Jul 3, 2007 11:28 AM
Fingerlake 50's Race Report
June 30th, 2007
This was my second year running this race. Last year was a crazy mud slog which destroyed my feet. It was a great time, with a big party after, and i walked away with an award for 1st in my age group. I was looking forward to returning for another year and hoping for better trail conditions.
Friday's drive from Southeastern PA took a bit longer than anticipated and my legs and butt hurt from all the driving. I met up with Linda and her family at the KOA in Watkins Glen, NY and awaited Ingrid's arrival. We then went to pick up our race packets at the start/finish line. Chris Reynolds, the race director, remembered me and it was great to see her again. Her and her husband are two of the nicest people. After packet pick up we met up with Dave and his wife at a brewery for dinner. The food was okay (at least mine was just okay) but the company was great! We had a blast and a half, but it started to get late and Dave and I had a 6:30am race start. The 25k'ers (Ingrid and Linda) started at 8 am.
Off to bed I went. Sleep did not really happen. My arms kept falling asleep on the hard cabin mattress. Every time i woke up and rolled around in bed trying to get comfortable, Ingrid would tell me the time, she was not sleeping so well either! At 4:30am we finally got up for real. I heated up some coffee on the camping stove Linda brought with them and got dressed. It was a cool morning with temps in the upper 40's for the morning.
At the race start, everyone was milling around eating breakfast. I had a granola bar and got my drop bag and everything else settled in. I met up with Dave and a bunch of his friends and a bunch of people from Coolrunning.com.
The start of the race was anticlimatic as we started down the dirt road thru the park. After a short jog, we made a hard right turn into the woods for a single track trail. Dave and I ran together for the first hour or so, which was nice. Last year this first section was so muddy and wet that my feet were soaked 10 minutes into the race. This year was starting off much better!
After a little time in the woods, the trail turn onto a dirt road where we run downhill for quite a while towards the first aid station. After the aid station is the big, steep climb thru the woods. I forgot about it and was worried that Linda would curse me when she got to this section since i told her the trail was pretty flat! ack!
The course continues thru woods, alternating with cow pastures. At one point, there was a cow right next to me, hiding behind a shrub. It scared me as it moo'ed when i ran by. With just a few miles to go, I was thinking about how hard it was last year and how at this point in the race, the 25K leader passed me and how happy i was that it had not happened this year. I must have thought too soon, because before long, the number one and number two 25K'ers passed me.
And then the turning point in my race happened. There were these boardwalk/planks that were on the trail over muddy sections. As i was running towards one, i misstepped or slipped (i am really not too sure) and went down hard. I got up and my right leg was gashed open in two place and starting to swell. My right knee was also busted open. The two runners behind me made some odd joke and left me on the trail. I did my best not to cry, as my eyes welled up. My leg hurt so bad and it was getting more swollen by the minute. I walked for about 5 minutes before i shuffled and then ran again. Every time my foot hit the ground i was in serious pain. But before long i was at the start finish line and tried to look forward to the second loop. My time for the first loop was around 3:15.
I refilled my handheld and took a slice of watermelon and continued down the trail. I was in so much pain and my calf swelled to the size of an orange. I was concerned that i probably should not keep running on it, but decided to just play it by ear. Shortly thereafter, a nice man started to run with me. I showed him my leg and he said "it must really hurt every time you take a step, huh?" YES! YES it does! And then he said "once i fell and hurt my ribs and it hurt every time i breathed. It really sucks to run and be in that kind of pain." it was nice to have someone validate my pain. I took some advil at the first aid station and started to feel better. The caffienated clif blocks helped too!
The weather started to get hot and I was just hoping for the finish sooner than later. The hills always get bigger the second time around and the miles always get longer! It is a physical mystery. Happens at all loop races. For the last few miles, i was really happy to start passing runners. I passed 4 or 5 runners in the last hour and that was a good ego boost. Unfortunately at one point the 50 mile leader and number 2 runners passed me on my second loop!
My goal for the race was 6:30-7:00, last year's time was 7:38. I knew 6:30 was out of reach, maybe if i had not fallen and walked and taken it slow for a while after, but not on this day. I did think i could get a sub 7 and really worked it in for a strong, fast finish in 6:48--- 50 minutes faster than last year and first in age group again.
Ingrid finished 1st masters in the 25K and Linda kicked *** on her first 25K trail race! After the race was a big party and we just hung out, ate some food, and compared war wounds. Good time was had by all. Looking forward to next year already!
llgallagher, me, Ingrid, dg1 post race
Part of the Coolrunning crew
runsdangerously, runnertim, me, dg1