Another bites the dust! The spring part of my season is done and I am feeling good about the strides I have made so far, but I still have a long way to go. This past weekend I ran the Capon Valley 50k in Yellow Spring, WV. This was a beautiful course with some sneaky hills, but for the most part the terrain is moderate. I camped out the night before at the start/finish and it worked out great as there was plenty of room and it was a beautiful night to sleep under the stars (plus I get to sleep in as much as possible). I woke and at some bagels and then I packed a drop bag for the 18 mile aid station (Vespa, GUs, and Meal Replacement shake). After getting dressed I took my Vespa 30 minutes before the race, then I met up with my Dad, Bob, Rose, Laurie, and Kara.Everyone seemed to be excited for this race, the weather was beautiful (got into the low 70's with just a light sprinkle of rain later in the afternoon). Before I knew it 7am came along and off everyone went.
We Started at the Capon Valley Ruritan Club and went up 259 (one paved road on the course) then we hit the trails. The first few miles there were some nice rolling hills to help the legs get warmed up. I reached the first aid station and my legs felt OK, but the still felt dead from the Promise Land 50k 2 weeks ago. I knew it was just going to be one of those days were I just had to grind it out. The runners spread out quickly and before I knew it I was running alone. The course was fairly dry as the streams were at a reasonable level, but everyone should know if you run this race your feet will get wet. That being said I plunged through all the streams knowing that wet feet were inevitable.
I was cruising along the course and the time was just flying by. I was hoping to finish the race in about 6 hours, so I was running almost all the hills. There were a few hills that were really steep that I had to power walk, which there were many more then I remember from my last run here in 2009. I reached the next aid station and took on some water and got out ASAP. The course was marked well, however, I still managed to make a few wrong turns but was corrected by some courteous runners. I came across my favorite section of the race, the power line section.
From my recollection this section had changed from 2009 as the jeep roads shown above were previously dirt. These made for some fun downhill running, I was flying down the mountain trying to take advantage of gravity. Once I reached the bottom I headed back into the woods and faced some nice little climbs to the next aid station. At this point I was feeling fatigued and was looking forward to the 18 mile aid station where I had my meal replacement shake and Vespa waiting for me. After the aid station I felt really good and the course was downhill for the next 4 miles. I then came into a nice hill at the 25 mile mark and that one seem to do me in. I couldn't really recover after the hill and drop off my pace considerably. I was starting to cramp up really bad even though I had been taking 3 S!Caps an hour and drinking water consistently. At the next aid station I took my time and ate a few bananas and grabbed some Gatorade. After walking a bit after the aid station I started to few a little better, but I knew a sub 6 hour time was out of the question. I came into the last aid station taking a drink from a Coke and went on my way, I needed a sugar boost for the last few miles. I ended up finishing in 6:16:03, which I feel was a decent effort and I crushed my time from 2009 by an hour. Not quite where I want to be, but definitely moving in the right direction.
Some friends came and joined me for this race and they were new to ultra running, they picked an awesome course to pop their ultra cherry. Laurie and Kara, a mother and daughter duo, wanted to test themselves and I believe they learned a lot. They had spent the last 3 months training for this event not knowing if their training was going to be good enough or if they could hold up for the entire race. Kara ended up finishing with a great time of 7:28 and finished strong.
Her mom Laurie on the other hand experienced the race differently and had encountered some difficulties along the way, but still managed to finish the race! I am sure Laurie was having some interesting talks with herself about finishing what she started. I give her all the credit in the world, because it takes guts and determination to complete an ultra. I was so excited to see both of these girls finish and they reminded me why I love to do these races. Congrats ladies and I am sure Bob, BillyGoat Peake, and Rose would all agree with me in saying how proud we are of you two.
Shoes: Montrail Badrock
Hydration: Nathan 1.5 Liter Backpack
Nutrition: GU, Nutrilite Endurance Cubes, Nutrilite Meal Replacement Shake, S!Caps
Shorts: 2XU compressions shorts
Shirt: Tech T-shirt with Moeben sleeves
For more pictures check go here
Now it's time for a well deserved rest from racing for a bit.
See ya on the trails,