Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Long Cane 50K "ish" Race Report 2012

This was another training run for Western States which is coming up in seven short weeks.  I didn't run well so I guess thats why I'm calling it a training run.   Well, OK, either way it was a training run.

First off, it's a HUGE pleasure to have an ultra only about 1 hour from my home.  Thanks again to Terri Hayes and all of the great volunteers who helped out.

This was my 42nd ultra and I have to say that it is the most runnable trail race that I've ever done.

  The start was perfect.  I arrived about 10 minutes before it began (which I love) and had plenty of time to check-in and get my number pinned on my shorts.   It was fairly cool on the Lake and I was surprised to see nearly 100 runners on the start line.  It was great to see so many friends and familiar faces.  There seemed to be a lot of 1st time ultra runners too which is something that makes a race even more special.

I've banked about a 50K run for the last five weekends or so and this one was going to be nice since it included aid stations and support.  I started off way too fast while keeping pace with Chris & Bo for a while.

I had completely forgotten how flat and runnable this trail system was.  The first eight miles flew by quickly and I feel behind my friends after stopping for a break in the woods.

Runners can either do a 50K or 55 miler and I chose the 50K which actually measured out closer to 34 miles in the end.

My legs didn't really turn heavy until about mile 20 where I left a nice aid station and walked up what seemed to be one of the few climbs of the day.  I was following some other runners out of the aid station and we all took a wrong right turn at the top of the hill.  I'm guessing we probably ran about a mile the wrong way before realizing that we had all screwed up.  

My head checked out of the run when I realized we went off course.  Suddenly my legs felt tired and I just wanted to walk.  I was on pace for a sub 7:00 hour finish at that point which really didn't matter any way, but it was keeping me motivated to run more.

I've learned that my body/mind always seem to hit a low point around mile 20-25.  Most people's bodies begin to convert over to burning fat at this point and I'm thinking that has something to do with it.  Either way, I just put on my music and went somewhere else mentally.  Today's random thoughts took me to chain link fence.  Who ever thought that stuff up anyway?  How did they just "make" it?   I wonder how many feet of it are in the world?  How much would it take to fence in this entire park?

And before I know it I'm at the next aid station, feeling a little better and getting some water and food.

I honestly walked a lot of the final stretch of this race.  I know, I should have at least shuffled more of it, but I just didn't care to fight it that day.   

There are a series of rolling hills at the end of this course that will just drive you crazy!  It looks like the lake & finish line is right over the next hill, but then you just find another one waiting for you.  The course must have followed this same pattern about a dozen times.  I finally just started laughing as I would crest one hill to only see another one waiting to torment me.

It was great to see Jason Rogers and Mark Connolly walking back down the trail after finishing.  I stopped and chatted with them for a few minutes.  Jason had ran his fastest 50K time ever and Mark seemed to be happy with his race too.  Both guys looked much leaner and stronger than last time I had seen them.  Very encouraging!

I walked it in over the finish line in about 7:58 totally about 36 miles.  I was just thrilled to have covered the distance again.  There were good, bad, and ugly parts of this run which is what a long training run normally is all about.

I joked around with Jeff, Merle, Viktor, Lynne, Epic, Bo, and some other briefly before driving back home.  Congratulations to Jeff Dixon, who I believe was the race winner with a 5:08.


  1. Nice work on the training! I'm looking forward to hearing about the Big Show.

  2. Loved the random thoughts about the chain link fence, really funny! Jeff

  3. Was it really 36 miles? Those last "4" sure seemed like about 8! Good to see you again. Lynne

  4. Long Cain was a great run. Those last hill drove me crazy too. Good luck at Western States

  5. I always like reading your race reports, Big Easy. But I have to say that when I hit the "chain link fence" part, THAT'S when I remembered why I love you! HAHAHa!

    Will you be at Black Mountain in 2 weeks???

  6. Nevermind..I see Chattooga on your schedule. GOOD LUCK at WS, you stud!!!