Tuesday, March 27, 2007

NCRC Trail Series

The last in the 2007 NCRC/Omega Sports March Trail Series was run this past Sunday at 2PM. We had another gorgeous day and a good turnout for a nice run on the Loblolly Trail at Umstead State Park. We had amazing weather for all four of our runs this year and everyone in attendance had a good time. Bobby Baxter, Karla Werner and myself were the only ones to make it to all four weeks but several made it to at least 3 including Melinda Larr, Mike Walsh and Paul Fisher.
Week one was held on the American Tobacco Trail in Durham. Week two we moved to Blue Jay County Park and the Falls Lake Trail. Week three was Umstead North and the Sal's and Pott's Branch Trails.
I have some photos here. I just got a group photo the first two weeks but I did get some along the trail the past two weeks.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Gator Trail 50K-2007

I've posted my report now at NCULTRA

It was an unseasonably warm day but it was a good race anyway. I took some pictures of the trail as I ran the 2nd loop. With the small field of runners and the way we were spread out there weren't many opportunities to get shots of people running so I dropped the camera off in my car after the end of that loop.

Click Here for Photos

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Gator Trail 50K -Preview

I'll be heading down to Lake Waccamaw this Saturday for the revived version of the Gator Trail 50K. The race was held for 4 years between 2001 and 2004 but has been off the schedule since then. It was a race I wanted to run but never fit into my plans and then it was gone. I was happy to see that it was being revived and made a spot for it in my schedule this year. I only regret that I will be unable to attend the Ellerbe Springs Marathon since they are held on the same day now.
The race is directed by Grant Egley , who lives beside the lake and is supported by the Wilmington Roadrunners. My friend Laura had run each of the previous years with a lot of success and some fast times. She won in 2003 and tied for the win in 2002 with Crystal Moore. Crystal won the first one in 2001 and Buddy Nash won the overall that year. If any one has info on the 2004 event please let me know.

I am hoping to have a good run and plan to shoot for a 50K Pr if the trail conditions are good.
There are actually alligators that live in the area around the lake which abuts the Green Swamp Area. There are also black bear in the woods there among other wildlife. The lake itself is one of the many Carolina Bays unique to the area of southeastern NC and northeastern SC.
You can find more info on the park here: Lake Waccamaw St. Park

Monday, March 12, 2007

More Umstead Marathon Photos

Fellow MTC member and friend Alan Hughes took some great pictures at several locations on the course. With 393 pictures there is a good chance you are in one if you ran. Click Here for Alan's photos

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Umstead Trail Marathon 2007

It was a very beautiful early March day for this years race. A bit too warm for a marathon maybe but there were some fast times. Not for me though. My friend Laura MacLean is in the green shirt in the photo with another fast young lady, Jeanna Chain.(Laura would finsh 3rd and Jeanna 4th in the women's race.) Laura would go on to run a very fast 3:36, an excellent time on this tough course. It's great to see her running so well lately.
After the full, hard schedule I ran in February I didn't expect to run a fast time but I did hope to have a good run and a good workout, but even going slower it was still hard. I made sure I got off to an easy start the first mile. Shortly after that my buddy Tony Rouse caught up to me. Tony and I find ourselves running together quite frequently and it's great to have him along for company. We began to pick the pace up a little and take advantage of some of the easier parts of the course but after an 8:19, 3rd mile we figured maybe we need to back off a little bit.
All of the single-track comes in the first 7 miles of the race so we were enjoying it but not trying to push too much. We were both feeling ok and running fairly well at this point. After reaching the aid station near 10 miles, I turned onto the South Turkey Creek Trail. It is nearly all downhill and I decided to take advantage of the gravitational aid and ran strong down the hill. Tony had stopped to refill his water bottle and it would be two miles before he caught back up to me. By the time we hit North Turkey Creek we both decided it was going to be a long slow second half to the race. It's almost like I was two people out there today. I felt great on the flats and downhills but as soon as we started climbing I felt weak and tired so we ended up walking most of the uphills the rest of the way.
The rest of the run was pretty uneventful, just slow and tired, but Tony and I were able to still smile and joke all the way back. Lots of volunteers, spectators and other runners were telling us we were looking good. We just figured they were liars, but as Fernado says" It's better to look good than to feel good, and we looked Mahvelous".
The Godiva Track Club do a great job with this race. The best part is so many Mangum Track Club and NCRC friends were participating so there were many friendly faces out on the course.
I ran with my camera again and got quite a few photos. My batteries died by mile two but I was prepared and changed them while running. Click here for the pictures
Oh yeah, my time was 4:38:03. It was my best time here but only by a little over a minute faster than in 2004.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Umstead Trail Marathon preview

Photo: Ben Dillon

I'll be running the 4th Annual Umstead Trail Marathon this Saturday Morning. The photo was taken last year in the early miles. We had some freaky warm weather last year. Earlier in the week it had been about normal for March with lows in the 30's and 40's and with highs in the 50's. It would hit 81F on race day. Times were slower than normal and I had a miserable race since I had not acclimated to the warmth. Still had fun hanging with friends.
I had run the first year and hoped to run the 2nd but I thought I had a prior obligation. It turned out I was free but the race was full so I went and volunteered that year. This will be my 3rd and I hope to run my best time but my recovery from a hard February of racing will have a lot to do with that. Looking forward to seeing a lot of good running friends again this year. It's special to have a race in my favorite training playground. You can check out the race website here.
Last year my special friend Laura MacLean won the womens race and she will be back to defend her title.
Another special lady, Margherita Scott who was part of my Boston qualifying effort last year will be running it for the fourth time and has finished 1st and 2nd in her age-group in previous years.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Who is this guy?

Who is this guy you ask? Believe it or not, that is yours truly. If you look at the TV(definitely not cable-ready) it is Kentucky Derby Day. The year was 1977. Less than two months after this was taken I cut my hair and started running. The guitar is a Gibson SG Special I bought in 1974. It is my most valued possesion although I have recorded all my songs on my newer Stratocaster. Ok, those of you that were curious about the young Joey, here is your evidence. I will not divulge any stories from that time period though. I'm not sure what the statute of limitations may be on some of my deeds.
Now back to running.