Thursday, October 11, 2012

Strike Oil or Move On ! Oil Creek 100 mile preview

  Back in 2000 or 2001, I took my younger son Jeremy with me on a vacation to Watkins Glen and Niagara Falls and on the return trip we spent a few days touring several sites in Pennsylvania to do some train-watching. Our first stop was to Titusville PA, to ride the Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad.  We had a great time riding through the valley and enjoying the beautiful views of the rolling hills and the river. I noticed a few trails and a greenway and thought it would be a nice place to run. At that time I had not yet run an ultra and was doing more mountain biking, whitewater kayaking and triathlons. The thought that I would ever return to run a 100 mile trail race was about as likely that I would someday walk on the moon.

 The train stops at the Drake Oil Well Museum Park where the world's first oil well was drilled and we took the tour there and enjoyed learning the history of the beginning of the oil industry in the USA. 

 So, when I heard that they had begin holding the Oil Creel 100 back in 2009 I was hoping that I would someday be able to fit into my schedule and finally this year the time has come. Although this is not the toughest 100 I have done, this is not one to be taken lightly. The course  is 87% trail and 13% asphalt with a total elevation gain of about 17,700 ft. There are no long climbs like most of the true mountain ultras but countless ups and downs with some of the climbs about a mile long.There is a great course map on the website with the sections broken down with elevation charts.

  The course is 3 loops of 31.1 miles with a 7.7 mile coming home loop that saves a nasty 1/2 mile climb for about mile 97. The finishing rate has only been 60%, 55% and last year 50% with a 32 hour cut-off so that should give you an idea that it really is a tough course. I've have been feeling very good recently,  and seem to have recovered completely from the summer dog attack . It took about 6 weeks to get back to normal but the training has been going great since then. My #1 priority is to finish but as always I want to do my best so there will be no loly-gagging out there. I do hope to be able to come in under 30 hours. The weather looks like it is going to be very good. It is going to be really cold at the start, around 28F but by Noon it's suppose to warm up to the 50s and stay there the remainder of the weekend. There is a 20% chance of some rain late Saturday night but hopefully it won't and even if it does it isn't suppose to rain very much for very long.

 This is the race website. There is a link on the home page that will take you to a live webcast so you can track my progress if you like.  Last year they didn't start until aid station 3, around the 22.7 mile mark so don;t worry about getting up at the crack of dawn (;

  My number is 12

From all I've been able to gather the race is very well directed and gets great support from the local community and I am eager to get there and get this thing started !

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