Afton Trail Run – 50K – Recap July 6, 2010Posted by whereschrisscotch in Races/Events - Recaps, Uncategorized.
At the risk starting to sound like a broken record, the Afton Trail Run was another fantastic event. As I continue to push the envelope, I continue to discover more about myself and raise awareness for Where’s Chris Scotch, Katelyn Atwell and St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
This may not surprise some of you, but I managed to get to the start of the race late. I set my alarm Friday night for 4:00 Saturday morning. Too bad I set the alarm to “weekdays only!” So I wake up Saturday morning at 6:15, take a few minutes to figure out what day it is and where I am supposed to be at that particular moment. I grabbed half of an uneaten sweet potato, a banana and a mug of coffee (somehow I managed to get the coffee maker set correctly to self brew) and bolt out the door. I have 15 minutes to drive 35 miles, pick up my packet and get prepped for the 6:30 start. Needless to say, I showed up late. I found the race director, John (more on him later) and explained the situation. John said no” problem, just get ready and start whenever I can.”
I ended up starting with the 25k group that went off at 7:30 and was immediately in catch up mode. Being that I had no idea if 1) I could run 31 miles, 2) on a trail, 3) with the elevation profile of this race and 4) in 90 degree weather, I was worried that I would be the last runner on the coarse so I was moving at a fairly quick pace (for me). As soon as my legs warmed up my mind settled and all my concerns faded to the background. I thought of Katelyn and the dedication I set for 2010 and soon I was grinning from ear to ear soaking up every bit of the event I could. It still amazes me every time I run, in training or at a race, how easily my mind and body sync and allow me to enjoy the art of running.
I ran the first 25k loop in approximately 2:15. I don’t wear a watch when I run, so I was a bit startled at the quick pace as I came through the transition area. I was more than happy with this time, but knew I had tough day still ahead of me. The hills I was able to run the first time around suddenly became walkers. The heat intensified and I could feel twinges in my quads as I scurried down the downhills. I slowed myself down and forgot about time again. The goal I set for this race was to finish so there was no sense in trying to burn myself out. The second loop took approximately 3:30, for a total time of 5:45. Officially, the results show me at 6:45 – that first hour was spent just getting myself to the start line! 🙂
I have nothing but positive remarks for this race and all the runners that participated. The race was very well organized by John and his team. I was able to experience something completely new while pushing myself past my own perceived limits. Truly a growth opportunity I will not forget. And this was all made possible by John allowing me to run the race at all. So “thank you” John!
Every runner I met also added to the overall success of this event. I met a runner wearing Five Fingers and exchanged thoughts on barefoot running with him. The long (and only) flat part of course was dreadful the second time around, until another runner pulled up beside me. We chatted our way through it and for that I am thankful. It was also great to hear all the runners that encouraged each other on the course. It reminded me that running is not really about being the fastest person on the course, rather it is about the internal challenges that we all set for ourselves and then achieve.
The aid station were so well stocked it made them hard to leave. Watermelon and Popsicles (red, white and blue of course!) were my main staples. Hammer Nutrition is a sponsor and thank goodness they were – I had run out of endurolytes but there were bowls of them at the aid stations. These little magic capsules are the only thing I have ever found to keep me from cramping and they were a life saver in the 90 degree temps and high humidity. The volunteers at the aid stations were every bit as awesome as the goodies. Every time I came to an aid station they promptly and courteously asked what I needed. They were like “Guardian Angels.” The course was extremely well marked and the grill was kicking out wonderful smells and food at the finish line. Thanks to John and everyone that puts this race together!!
Also, thanks to Tony Schuster, a friend from baseball who was at the race to support his wife. Seeing a friendly face at the aid stations throughout the day sure is nice!
65th place out of 118; Total Time – 6:44:53 Pace – 13:03
Unofficial Results (actual time spent on the course running):
29th place; Time – 5:44:53; Pace – 11:06