sharon. Wow! I thought if these ladies who have kids, jobs, etc... can get up and run at 0530, hell I can too. What an inspiration they have been. They helped me quit dipping snuff after 15 years and didn't even know it.

Lastly, I want to let everyone know that I am going to run in the Relay for Life to help support the cancer society. The folks who donated so far have helped me to raise 550.00 so thanks a million y'all. I said 12 hour relay, sure I just run the whole 12 hours is that okay and the lady was like yea sure. So on Friday May 2nd at 7pm you can join me at Steele High School in Cibolo Texas on the track for 12 hours of party time.

1 comment:

Mark said...

You're absolutely right. All the people I've met while trail running have been super nice. Good job on your Rocky Hill finish and hope your feet are feeling better.