Sunday, April 15, 2012

Forget the PR 50K

On Saturday, Brian and I drove down to Mohican State Park for the Forget the PR 50k on Sunday.  Rob Powell, the race director, got one of the big cabins and graciously let us stay the night there for free.  We were amazed at how nice the cabin was - 4 bathrooms, about 6 or 7 bedrooms and a big living room/kitchen area.  When we got there, the long kitchen table was already filled with food along with lasagna and other good stuff over by the stove and fridge.  People arrived throughout the evening and we had a nice dinner and good conversation.

The race started at 7:30 on Sunday, so we woke up around 6 to get our bib numbers and shirts.  The registration building next to the start/finish line was buzzing when we got there.  I have to say, I had a blast walking in.  Every few seconds someone I knew called my name or said hello.  A big chunk of good running friends were all gathered here today for this race.  Nothing gets better than that!

After a speech by Rob Powell and Kimba about the course, we were off with a quick "3, 2, 1....go." by Kim.  My plan before the race was to get a PR despite the name of the race.  As we started out, I noticed the pace was pretty slow and we started walking some.  At that point, I decided I was just going to enjoy myself and not care about time.  I had also stayed up late the night before, so the first 3 or 4 miles were rough including stomach cramps and feeling sluggish.

After "Big Ass Hill" and a few other steep climbs, arriving at the aid station at the Fire Tower was a welcome sight.  I immediately saw Paul "The King" Lefelhocz standing there, so I paid my respects and bowed before him :P  I then saw Kim and a few other people.

For the first half of the race, I took it pretty easy and just enjoyed talking to new people along the way.  I met this guy named Samir who was really nice.  I ran with him for about half an hour and we talked about a little bit of everything.  He knew Brian and told me to tell him hi.  Samir was taking it easy today since he was in training for another race (an Ironman I think?).  I think it was around mile 12 when I left him and went ahead (he actually passed me later on and had a good race)

The rest of the miles were a mix of mud, hills, hills, more hills, rising temperatures, sun beating down overhead and cramping calves.  I had left my salt pills at the cabin, so when I got to each aid station, I ate as much salty foods as I could.  When I got to the Fire Tower for the second time, Kim gave me the salt shaker to take in pure salt.  I also had a couple cups of her soup, which tasted delicious!  After I left that aid station, I could noticeably tell I had an instant increase in energy and my calves felt better.

On the loop after the Covered Bridge aid station on the long road hill past the dam, I started running with this one guy.  When we got back to where the loop connects with the main trail back to the Covered Bridge, we almost took a left which would have been repeating the same loop again!  I stopped in my tracks and told him I think we have to go the other way.  We asked some runners starting the loop and indeed turning right was the right way.  Phew!

After the Covered Bridge stream crossing, my calves were twitching again ready to pull.  I let the guy go ahead, especially since he was on pace for a PR.  Not too much longer down the trail, this girl probably in her 20s came behind me.  She was in good spirits and lifted my spirits too.  She also helped me keep a solid pace.  I learned she was one of the "Grunt Girls".  I kept with her close to the finish.  We also caught back up with the guy I was running with earlier.

Rob didn't give us any slack on the last couple miles of the course.  We had one final climb over a few big hills before we headed down towards the finish line at Mohican Adventures.  I could finally see an end in sight for the race!

As I was nearing the finish about 300 meters away, my right calf strained pretty badly.  All I could do was stand there and massage it.  It finally let up and I was able to hobble to the finish, get my finisher's buckle and give Rob a handshake and hug.  I finished in 6:23:38 and was more than pleased with that time.  For complete results, click here.

I had a great time this weekend!  I finally know firsthand why everyone always has good things to say about this race.  Rob does a great job paying attention to every detail and all of the volunteers were very helpful.  I will definitely mark this on my calendar for next year!


Kim said...

Good job Jeffro!

CaitlinR said...

Good job! I can't believe you run for that long!!!!

Jeff said...


Caitlin - There was actually a Sasquatch chasing me so I really had no choice.