Before I go off and talk about what I really want to talk about, I guess I should do alittle intro to myself. My name is Marc and I live in Newport KY. I have been a runner for many of years. I ran cross country and track in high school with mild success. I also ran for NKU but decided I liked the college party life rather than the student athlete life. As of right now I work for Bob Ronckers Running Spot in Newport. I do a bit of running still. Still trying to stick my nose in some competitive races here and there. I race any where between 5k's to Marathons. I usually get my ass handed to me on all levels! hahaha but I still love every minute of it!
So why blog? I decided to try it out since I have a few friends that to do it. And I read them all the time. I decided I really just wanted to blog about my training and races. I want to try to leave my personal life out of it, but I will probably do a little life bantering here and there.
Last weekend Amanda and I traveled up to Mohican State park in Loudonville OH. Its between Columbus and Cleveland. We were set to pace her friend Emily and her husband Todd for the 100 mile trail race. 4 loop course. We were not going to do the whole 100 but pace them the last 47 miles. Why you might ask? Who the fuck knows!!! I dont think we really knew what we were getting into when we said OK! You can say we are crazy, cause I never ran more than 26.2 miles ever and that was on road! Trails def tear your leg apart alot faster than roads. Emily and Todd started about 5 AM on Sat morning (6-18). We left Newport about 11 AM and reached the park around 2 PM. We were expecting them to come around the 53 mile mark around 5-6 PM. So we decided to pull up a park bench and relax. We were watching runners who were racing the Marathon race and also the 50 mile race come through. There were also some 100 miler races coming through the check point too. As the time passed we were so anxious to see Emily and Todd come out of the woods. At one point I even think Amanda was shaking cause she was excited and nervous! I on the other hand was pretty relaxed. But as the minutes ticked away, there was no sign of them. Amanda started to get worried. "What if something happened, what if they got hurt?" Not such a odd question especially listening to some of these people racing. Supposely the last 2 miles of the loop were straight up and down a huge hill. Instead of zig zaging up the hill the race director decided screw that idea and take the trail right up the side of it. Well as time passed Amanda suggested for me to get something to eat, since I didnt eat the much the whole day. So we made our way up to our drop bags for me to get the keys to the car when Amanda spotted Emily and Todd. But it was good. Todd seemed to be fine but Emily was limping and also crying. As they came through the check point Todd was just shaking his head. They couldnt go any further. Amanda was consoling (sp?) Emily telling her its a good idea to just stop cause they have and Ironman coming up in Wisconsin. Even though it was tough for them to swallow the idea of quiting, they did.
So after driving all the way up there Amanda and I came up with a few options. We could get back in car and drive home, We could go for a short run and come back and drink beer and watch runners come through for the next couple of hours, or we could try to find someone to pace. We decided that we would try to find someone that needed a pacer. at this point we also decided we wouldnt do the 47 miles that we expected to do earlier. So we told eachother that we would just run one loop with someone which would put us at 23-24 miles. Soon after we saw CHUCK come through the check point all smiles. (unlike others coming through, everyone else looked like the walking dead!) We asked him if wanted a pacer. He accepted us for one loop cause he actually had another pacer for the last loop. So he finished getting fueled up at the aid station and we were on our way!
As we started we made some small talk and told him a little about ourselves. As did he. He was a triathlete, just like Amanda. So they had a alot to talk about for the first few miles. Pace was slower than what we are used too, But SHIT this guy is on mile 60 of a 100 mile race. So for him he was going pretty good. After Amanda and I got use to the pace, it was alittle easier to accept. We were walking the uphills and running everything else. We made it throught the first aid station with no problems. I tried a piece of pizza to see how it would sit. (Cause Im thinking about my own ultra race soon!) After leaving the aid station Chuck began having some problems with cramping in his shin. At one point he curled up in a ball in the middle of the trail to stretch. Amanda massaged him alittle to get it loose. But to no avail he still had problems the whole way to the next aid station 6 miles away. Walking a pretty big chunk of it. At the aid station, chuck sat down and got his camekl back refilled. I had some potato soup and Mt Dew and some chips, once again just testing the waters! We had a hard time getting Chuck out of the seat. He just wanted to sit there for a bit, but his body temp was dropping. So he got his ass up and back on the trail we went. This section went a little better Chuck got some Advil and took it. Amanda harped on him about staying hydrated and taking in calories. So he started to feel a little better towards the next aid station. This aid station was awesome, had some good pump up music. I had 2 pieces of pizza, gummybears and Mt Dew! And then we were on our way to end of the loop. This part was pretty awesome. Chuck really came around! He was back to running everything but the uphills. And I think he was even running faster than he has the whole time we were with him! I asked him if he wanted to slow down cause of the last 2 miles (what I was talking about earlier) and he responded with "NO." So we got the the final hill and it did suck! But Chuck tackled it and destroyed it. We got to end of the loop and he was still smiling!! He thanked us and his wife told us we were a gift from God or something like that.
This whole adventure was probably one of the best running experiences I have had! It reignited a fire that I havent had since Cleveland in May. I am now searching for a 50 mile race of my own coming up. Dont think Im exactly ready for a 100 just yet. Ill still do smaller races too but I think I need a change of pace, literally! I have been talking to a local Ultra runner name David Riddle (who just qualified for the US 100K team to race in the Netherlands this fall, so hes a legit bad ass) about what he thinks. He suggested JFK 50 in November or a race in the North Face Endurance Challenge which has races all over the country through out the year. I have not decided yet but I will hopefully make up my mind in a week or so. Getting in shape for this will make me be in pretty high mileage, probably 80+ miles per week. Which means not a whole lot of time for goofing off and partying and if you know me, thats a damn shame!! Until next time!