while it hardly seems possible to express this sentiment during the race - the sybil ludington 50k is one of my favorite ultras! during the race, however, my view is best expressed by the string of expletives that escape me as super-sized s.u.v.'s (steroid fed, apparently) continually blew past me on the narrow country roads. aside from the ever present fear of getting run over, everything else about this event is fantastic. sybil was my very first ultra (back in 2006) and i've run it every year since (with many more still in the future).
i've done the boston marathon the week of sybil four times over the last five years. the one year i missed boston (2009), i set at personal best at sybil. that should have taught me a lesson (but didn't). this time around i didn't feel fully recovered from boston. while that was my excuse, this years winner had no problem knocking out a sub 3 hour boston followed by a 3:30 finish at sybil! my time goal was an hour slower (4:30) - but turned out to be way too aggressive under the circumstances.
splits were provided for the first mile, 5 mile increments, and at the half and full marathon marks. here are my splits (i missed the markers for miles 20 and 30):
5.0 32:41 40:50
10.0 43:41 1:24:31
13.1 27:03 1:51:35
15.0 16:42 2:08:17
22.2 1:04:44 3:13:02
25.0 35:58 3:48:00
26.2 12:24 4:00:25
31.0 49:59 4:50:24
i had a solid race for the first twenty miles. but as i reached the aid station at 22 miles, fatigue caught up with me. after that point i was walking the major climbs, and was unable to find a second gear to move into. i reached the marathon split in exactly 4:00 hours, well off my 4:40/45 target. the only bright spot in the remaining 5 miles was seeing eliot manning the aid station at 29+ miles. but those positive vibes (tom was there too) were washed away crossing the traffic filled causeway in the last mile!
while i wasn't at all pleased with my finish (a full 25 minutes slower than 2009; 20 minutes off my initial - way too optimist goal; and, 5 minutes off my mid-race revised target of 4:45), i doubt i could have run it any faster! amazingly, that finish was still good enough for third place in my age group! plus, elaine came in 3rd woman overall, emmy was the first masters woman, and hiroshi (along with his vctc teammate) took first place in the relay! aside from my time, it was a great day to be out on the roads!
the post-race festivities were, as always, great. in addition to the sub sandwiches, there was a special happy 80th birthday cake in honor of joe handelman's finish! the next day, at lake waramaug, eliot would celebrate his own birthday by running his first 50 miler! while i was registered for that one as well, the rain beating against my window sunday morning kept me home. i just couldn't drag myself out for a day of running in the rain :(
here are my race photos.