Monday, May 26, 2008

rr: pineland farms trail challenge 50 miler

fresh as daisies, just before the 6 am start:
wayne, meredith, eddie, anthony, me, adam, and emmy

while it looks convoluted and complicated, the course consisted of two sections, one on either side of the pineland farms "campus" - a 10 mile loop on one side, and a 5 mile loop on the other. the 25k runners complete one loop, 50k runners do two loops, and the 50 milers run an initial 3 mile loop before 3 full loops.

the course elevation profile of the main loop.

this was the third year of pineland farms trail challenge. previously, the race had 50k and 25k options. this year the 50 mile distance was added to the mix. originally i had planned to run the 50k. but since emmy wanted to run the 50 miler, i moved up to the 50 mile distance. i didn't mind the extra time on the trails because i needed the extra training mileage (especially on trails). the alternative would have been waiting at the pineland farms campus for emmy to finish. while there would have been ipswich ale, organic gelato, and other good food to keep me company - this was definitely the healthier alternative :D

emmy and i drove up to maine saturday, with a stop in portland to pick up our race packets at the maine running company. in one of those spur of the moment decisions, emmy created the "rundangerously" team on the sign in sheet. our team consisted of emmy, meredith, eddie, anthony, wayne, and adam. team membership came as a complete surprise to all the members - especially adam, who had already joined a different team! after we finished with the race pick-up, we walked across the street to the great lost bear for a couple beers. then we went for an early dinner at three dollar dewey's at the portland waterfront.

while the race would be held in new glouchester, we stayed in nearby freeport. also at the same hotel were staci, adam, sarah, anthony, meredith, eddie and wayne - and those were just the pineland farms runners we knew about! the 50 miler started at 6 am, so i requested a 4:30 wake up call. in the morning i was packed and ready to go by 5. emmy had wanted to follow anthony up to the race site, but they had gotten an earlier start. instead she found someone else driving up to the race and we followed them to the pineland farms campus. we arrived there just before 5:30.

after a short briefing by ian, the race director, the race started just after 6 am. we had to run an initial 3.5 "campus" loop before starting the main 25k loop (which we'd run 3 times to complete the full 50 mile distance). the initial 3.5 miles was a good warm-up and i ran it in just over 30 minutes, then set-off on the main loop. i did not wear my fuel belt for the initial loop, nor did i put it on before the first main loop. it was cool enough and there were enough aid stations on the course that i didn't think i'd need to carry water before the second main loop.

i finished the first main loop (including the initial 3.5 miles) in 3:07:45 (roughly a 9:53 pace for the 19 miles. my 20 mile split was 3:18, a 9:55 pace. this was in line with my plan to run sub 10 minute miles for as much of the 50k distance as possible. my marathon split of 4:37 had my pace drop down to 10:33, and i was feeling fine. but i should've taken my fuel belt at the start of the second loop. just before 30 miles i was parched and felt myself hitting the wall. while i had been drinking at each aid station, the heat had taken it's toll and now i found myself in need of water well before arriving at the aid stations.

still , i reached 50k in 5:42, an 11 minute pace. i was mighty pleased with that outcome - which was a full hour faster than i ran the long island greenbelt trail 50k at the start of the month! now i just had to keep it together for another 19 miles! anthony and wayne had caught up to me just before mile 31 and gone on ahead. i was only a couple of miles away from my drop bag and would grab my fluid belt there (and change shirts and hat). i also wanted to take my ipod with me for the last loop. that was where emmy caught up with me and we would go on to run a good chunk of the third loop together.

despite the slowdown, i reached 34.5 miles in 6:17, a 10:55 pace. i didn't harbor any illusions of maintaining that pace for the final loop. in fact, had i not met up with emmy, i would probably have taken my ipod with me gone much slower than i actually did. just after 40 miles emmy, feeling strong, took off on ahead. i was in no condition to keep up, but my mood had picked up dramatically from the doldrums that had plagued me for miles 36-42. in fact, as i approached the final aid station before the campus and the start of the 5 mile loop, i heard the dead's "dark star" jam blasting!

i reached my drop bag, and only 5.2 miles left to go, in 9:10. i stopped to get out my ipod and it worked like a charm! listening to the dead ("ramble on rose," "i need a miracle," terrapin station," and "china cat sunflower/i know you rider") i finished the last 5.2 miles in well under an hour. i crossed the finish line in 10 hours and 10 minutes, very pleased and wondering if there was any beer left ;) each finisher received a cow bell and beer glass, each with the pineland farms logo. we also got a pair of gators.

while there was beer at the finish, i found out to my surprise that what came out of the tap wasn't ipswich ale - it was budweiser! they had gone thru 5 kegs of ipswich ale that hot and sunny afternoon! ian had them run out and get this keg so the late finishers would also have so me beer - a really great thing for him to have done! also, emmy won the "jane deere" award for the first female masters finisher. and, while still unofficial, our team may have won the team competition!

check out anthony's race report!
check out emmy's race report!
check out meredith's race report!
check out staci's race report!

race photos and results (part I).
race photos (part II).

next up: the nipmuck trail marathon


AnthonyP said...

Great to see you this weekend. All things considering, you had a fantastic time !

rundangerously said...

anthony are you going to come w/us to nipmuck next week?

Just_because_today said...

too bad you had to settle for bud...Seems like the heat was a factor but glad your mood improved. It can get pretty gloomy when we are not having a good race.

CTmarathoner said...

great report and awesome photos (except for the ones of me)! It's interesting about long races --almost everyone go into a slump and it makes so much sense to walk and hold back but it feels good to finally get that second wind..glad that you rallied to hammer those last miles. I hope that we pace each other in the next one --I sure won't care about time --only about finishing in one piece. am very proud of you!! for getting through those last 19 miles when you would have been happy to stop and drink beer. I am glad that we got to run together for 7 miles at least.

rundangerously said...

thanks myriam!

thanks emmy! couldn't have done it w/out you!

Scott said...

Nice job! Enjoyed the report. Good luck at Nipmuck.

rundangerously said...

thanks scott! i'll look for you at nipmuck this weekend!