Friday, November 24, 2006

Mountain Masochist
Here is my report on my recent run of the Mountain Masochist 50 mile trail run:

5:30am Dark, about 22 degrees WTF am I doing out in the mountains of Virginia? Paying some equally crazy race director to let me have the privilege of running an advertised 50 miles but measured by many at closer to 54 miles with a little bit of elevation gain 11,692 feet up 9,762 feet down over the distance.

The 40 min or so ride on the bus to the start went by quickly, probably because I was wanting it to go by slowly. I was not enthused about the cold temp that we would be starting in. As soon as the bus stopped I bee lined for the porto johns to make one last pit stop. There would be lots of chances in the woods but it would be dark for the first 45min or so and also the clock would be ticking at that point. We had a good half hour plus till the start, this was kinda good, kinda bad. On one hand it was too cold to stand around outside the bus (they thankfully stayed and had the heat on) on the other hand it gave me time to decide if I had enough clothes for the start.

I decided on the thick gloves because I really hate cold hands, I would rather hot wet hands than cold dry ones. I wore a thin long sleeve technical top and a thin short sleeve technical shirt over it. Bottoms were compression shorts and trail shorts. A thin techincal stocking cap on my head. With about 10 min till the start I left the bus and headed to the start. Stood around for a while shivering, then made a dash back to the bus and grabbed a Short sleeve (use to be long sleeve, made them short with sissors that morning) mock turtle neck technical shirt made of thermax and threw it on over the other 2 layers. I was glad I did this, I was just the right temp the whole day with these 3 layers, any less and I would have been cold.

Since no one volunteered to sing the national anthem we all sung it together (wow runners don't sing worth a hoot as a group!). Then we were off in the cold dark morning.

As I said I had a plan, I worked the plan. I am an engineer, we plan things, it takes the risk out of the task. It worked very well for me. I hit the aid stations pretty close to on time on the front half, and actually started to arrive early on the back half.

I skipped every other aid station except on the 2 sections where the distance is over 5 miles, one artifact of this was that there were a few runners that had a faster pace than me that I played leap frog with as they passed me between aidstations and I passed them while they were getting aid.

My goal was 11hrs, I am happy to say that I beat that time and finished in 10:47:02. I was 111th out of 232 people that "finished" the course, unfortunately 12 people finished but did not make the 12hr cutoff to get the finisher award ( A very nice Nathan bottle pak with the year and race embroidered on it).

Here is the official results:

Here is the data from my gps: