Sunday, August 9, 2009

STORMY 50 Miler

Add Image Well I am proud of completing this one! For a few reasons; first I am usually very good about always training for events I enter but not this time! Due to visitors, heat, travel etc...I dropped the routine prior to this event. My last long run was the WHW in June and nothing more than 3.5 hours last weekend. Second, I recently had a bad reaction to some Black Fly and Wasp bites from the Golden Ears outing. I now carry Benadryl and an Epinephrine pen. This event has historically been a bit "buggy" but with the heat wave and the Wasps being everywhere this year I knew I was in for a real "buggy" outing. I was actually feeling quite frightened by the little pests knowing that they can take you out in a second. Neil and I decided to do the event together again just in case I got stung and I had to administer the "epi" injection.
We drove to Squamish (near Whistler) late Friday afternoon in time for package pick up and to see Andy finish his first loop of the 100 miler also taking place. He was in second place - smiling and looking strong. We helped him re-fill and he changed a few items of clothing preparing for the night ahead. We last saw Andy running out for the 2nd loop with 3 pieces of Pizza all stacked on top of each other to make for a nice big bite of fuel.
Neil and I checked into our hotel and went down to the Pub at the hotel for supper. Martha Grant joined us for dinner - her husband was setting up an Aid station for the 100 milers in the woods and planned to stay there right through until the 50 milers went through the next day.
We arrived at the start at 4:45AM for the 5AM start. I chose the 1 hour early option as I have found with this course the final cut off could be tight for me. I have always made it under the 13 hours given with an hour to go - but I like feeling "less pressure" if I start early. It was dark so we all were wearing our head lamps - Reg from Chilliwack led us out around the construction that is happening in the area (road improvements for the 2010 Winter Olympics!). A bit fast Reg for a start of a 50 miler! :) It was a very warm and humid morning, wow I was sweating a lot already. Note to self...salt and fluids! Early on Neil's stomach was a bit upset - that was a first! - me waiting for him! We got a bit confused/lost around Alice Lake campground but found the route within a few minutes. As the sun came up so did the bugs. Oh my - I have never seen so many Wasps swarming the ground and flying through the air. I was freaked! "Keep moving" I could hear Neil saying...and yes I can honestly say I ran and ran with very few stops. Even our stops at Aid stations were swift due to the Wasps all over the food and drink. At one point I heard Neil shout $##&!!...from behind and then "SPRINT" wow did I go (amazing how fast you can move with an adrenaline rush). Yes Neil was stung...thanks for taking the hit for me! :)
We felt much relief whenever we would pop out of the wooded areas. The open service roads felt much less threatening. We hiked up 9 mile hill at a good rate and felt in need of refuelling once we got to the top but the aid station was well stocked - I remember seeing Reg again (who led us out in the AM) The volunteers at this event are everywhere - with several jobs throughout the day. The hours passed quickly as they always do. I was still running at the end (perhaps not too quickly!) and finished in 12 hours. Pleased with that - about 20 minutes faster than last year.
When we finished we heard that Andy maintained his second place the entire night and finished as the crowds were there for the 6AM start so he arrived to a big cheer! He was home in bed so we picked up his belt buckle and large bottle of Beer (Howe Sound Brewing Company) . Neil commented that the buckle is very Canadian - not quite so large and shiny as the American buckles! :) Great event-nice to catch up with so many trail running friends. Well it's lunch time here and Neil just commented he is hungry! The usual post-ultra growlies.
That was Ultra #26 - my 4th 50 Miler!

1 comment:

  1. Well done to both of you.

    Sounds a good run!