Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thom B. 26K race (Hammond Hill State Forest) May 10,2008

Winning this race this morning was a nice way to start off my 2008 ultra-marathon season. I wanted to use this race as a long tempo trail run to prepare me for next Sunday's Highland Forest 30-mile ultra...and i defintely accomplished that! I started off w/ a few of the fast guys from the 13K and then decided to back off a bit since i would be running double. When i did that i was passed by Jason Clark. I yelled to him, "Hey, are you doing one loop or two?" He turned around and gave me a hand signal of two...whoa...he was movin'. I kept him in sight, eventually caught up to him and then chatted w/ him for a while. As we approached the first water stop i grabbed a quick cup and he didn't. This put some distance between us and i actually didn't see him for the rest of the loop. As i came into the start area for my second loop i grabbed a quick gatorade and asked the race director if anyone has started the second 8-mile loop yet. He informed me that i was in second place by one minute. As hard as it was i charged up the hill and, looking back, i believe this is where i caught him. I pursued Jason for about another mile until i recognized his lime green sneakers way off in the distance. This really motivated me. I kept picking it up every so often and eventually was right on his heels. I could see he was struggling a little bit so i exchanged a few words with him and charged on. It was so cool to be running next to this woman who was horseback riding. It seemed as when i came up on them the horse wanted to run w/ he did. At this point i was at about mile 12 and realized that i probably had it wrapped up... I was feeling great! I kept looking around at the beautiful scenery in this forest and at this time of the year you can get some pretty nice views in a couple spots. Then i kept looking at my GPS watch and realized that i could break 1:50 if i I did! The good news is that most of it including the final stretch to the finish line is downhill... I was catching air off some of the humps and definitely covering some ground quickly. As i came through the last bit of forest i saw and heard the gathering around the finish. That's a great sight! I looked at my watch and it read 1:49 and change and i felt very satisfied. It was great to hang out w/ the normal FLRC crew and enjoy the post-race snacks by the outdoor fireplace. So glad the snow has melted!!! Woohoooo!!!!!!!!! Next up:Highland Forest 30-miler (May 18th)which will score me points toward the WNY Ultra Series.

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