Thursday, September 17, 2009

McKenzie 50K: Bonkarama

Well, this was a rough one.

There was a good contingent from Corvallis and area, including Guy, Scott L, Scott K, Todd, Mike, Mikio, Gerhard, Will and Jason. Good to see them all again.

My goal was to come in under 4:45, trying to get a 50K PR. I started out slow, real slow. The first part of the course was fairly technical … winding round a bunch of lava roc. At the turn-around, at the first aid station, most of the Corvallis crew was ahead of me ... good to see friendly faces passing by. As I passed Guy, he held up his hands … they were full of blood from a nasty fall. Ouch.

I kept an easy pace until about 12K … my average pace at that point was 6:20 min/km. I decided to ramp things up a bit. I would have to work now if I wanted to get that down to 5:42 .. … the average pace I would need to break 4:45. So, I cranked it up. My calf was complaining, right from the get go actually. But the pain was not getting worse, which I thought was a good thing. Other than that I was feeling good. I started to pass folks.

Things were going well until about 40K. Then in the space of a kilometre or so, the wheels came off the cart. My calf seized up, my stomach started with the hee-bee-gee-bees and I just ran out of juice. At this point, it was a struggle to run at all, even though the course was very easy from here on in. I had to take walking breaks, even on level ground. Nasty business. Haven’t felt this bad since SOB last year. People I had passed earlier on were now passing me. Arggg … I hate when that happens. It’s funny … I did STORMY just last month … 50 miles on a much tougher course … and I felt way better at the end of that than I did right now. It’s all about pace I guess.

I managed to catch up to Guy. His hands were a bloody, dirty mess from that initial and subsequent falls. Skin hanging off. But he was still going. We trudged along together for a while, each of us whining about our respective misery. With a few klicks to go I pulled away from him, albeit it real slowly. The death march continued. My GPS said about 2 klicks to go when I came up to this guy who said 60 yards to the finish! What a pleasant surprise. I managed to fire things up a bit and actually ran across the finish line. Finished in 5:11. I turned around to find that Guy was right behind me … just a few seconds or so back. Had the course been much longer, he would have passed me.

So … I'm glad this one is over. However, the McKenzie course is really nice, and I hope to get back for some fun running some time. Marilyn and the dogs would like it too. The best part of the day was that Guy finished … this was his first ultra. I was real happy for him. And Scott L managed the PR he was hoping for, winning a wager with Gaby and some beer in the process. I think everyone else did real well too. And while we were doing this, John and Ken were on their way to conquering Wasatch, with the help of pacers Gaby, Dave and Sander. Yup, a good weekend for Corvallis trail runners.