Monday, July 18, 2011

Viaduct Trail

First attempt at a true race report so take it for what its worth!

Last weekend I had the oppurtunity to have my summer adventure.  It was exactly what I was looking for.  Kate agreed to me going up and running the VTU which is a free low key ultra in NE PA.  A guy I work with is from the area so I couldn't resist the thought of going up to the town he is always talking about.  Lanesboro did not disapoint.  There is one stoplight but the views are beautiful.  Dad and I left Friday morning and spent breakfast at work getting the class of 2015 feed and ready for day two of their freshman orientation.  We drove the rest of the way relatively uneventfully.  As we got into PA we hit some weather and hoped that it would blow over.  We got into Lanesboro and pulled into the start/finish area and met Dave the RD.  He informed us that two of the 200 miler guys were currently on the course.  The bottom then fell out of the sky.  I can only imagine being 100 miles in and getting hit with that storm.  Would of sucked big time.

We drove the 20 minutes up to Binghamton NY for dinner.  Found a great place to eat and caught some tunes at the Binghamton Jazz Festival.  Headed back to the hotel and got ready for the race. 

We got to the race a few minutes before the 6:00 start and spent the time chatting with Jay and Anita Finkle who had driven up.  There were a total of 18 of us to toe the line.  3 guys were in the 200 and they were either napping or out on the course already.  The course is 12.5 miles out and then back 4 times.  There is 900' elevation gain on the way out and only 2 noticeable hills.  The trail is nice, but filled with rocks that are about citrus (all kinds) size.  There is one really cool bridge at the start of each lap but besides that all the trail is basically the same. 

I ran the first lap too fast with a guy, Chris from Chicago.  We chatted the entire time on the way out.  Pretty uneventful.  There was one aid station in the middle and one at the turn around.  The race is free, and we are ultrarunners, so I didn't go in expecting much.  The RDs did a fantastic job and the stations were well stocked with food and beverage. 

The second lap was much slower, but it was run mostly in the sun.  Chris from Chicago got really hot on the way out and hit a wall at the turn around.  He ended up cutting his race short at the middle way back at mile 44.  We starting spending way too much time at the aid stations.  I prefer to get what I need and go.  I'd rather walk for the next half a mile than sit down and not move.  I plugged in some tunes and kept on chugging along.  I was getting a lot of sun and bitten by a lot of bugs, but felt pretty good.  I finished the second lap and felt pretty good.  Gayle Ross was there to pace me for a lap. 

Gayle and I took off for the first couple of miles then the dreaded run/walk plan came around.  We got to the turn around about 30 minutes after I wanted, but I was still moving.  The way back was a lot of walking and only a little running.  I think I was behind on my food intake.  I hadn't had anything hot yet and was surviving on Shot Blocks and Cliff Bars.  One luke warm pizza slice was the only thing of susbstance I'd had all day.  Gayle and I finished the third lap slower than I hoped, but was still only 45 minutes off my goal pace of 23 hours.   

Dad and I took off on lap 4 and I was not feeling great.  I was walking a lot and had the hardest time finding motivation to move with any pace.  It was tough so we walked, a lot!  The good thing about walking is that we got to talk too.  Told stories, laughed and walked!  Finally got to the turn around and headed back downhill to the finish.  I saw the hope of 23 hours disappear pretty quickly and was heading for 24.  Still was having a hard time finding motivation and really needed caffine.  I only had one half cup of coffee much earlier in the day so my reserves were on low.  The rest of the way back involved dad talking, me stumbling, seeing things that weren't there, and finally running the last mile.  Once I got close to the finish I did the math and pop convineced me that we could make it there on time.  I picked it up but missed it by almost two minutes.  The funny thing is is that Dad and I spent every bit of two minutes trying to scare some black bears off the trail right at dawn.  The sad thing is that the bears turned out to be bushes that didn't even look like bears. 

I learned a lot at this race and am still ok with my second 100 mile finish.  I really like running small races but I do need to work on my fueling regiment.  Next 100 mile shot will be at Hinson Lake in Sept and then the big one in Fla.

Viaduct Trail Ultramarathon - 100 Miles - 24:01:52 - Wicked Sunburn, Wicked mosquito and horsefly bites, finishers award - railroad spike

The wait list for this race fills up really fast, but empties really quickly too.  The good thing is that you get early entry for pacing, helping, or running the year before.