This was the 2nd year that Terri Hayes has put on The Enoree Passage 40 Mile Trail Race. This is the 1st of five ultras in her 2011 South Carolina Trail Series.
I ran this one last year in 9:13 and was surprised to find how tough it ended up being. Enoree is not exactly what you would think of as a highly technical trail run with huge climbs, but the course nickles and dimes you with climbs from start to finish. Most of the course is shady, but there are some exposed areas along the lakes that will bake you on a warm May day.
Mark & Weezy drove up to stay with me from Georgia on Saturday evening and we ate like big dogs. We had lots of laughs and got to sleep early.
5:00 AM came quickly as it always does on Sunday morning.
There seemed to be about 70 runners at the start line as we all quickly pinned our numbers on before the 7:30 AM start. As always, these ultras are like a giant homecoming of friends and family. I always look forward to seeing everyone before a race!
I've had more and more runners introduce themself to me as a blog reader. I'm always encouraged by this and it makes me feel great to help someone take their first leap into the ultra world! I met four runners at Enoree who were running their first ultra and who had read over my race report from last year. All four finished too!
This course is ran as 20 miles out-n-back. About a half mile is ran on pavement and the rest is forest road and single track.
Runners have the privilege of crossing three Earthen Dams, three lakes, a huge metal bridge over the Enoree River, and several other scenic areas of trail.
Ok, enough of that, here is how my run went.
I began slowly in the back of the pack and fell into a 11 minute/mile pace for the first few miles which are mostly downhill and easy running. It was fun to run with Psyche and Charles since I haven't seen them much lately.
Weezy and Mark took off ahead of me and I figured that I would see them after the 20 mile turn around.
I felt excellent running into the first aid station around 5 miles. I quickly grabbed some cookies and water then hit the trail again. Lynne and I jockeyed back and forth for the next 20 miles which was fun.
The next ten miles was fun running, but uneventful and I rolled up and down the small hills of Enoree. At this point I began to get a little tired as I approached the turn around at mile 20. I saw Mark returning from the turn around who was looking strong. It was great to see lots of the leaders blazing down the trail several miles ahead of me. Always motivating!
I finally reached the 20 mile turn around point around 4:30 and took full advantage of the aid station. I downed several cups of Mt. Dew, ate some boiled potatoes, chips, and grabbed a hand full of oreos to munch on as I left.
I ran into Jason Stienberg and Wendy here and had the privilege of running with them for the next five miles. Jason took a nasty fall due to a leg cramp around mile 24 and we helped him get up and into the aid station. The heat and humidity was taking us all by surprise.
At mile 27 my stomach took a turn for the worse and I was reduced to a walk. As the weather gets warmer its tricky to find the balance between just enough fluid and too much. I was obviously on the "too much" side of the equation and felt that I would have to get sick soon which did not make me happy.
Lynne offered me some ginger chews and went ahead and the trail running. I wanted to run so bad because my legs felt good, but just couldn't stand the nausea. I ate the ginger chews for about 15 minutes and felt better.
I slowly worked my way back into a run and before I knew it I was running into the final aid station at mile 35. I noticed that I had about 1.5 hours to cover the final 5 miles and still finish under 10 hours. A goal that I wanted to achieve.
I ran the last five miles as hard as I could go. Even running some of the smaller hills. My legs were on fire from pushing so hard late in the run, but it felt good too.
Wendy, who had stayed back with Stienberg caught up to me with about 1.5 miles to go. She flew by me up a hills and there was no way that I was going to hang with her. That still energized me enough to run into the finish.
It felt great to run down the final half mile of trail and into the finish. There was a huge table of food and drinks waiting with lots of friends.
I even enjoyed my first post-race massage from Denise. If you haven't gotten one of her massages you really need to. I can tell a big difference in my legs today.
Well, once again Terri Hayes put on a great race and fun day on the trails. I'm so thankful that she puts so much time and effort into these events. The volunteers were awesome and waited on us runners all day long. Thank you!