Why? Because I am one tired out Ultra runner right now. Even a week or more later I am still too tired to write for pages and pages. Did you buy that? Yeah didnt think so. Okay I am tired but thought I would keep this short because of how the race unfolded for me. I killed my feet, my ankle and my legs at Haliburton and Ottawa. They had not recovered for Vulture Bait (they still havent recovered). My thinking going into the race was just to put in the Kms and enjoy the trail. That plan made total sense until I got to the race and started to hear about how fast a course it was. I began to think that maybe I would run it hard. I could run it hard, that would be okay.
We got to the race early Saturday morning a nd picked up our race kits. Kim was running as well but was “only” doing 25k. Thats amazing seeing how she had run the Chicago Marathon only 6 days earlier. See that craziness is contagious, Kim seems to have caught some of mine. We also ran into Kinga and Stephan who had been kind enough to pick up my Run for the Toad race kit (I DSNed that one), once again thanks guys.
Before you knew it we were at the starting line and off we went. It was a nearly perfect day for running and right away I started to toy with the idea of running this thing hard. That lasted for exactly 11km. My mind was willing but my body was not and as I chugged along the trails I began to question who had poured cement into my shoes. Man my feet and legs were so heavy, unbelievable really. I decided I would except this and just enjoy the run.
This course is very fast (not for me on this day though) and the 50k is made up by running the 25k loop twice. The rest of the first 25k went much as expected from this point on with the exception of my feet really starting to hurt due to the damaged and lack of skin caused by previous races and a RIVER CROSSING. Thats right a river crossing because wet feet are just what I needed at that point in time. By the time I made it to the end of the first loop my feet were &*$#ed. I was forced to sit and deal with them at this point. Time to make the donuts. I lost about 8 minutes or so as I popped a couple blisters, applied some second skin and change into dry socks. Then it was off again.
Second loop went much like the first as I ran alone for the first 5k until finally catching up to Maryka. I had run about 20k with her at Haliburton so I figured I could make her really sick of me by running with her for the rest of the loop. I hopefully didn't drive her too crazy as we made our way around the course. I know that I was making her nervous though as she ran in front and during the last 10k or so I must have stumbled on roots at least 5 times. Somehow I managed not to fall once on the loop, don't have any idea how that happened. We managed to pass a number of people in the last hour of the race and before long we were headed into the finish line. I ended up coming in a little under 6 hrs, Kim on the other hand killed her race doing 25k in 4hrs which is a trail PR for her. If not for wonky marathon legs she would have been much faster.
With the official end of the ultra season the Ontario ultra series gave out there end of year awards. I managed to hang on to 2nd place in my age category (40-49) which is based on the points from you top 6 races. I also ended up 3rd male overall for total points. I got a cool plaque for the age group and nothing for 3rd overall cause lets be honest people third overall is really just the second overall loser HA. Man that sounded kind of harsh when it was not meant to be at all. See the final standings here.
I also was one of around 15 runners to get the Norm Patenaude Award which is given to runners that complete 7 or more ultras in the series. I ended up running 11 out of 12.
Also want to give a big congratulations to Ken Moon who won the Ultra Cup for most overall points by a male and Laurie McGrath who won the female division for like the millionth year in a row. Okay maybe its only 7 times in a row but still.
I am planning on spending the next month recovering and building my base back again. Time to catch up on some sleep.