Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Stone Cat 50M - Part 1

A field was about 300 people, much more than usual and gym where we congregated was filled with overdressed runners. A queue to the john is ridiculous. So a bunch of people are bushwhacking around in pursuit of an alternative.

Temperature outside was 37 degrees. We got out at 6:10 and it was already reasonably light. The first order of business is to place a bag with things I might need at the turn around point. So here we are crowding around at the start. Suddenly .... Gilly turns to a girl who stands right next to me and happily chats away with a male buddy. He asks her curtly: "Are you ready to run?" She's puzzled to be singled out and like what? "Because if you're not you'll be trampled. In 10 seconds off we go.

We start along the field and in less than a minute marathoners make a sharp turn for their 1.2M. Loops are 12.5M and math is simple: 4 loops for 50 miles and 1.2M + 2 loops for the marathon distance. My plan is to run 3 loops. Running 50M two years ago was just too hurtful and I want to rebuild my confidence before getting back to "real" ultras. Currently real ultra is defined as 35M (55K) or more.

Without marathoners it is easy to see the competition. 4 guys are ahead of me and another 2-3 are running side by side. Dmitry is nowhere to be seen. Is he late to start again? In two miles four guys are ahead and Dmitry appears as a ghost from behind, asks how many people are ahead, and disappears far ahead.

Guys added a lot of switch-backs this time. Fat Ass 50K got a fair number of those too. I don't care much for them. They break your stride and provoke some to cut corners. First aid station is in about 4M, and I see a few familiar volunteers.

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