I spent a large potion of the training week doing some different things. From Thursday morning through Friday late night, my focus was on working with Ted F. to mark the Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run course from the Polo Field aid station to the Harper Ridge aid station. This is about a 6-mile stretch mostly along horse trails. Ted and I got out on Thursday morning for three hours and marked about two-third of the stretch, using lime, pie plates on stakes and orange flags. To carry our supplies, he used a baby jogger and I used one of Noah's strollers. That night we finished up in about 90 minutes, feeling really good about our section.
And then the rain came. Lots of it. I woke up on Friday morning at around 1 or 2 to sounds of a massive downpour--which wasn't in the forecast. I guess it was what they call a "rogue thunderstorm." I felt sick to my stomach.
Ted and I were planning to run from the Polo Field to Harper Ridge on Friday night just to check the section over and fix problem areas--a "run-and-check." Those plans were now out the window as the rain had washed away most of the 50 lbs. of lime we laid down. So Friday night's scamper turned into one of re-marking several areas of the course where the lime was now gone. Fortunately, it wasn't too bad. All of the pie plates and flags were still up. A few more flags and plates here and there and we were done!
Afterward, we celebrated at the Rusty Bucket in Solon. There we sat at about 11:00 p.m.--me chomping on an enchilada and Ted on some mac and cheese while we both enjoyed well-deserved cold brews.
Our efforts paid off. The section of the course we marked was perfect. I now hope the eight hours I invested in this endeavor will count toward my volunteer hours for both the Buckeye 50K and potentially the Western States 100, assuming I go out West next summer.
On Saturday at the Burning River 100, I paced last year's champ, Tim Clement, a fellow Southeast Running Club member who I train with on Saturday mornings in South Chagrin Reservation. Tim had a great race, finishing third overall in 18:35. I went the last 30 miles with him, feeling really good the whole way except for the fact that I should have worn road shoes instead of my Salomon Speedcross 2's.
Mark Godale, also of SERC and the 2007 BR100 winner, won the race with a time of 16:17. I saw Mark come into the mile 70.3 Happy Days aid station and he had the look of a someone who was locked in. Jay Smithberger, winner of the 2008 Mohican 100, finished a very strong second with a time of 17:58. And a big congratulations to Connie Garder, who once again was the top woman at the BR100 and finished fourth overall. I saw Mark and Jay at the finish line after Tim crossed.
I hung out at the finish line in downtown Cuyahoga Falls for about a half-hour and then headed home. On the drive back to Chagrin Falls, I got really hungry...but where to eat past midnight? I didn't want to stop at a sit-down restaurant and I didn't want to make something when I got home, risking waking up Noah. So I figured drive-thru was the only option. I stopped at the Burger King in Solon and ordered a #1 "value meal," which included a (delicious) Whopper, french fries and a Sprite. I sat in the parking lot as I stuffed my face. I HATE fast food because of what it represents and what it's done to America (obesity), but damn was this good. I can't decide what's better--the Whopper or the Big Mac.
Back to the BR100. Congratulations to the following other friends who finished the BR100: Jim Chaney, 19:52/master's winner; Marc Abramiuk, 20:06; Rich Henderson, 21:40; Greg Dykes, 22:45; Dawn Malone, 23:10; Frank Duchossois, 25:35; Dave Peterman, 29:00; and "Wild" Bill Wagner, 29:17. Complete results can be viewed by clicking here.
This week I logged only 75.6 miles but spent many, many hours on the my feet marking the course and went the 30 miles with Tim. I had a great hill-repeat workout on Tuesday and was forced to skip Friday's track workout due to course-marking.
My goal this week is 85 miles with good hill and track workouts.
I look forward to my next big race, the Tussey Mountainback 50-Mile in Pennsylvania. It should be a lot of fun and a big challenge.