Friday, June 25, 2010

Laurel Highlands 2010

On June 12th, 2010 I towed the line once again at Laurel Highlands. I ran this race in 2008 as only my third ultra and finished, but just barely. I was hoping for a much better day. The course was longer this year due to a detour around a bridge that had been removed. I knew I was up for it mentally and physically, the only question mark was my feet. They still were not fully recovered form Umstead and Promise Land.....

This report is taken from a writeup I did for my personal use. After each race I write up Race Knowledge for the race. Here is the narrative of my race from that document. It is broken up in from aid station to aid station.

Pre Race

  • Went to Moms thursday night, then to somerset friday afternoon
  • Slept 4 - 5 good hours before the race, up once to take wining dog out
  • Up at 3:30 for 3:45 pickup
  • Checked in around 0450,
  • Prayed with Dad, took pics and was off

Start - Maple Summit Road The Climb

  • Ran easy on the road
  • Missed the first mile marker
  • Ran with a pack of slower runners (At the time) for the first hour - Guy I was running with breaks away early on, I stick with the pack
  • After an hour something clicks and I pass the pack - after the first steep downhill over river and uphill - right after this is where the trail is sloped to the right and it is grassy. I always think about seeing snakes at this spot.
  • The climb up heartattack hill was hot and brutal. I passed a few people and got passed near the top. Did I say it was hot? Completed mile 7 2:37 faster than 08
  • Ran a lot on the flats after this section
  • Made almost 20 minutes here over 08 race

Maple Summit - 653

  • Ran a lot here, do not remember a ton about this section except …
  • Running out of water. Spent a lot of time contemplating filling up from one of the many streams, but did not, never ran 100% out, but was conserving most of the time. Would only allow myself to drink at mile markers,
  • Ran a lot, kept goal of sub 15 miles here.

653 - Seven Springs

  • Ran well for a while into this section
  • Aid station was a good site and filled up, saw dad 2 miles later at firetower road crossing
  • Really down coming up an over springs and down the other side
  • Had a hard time running around Lake tahoe and down the sloped ski slope
  • Remember crossing 27 miles and high five-ing hikers, only 50 to go
  • I think I got passed by 50k runner here, may have been a relay 50k guy

Seven Springs - 31

  • Ran pretty stong to 31, know I had people waiting to see me
  • Thought I could go under 20 hours If I could keep up my 15 - 16 minute miles, know it would be hard
  • Thought the detour was the x factor, If I could run down and climb hard up I could make up some time here to get me closer to 16 - 17 avg pace to finish
  • Got passed by another 50k guy. Made me feel slow
  • Ran hard most of this section
  • Got to 31 and there were a ton of family there
  • Spent a little time here to see and thank everyone and was off

31 - 30 The Detour

  • Still thinking 20 was within reach
  • Mile 35 is hard, 2 bigger climbs, probably hardest climbing mile outside of 7
  • Got to detour, no water here except for crew member, took 5 minutes to change dump out shoes and put some lube on my feet. Wish I had a change of socks…..
  • Ran 10-2 or better the whole way down, 37 minutes for the 3.5 mile section.
  • Hiked a lot on the edie bakersville road, Got really light headed while walking across the turnpike bridge, Had to close my eyes
  • Hiked hard back up hickory flats road, talked to some guys who were amazed at the run
  • Road turned into Gravel and really was hard on my feet, Man told me 2 miles to go, I think he was wrong, He also gave me some water, that was good as I was running out
  • Finally made it up to the top, but did not have a crew there, only aid. Filled up fluids and was off.
  • Caught up to Greg from Berlin and ran with him for a few miles. This was his first ultra, and he did great. He was worried about a light, he was not sure if his crew would be there at 30. Ran into Dad and stopped to work on feet again. Should have changed socks, but did not. Greg kept moving and I never saw him again.
  • Kept on moving and hit a real low point around beams rocks. Caught up to a man from pittsburg and power hiked the last few miles with him. His friend was up ahead. They would finish a little ahead of me. They both ran MMT 4 weeks prior in 34 hours. We would jockey back and forth some the rest of the race. Dad gave his friend a coke earlier in the day
  • Lots of people at 30, including bryan, mark and Jess. Mark was ready to run, I was ready to walk
  • Took off with mark

30 - 271

  • walked a ton here, feet were starting to get bad
  • Mark made me run some, then it got dark
  • Hard going as the large ferns had overgrown the trail and you could not see the footing, got almost lost a few times as we were hunting the trail in the forest of ferns.
  • It got dark and we kept moving. By this time my feet were pretty beat up

271 - Gasline

  • Dad was with me on this leg
  • Super dark, so dark it was like being underground, could not see my hand in front of my face
  • Feet kept getting worse, but I kept moving
  • Got passed by MMT Pittsburg guys.
  • Made it to road, missed a mile marker somewhere
  • Made it to aid station and ate some grilled cheese and soup, took a bag of cookies for the last 8 miles,
  • Set off with 30 min/mile to finish, needed most of it

Gasline - End

  • Trudged along with Dad
  • Ran with a lady and her pacer for a while, they took a wrong turn and I quickly corrected them
  • After a long time finally made it to the first powerline crossing (The rocky one)
  • Sat down on some rocks and ate my last 2 cookies, feet hurt a lot when I got up, had to keep moving
  • Mile 69 is like murder on my feet. Just kept moving, relentless forward motion
  • Some of my blisters popped, leaving me in a lot more pain, kept moving
  • Finally saw 69, knew 70 was short
  • Shuffled my feet, saw the lights and heard someone finish ahead of me, end was near
  • Saw 70, bent down and kissed her. Finally had found what I was looking for
  • Crossed finish, got trophy, sat down and was done 

This race turned into pure willpower as my feet deteriorated. I have never felt so good or had so much energy at the end of a race of this distance. My feet really held me back or I could have ran a lot more of the last 2 sections. Hopefully I have learned my lesson on this one.

Check out the review of the shoes I wore in this race

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