Sunday, November 26, 2006

Derby 50K 2006

On Saturday Nov. 25th I went down to the Derby Community for the 4th annual Derby 50K. This is a low-key road race put on by Mark Long as a Mangum Track Club event. The course is 3 loops with a short spur to the start/finish line. It is a very rural area with very few houses along the route. Mostly farm and game lands. Although not a difficult course it has several rolling hills and a section of dirt road each loop.
The photo to the left has Jay Finkle, Fred Dummar and myself as we enter aid station #1. Fred's wife Susan with friends and fellow MTC members Caroline Amberger and Lucinda Rigg were womaning this aid station.

Click here for my report
Derby 50K report

This is the early leaders at the same place on the course. Women's winner Annette Bednosky just out for a "jog" finished 2nd overall.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Apex Turkey Trot 5K

Can you spot the Turkey?
I tried something a little different this Saturday. I don't spend too much time running short road races any more but I decided to run this Turkey Trot in Apex for a test to see how my leg speed is doing these days. It would also give me the opportunity to run with my good friend, the lovely Laura. The Race Director is David Wood, a fellow MTC member. I was happy to see he was representing the club while performing his official Race Director duties.
The weather was perfect for the event as it was in the 50's by race time at 10am with beautiful sunny skies. The course is entirely within Laura Duncan Park, mostly on a paved greenway around a lake. There are some gently rolling hills that would prevent it from being a PR course but not too difficult. The problem with these shorter races is that if you are giving it all you have it hurts the whole time. This one was no different as I tried to squeeze every second I could out of my body. I was very happy to run 21:36 and take 3rd place in the 50-54 age-group. I finished 36th out of 241 in the competitive division. Just before I made the turn up the last hill toward the finish, I heard Laura yelling for me to GO JOEY!!. She was closing fast and finished just 3 seconds behind me taking 1st place in her age-group.
The Turkey was no slouch this year running the whole race in just over 24 minutes. David and the volunteers and Town of Apex did a great job of putting on a fun event for I believe their 8th year. Thanks David

Check out this cool trophy. My first plastic running turkey. Posted by Picasa

Outer Banks Marathon Photos

Here is a link to some photos taken at last weeks Outer Banks Marathon. Some were taken by Frank Werner and the rest were taken during the race with Karla's camera

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Karla's Awesome Outer Banks Marathon

Well, as you can see from the photo which was taken at about the 23 mile mark, We are still running and still smiling. The womans courage and determination never ceases to amaze me. The other runner with us is John Strader. John is also a cancer survivor and is a P.A. at the UNC Cancer Center. We caught up to John coming off the bridge around the 22.5 mile mark and he ran in to the finish with us.
This trip all began over a year ago when it was first announced that there would be an
OBX Marathon. Karla was very excited by this news and stated she would be running it. She and her husband Frank own a waterfront lot on Roanoke Island and plan to move there when they retire. On visits to the Outer Banks they always stay at the Tranquil House Inn on the waterfront in downtown Manteo and the course goes right in front of the Inn just past the 25 mile mark.
Although I also wanted to run, it created a scheduling problem for me with Mountain Masochist moving to the first week of November. I knew I would not be able to race it but I still wanted to make the trip and spend the weekend with the Werner's and our friend Jerry. Karla went ahead and entered last November but I waited. Of course as most of you know by this past February Karla was diagnosed with cancer. Knowing that her treatments would continue into this December I had assumed that OBX was now out of the picture so I never entered. I should never have doubted Karla's determination, especially after her brave run at Boston so when it became obvious that she intended to run anyway I sent in my entry.
Since Boston, the treatments had been very time consuming and draining for Karla and so she had very little time and energy for any training. We had run three 5k's over the summer and she ran a 10k with Frank last month. Other than that she had only done infrequent 2 and 3 mile runs so we were concerned how she would handle the stress of running a marathon. Once again I would run by her side to keep her company and help to monitor her condition as I had at Boston. It is such a pleasure to run with her at any pace so I was eager to go although I did have concern that maybe she was asking too much of herself at this point.
We met at the starting area and passed the time socializing with friends from the NCRC and MTC. Frank was running the half so we wouldn't see him until the finish. Jerry had his own thing to do in the race but his friend Janice that we just met at the start was planning to run with us.

We planned to try and conserve as much energy as possible in the early miles so we would use a run/walk strategy from the first mile. We started off easily near the back of the pack and soon settled into an easy pace enjoying the atmosphere and scenery. Reaching the 1 mile mark we started the plan; run to the mile marker and then walk two minutes. We would repeat this pattern as long as she could keep it up. As is usual when we run together, there was great conversation with plenty of smiles along the way. The miles seemed to pass quickly and I was happy to see that she was able to run a relatively good pace and seemed to be feeling good. There was a light rain early in the run but it felt good since it was a bit warmer and more humid than expected . The course was varied and interesting as we ran through the residential area on the sound side of the island with nice views along the way.
Somewhere around 8 or 9 miles we entered the Nags Head Wood Preserve. This was one of the most enjoyable sections of the run for us. Besides being a beautiful area, it reminded us of the many miles spent training in Umstead Park. At mile 10, Janice decided to drop back and walk for a while. There were several rolling hills on this dirt road section so we abandoned the timed run/walks temporarily and just walked the hills and ran the downs ultra style. We hit a section of single-track trail about half a mile long and found it most enjoyable. I was amused that they had painted some of the roots along the trail orange to help runners from tripping. I told Karla if they painted all the rocks on Massanutten's trails orange, they would need to use crop-duster planes to spray the whole Mountain.
Just as we left the woods and moved out to the highway it began to rain hard and the wind began to blow in our face. Fortunately it was still warm enough that we felt fine. I have run in many rain and thunderstorms and other adverse conditons but this was Karla's first rainy race. She didn't let it dampen her spirits and we cruised along still maintaining a good pace and sticking with the plan. We passed the half in great shape and judging from her conditon I was confident that she would make it to the end now. As the course moved off the highway and back into the neighborhoods, the wind and rain soon passed.
The next few miles were most pleasant and we continued to enjoy the scenery and the conversation. Just as we returned once again to the highway it rained again even harder than before and the wind was blowing it right into our faces. We were looking forward to turning away from the wind and hoped that the lighter skies were heading our way before the finish. Finally we made the turn toward the bridge, the last obstacle before the very flat finish. We power-walked the bridge at a good pace and then began to run down the other side. It was about halfway down we picked up John. Then we saw Frank drive by looking for us on the course. He was surprised to find us so far along so he turned around to go wait at the finish. The photo was taken by Frank as he drove by us. During the last few miles we extended the walk break each mile to three minutes but otherwise we were sticking to the plan.
It was such a joy to enter the waterfront area of Manteo and run by the Tranquil House. We began seeing friends along the course cheering us on. I was wearing my Pink shirt with the "For Karla" message written on it and we had received great support from the crowds all day. And then it was there, the finish line. I was so proud of her effort as well as amazed at how well she had performed. We finished in 5:25:01, which was 22 minutes faster than at Boston. Our pacing plan worked wonderfully and we only slowed 9 minutes from the first half and even passed over 100 people the 2nd half. Watch out when she gets well. She's going to come back strong!!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Heading to Outer Banks Marathon

I'm heading off to Manteo this afternoon for the Inaugural Outer Banks Marathon with the usual suspects. It looks like we will have some nice weather out along the coast of NC. I will be run/walking the race with my #1 training partner and friend Karla. This will be a special event for us as Karla continues to keep a positive attitude while fighting cancer. She began 6 weeks of radiation treatment this past Monday after completing 29 weeks of chemotherapy on Oct. 13th. We know this will be long and slow but we will enjoy the day and the joy of a wonderful friendship. Karla's husband Frank will be running in the half marathon and our friend Mojo Jerry will also be running in the marathon.
The race has filed to capacity and I know there will quite a few runners from the NCRC and maybe also few from MTC. I hope to see many of you there. The photos above were taken at the finish line of last February's Myrtle Beach Marathon where I ran my PR and Boston qualifier in 3:35:15.
Look for a report when I return.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Ultra Adventures - Mt Masochist 2006

Well, here is my report. Just click on the link below.
That's me somewhere around 35 miles on the Mt. Pleasant Loop. As you can see at the higher elevations, most of the leaves have already fallen, while in the valleys and lower slopes the colors were near their peak.

Be sure to check out the photos linked in the posting I did earlier.
Click here to go to the race report:
Ultra Adventures - Mt Masochist 2006

Some more thoughts on the race.

This race is a very special event in many ways. David Horton has probably done more for the sport of ultrarunning in the Eastern United States than any one. The races that he directs are just a part of it. He has been an inspiration to so many over the years and as a Professor at Liberty University has introduced the sport to countless young people. Attending one of Horton's races is like a reunion. All of his events offer not only a race but time for socializing before and after. Each year I get to make new friends and strengthen existing friendships.
At Masochist, the packet pick-up is held with a pre-race dinner at Heritage High School. This venue is just big enough to accomodate the number of entrants. I find it hard to sit down as I spot a familiar face in every corner of the room. While joining in with one group of friends, I seem to make a new aquaintence that I will look forward to seeing along the trail or at the next event.
After the race more social time with the awards and a delicious chicken dinner as we share our stories of pain or glory. And sometimes both. And for some of us that can't seem to get enough, there is the Sunday morning breakfast at Golden Corral. Yes, we ultrarunners love to eat and talk.
The comraderie between ultrarunners is very special as we share the experiences of the long miles. I look forward to sharing many more memories for many years to come.

Mt Masochist 2006

Here are some pictures from this weekends Mt Masochist 50+ mile run. Some were taken at the pre-race dinner and the rest from the race.

Picasa Web Albums - Joey - Mt Masochist ...

look for a report soon