Monday, October 17, 2011

The North Face challenge 50 Mile ATL

Well where to begin…
When the alarm went off at 0300 as all my 50 milers have started. Soon after the morning routine, Andy and I were off to the shuttle. We got to the start around 0430ish and started talking to other runners. Then we spotted Dean, the man muscle, so I had to get a closer look (on a side note that guy looks like he has never had any fat on him). Shortly after that the starting gun went off and we shot out to get a good spot before the woods. Well I think that worked out really well, we got to the first aid station in about 55 minutes. The next section had some trouble in it with Andy's feet, but a quick change of socks fixed that. By the time we hit the third aid station Andy was feeling great and I knew he was going to have a good day. On the other hand I was feeling a little off, but still good.  Andy put about ten minutes on me in the next 10 miles.  After that the only other info I had on Andy was he was about 40 minutes ahead of me at 28 miles.
But back to the race, I thought the footing was as good as it was when we where out there a few weeks ago.  The only really hot part of the course was the tornado area. (Marisol said that area was great because you could watch the runners for a good bit. )  As the race went on and the miles keep ticking off I knew I was not going to make my goal of 10 hours, but I thought I had a good shot at 11 hours if I had a great last 12 miles. I felt great so I put all I had into the next five mile section and was catching people left and right.  It just looked like some people could not walk up hill any more but I was just climbing them like they where flat. Well then I had 7 miles to go and still feeling great, pushing along running as much as I could and the miles were melting away.  Until that last 2.5 miles, by then all I wanted was a hot meal, but I was still pushing along.  I remember someone asking me how I felt and I yelled like a million dollars that had been torn up. Someone yelled back but that still is a million dollars.  Then a half-mile went by. And everything started to go south. My feet started to hurt a lot and my legs were cramping bad, but I knew I was close so I drank a lot of water and took some salt and kept moving forward. Well with a half mile to go I was seeing more people and they were telling me that I was close. And then someone said up the hill and then your done, at that point though I could not run up the hill at all. However, as soon as I saw the crowd this energy came over me and I just started sprinting as fast as I could. And before I knew it, it was over, 11:33:09.  By this time I saw Andy and he told me he got first masters. When I heard that I was so happy for him.
After the race most of us went back to the yurts so we could use the jacuzzi and order some pizza. We stayed up late telling stories.
It was a great race.  The North Face did great job.  Until December

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