Sunday, September 25, 2011

Another 50k

I have another 50k to tell you about! No, no, not me. I didn’t do another 50k. Zach did one! I forgot to mention on my 50k run report that Zach also made alternate plans after missing the McKenzie River race. He signed up for the Cle Elum Ridge 50k in central Washington. It was held on on September 17, one week after our planned race.

We drove up to Cle Elum the night before the race. It was a gorgeous drive and as we got closer we started seeing some rather large mountains around. Those were the ones Zach would be running up! We headed up to the race start about 7:00 am. There were a few early starters already out, and the rest began at 8:00. There were 80 or so runners doing the 50k, and another 100 or so doing the 25k. It was a really friendly group of runners and everyone was excited when Zach said it was his first ultra. All of the others seemed to have run several 50k, 50 milers, or even 100 milers already this year.

I can’t really write a race report for his race, but I can tell you this. I went for a short 4 miler on the race course while I was waiting, and it was brutal. I walked most of the big climbs and had to be really careful heading downhill. The trail was steep and very rocky and rutted out. I had 800 feet of elevation gain on my little run. Zach’s race had 7,000.

I read in the car for a few hours and took a nap. I headed over to the finish area at about 4 1/2 hours since I had no idea when Zach would be finishing. I saw the first few runners come through and the bulk of the 25k runners finish as well (they started 1 hour after the 50k start).

After a while, Zach was running toward the finish. I was so excited and cheered him through. He looked so tired, I can’t even explain it. He was absolutely exhausted. He finished in 5 hours and 40 minutes. He was the 12th runner to come in. 12th! Amazing. He was 4/20 in the 30-39 AG.

We hung out for quite a while and ate some sausages and other great race food. He told me all about the race and talked with a lot of the others about it. I loved hearing all the details- endless climbs, technical trail, the cold, exposed section on the ridge, the creek crossings, and the brutal descents. It sounds so hard. I am so proud of him! Here are some pictures I took that day:

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Pretty great!

It’s kind of nice to have our big trail runs out of the way. We are doing some more trail events this fall but nothing over a half marathon.

Of course, I am doing one more big event this year, the Portland Marathon on October 9th. Since I recovered from my 31 mile run really quickly, I have been getting in a lot of good training on the roads. Even though I have a ton of endurance from my trail training, I have definitely lost some speed. I am doing a lot of speed type training to wake the legs back up before Portland. Over the last couple weeks I’ve done a long tempo run, intervals, a quick run with Zach, and a great long run today. All on the roads and all at a good pace. I have 2 weeks left and will be cutting the mileage back but keeping some speed sessions in there. We’ll see how it works out! It’s going to be interesting.

Thanks for reading!

5 comments:

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

Oh man, that sounds like a tough race! Amazing how long it takes to do those things. We must be crazy. Yeah, I feel kind of "unprepared" for Victoria because of all these trail miles. I know mentally that my legs are ready for it, but my head just isn't in the same place as it usually is two weeks before a marathon. Maybe that's a good thing?!

Kathy said...

sounds like a tough, but beautiful, race! Enjoy your taper before the marathon!

runforwine.net said...

Wow! He is a phenomenal runner. 12th is amazing. Congratulations Zach. Isn't Cle Elum beautiful. I have a handfull of local running friends run it. Not easy!

Ewen said...

Sounds like an amazing race. Nothing like beautiful scenery when you're in pain ;)

KK said...

Really? A 50k isn't enough adversity to face, they have to make the course up and down mountains? No thank you. But congrats to Zach for toughing it out and doing so well!

Also, I heart naps and sausage. What a great way to spectate a race!