Warning: the following words and images will allow you to vicariously see the world with the eyes of Sultan. Read at your own risk. The name Sultan has many meanings, but derives from the peak Sultan Mountain in Silverton, CO!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Weymouth Woods 100k - 7th place

results splits photos
Finished 10:51:06 (100k PR)

Ok, so Im on a birthday high. After last weekend’s PR run at the Frosty 50k I decided to go ahead and run a 100k the following week. The morning started with a 4am buzzer and another bowl of that oatmeal! It seemed to do wonders last week, so heck, work with what works. I piled on blueberries, strawberries, bananas, brown sugar, and honey. I love that taste of fresh fruit in the morning.

Jonathan Savage, and I packed up and rolled out by 5am. We made it to Southern Pines by 7am and I began to prepare for a 62.5 mile journey. The course is 14 loops 4.47 miles long and is tough because the trail is infinitely covered in roots, with some sections fairly sandy. Jonathan reminded me it was the Sandhills after all.

Photo: by Unknown

At the start I saw a few people wearing down jackets again! My brain started sweating with just the sight of that much cloths. It was 40 degrees at the near sunrise start, and warmed up to 50 by the end of the day. I had on shorts, a tank-top with arm-warmers and gloves on. I started a bit cold, but knew that I would warm up quickly. I ran with Jonathan and Tom Gabell the first few loops and then I was feeling fairly good and decided to pass them, never really running much farther away. Pass Jonathan? Was I nuts? This guy busted out 133+ miles at Hinson Lake a few months ago. I knew I was going a bit fast, but heck, it felt good, and so I went with it. By the 5th lap I put my mind in a state of trance, and not paying attention went off course for a few minutes, quickly realizing I was on virgin trail, I back tracked and corrected myself. Shortly thereafter I was passed by several runners. I was in 4th place until this point. If I tried to keep that pace (just under a 9 min/mile pace) I would crash and burn later, so after crossing the 50k mark, 7 laps, I pulled back to a 10.5-11 min/mile pace. I ran the first 50k in 4:47:47.

Photo: by Mark Long

Marie Lewis, race director, did a fantastic job putting on the first running of the Weymouth Woods 100k. Despite me going off trail, the course is very well marked, and it was me that wasn’t paying attention that made me go off course. The trail does make a few sharp turns however. Aid stations were stealer nothing short of first class, and really gave off positive energy every lap I came thru. Susan Dummar, and her crew (wish I knew all of your names) did a fantastic job making sure all the runners were taken care of. The multiple handfuls of chips, chicken noodle soup, several slices of cheese pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches, PB&J sandwiches, pretzels and M&M's, half a hamburger with ketchup and mustard, coffee, boiled potatoes and salt, the 50/50 water/Gatoraid mix fueled my body to keep a trucking along. The last few laps I got a few coyote howls out of the aid station which gave me more energy to drop the hammer hard. Mark Long and company did an awesome job manning the second aid station on the trail. You guys rock!

I was beginning to feel my legs get heavy after the first half. I then slowed my roll a bit and was instantly passed by several runners, including getting chicked twice. I knew that I still had 50k to go, and it would be a long day, so I made sure I adjusted my pace and just told myself I would catch up with them soon. I ran a few laps alone, with unbounded thoughts racing thru my mind. I felt alive. Almost instantly I paid attention to my watch and it was three laps later just like that, it was like pressing fast forward on time. Amazing! I wish I could do the opposite sometimes and hit rewind!

Anyhoo, this is where I met Sage. Sage is a 3 hour marathoner, which is amazing. I haven’t tried to go faster than my 3:30 PR time at that distance, but I'm sure I can’t run a 3 hour marathon. The amazing thing about Sage is that she is a mother of two, and her youngest is 10 months, and she has never run farther than a marathon! Ok, so I'm a fast marathoner, let just take a stab at a 100k? Hell, that kind of reminded me of when I first started running some of these crazy distances. I jumped right into it. We kept each other motivated to complete laps 10, 11, and 12. Walking up the hills at times and compensating on the flats and downhills. Sage began to feel a sharp pain in one of her knees, so I asked her if she wanted any vitamin I. “I didn’t know there was such a thing as vitamin I?” I told her that was lingo for ibuprofen, and she downed 400 mg at the next aid station. When we finished lap 12 I pushed on with my journey, grabbing my flashlight as I wasn’t sure I would finish lap 13 before darkness. It was here I pushed myself, knowing this would be my last lap in daylight. Here was my chance to finish strong. I felt like I was in a full sprint, thinking I was running my fastest lap, I was moving 2-3 minutes faster per mile. During this fast lap something bizarre happened. Two people yelled out to me while I was focused on finishing this lap at what seemed to be a suicide pace, “Mohammed, nice blog,” or something to that effect. You know who you are! Post a comment if you read this, I’d love to hear from you.

I had to turn my flashlight on during the last mile so I wouldn’t trip on a root and face plant. I quickly came into the aid station filled up my bottle, yelled out another howl, and high fived Jonathan who was finished at this point (4th place). He asked me what pace I wanted to run? I wanted to finish in less than 11 hours at this point, so I yelled out “I don’t know 30 minutes.” 30 minutes is impossible to run, so I don’t know what I was thinking, but then quickly adjusted my expectations to 40 minutes. Jonathan at this point said he would pace me the last lap! This guy just finished, was he out of his mind? I thought sure, why not. I began to walk waiting for him to follow, then stopped for 20 seconds and yelled his name out 3 or 4 times, and then I took off like a tiger being let out of his cage. I was on a mission, and no one was going to stop me.

I finished lap 14 in 50:39, with a total time of 10:51:06. I placed 6th in Men’s, and 7th overall. Sage went on to finish her first 100k in 2nd female, rock on SAGE!! Jonathan finished 4th overall, and totally kicked some ass out there. My Sunnto Altimeter read a total of 3,691 feet of net gain and loss on all 14 loops or approximately 263 feet of gain per loop. I ran in my new inov8 212’s which I highly recommend for trail running. I was happy it was over with, but was still in a very jovial mood. Susan suggested I keep going and bust out 100 miles. I declined kindly, and proceeded to eat half a hamburger and down a coffee with some lentil soup.

I would like to thank all that made this adventure possible, and all the volunteers who made this first time event a success. This will quickly become a popular 100k event!!

Who's ready for the Sultan 50k next weekend?

No comments: