The 8th Annual Black Warrior-Phillip Parker Memorial Trail 50k Race Report
February 16th, 2013
Temp: 38-41F with ~9mph winds, Sunny to overcast
|Last minute cramming!|
The party started as I drank my second and third caffeinated cup of coffee this year mixed 3:1 with Butter Pecan Ensure Plus (accidental flavor purchase, surprisingly tasty!) We milled about killing time until the 6:15am commute.
Breakfast:2x Ensure Plus with 700 calories
Arriving at the race, packet pickup was quick, simple, and concise. The BW50k RD nailed it. Sign the waiver, grab a shirt, a bib and scram! Very nice, I appreciate the lack of fuss.
|Mom is just about to do her first trail race too!|
My Accelerate3 race instructions were: be smart early, run with your brain the first 40k then crush them the last 10k! With Ironman Los Cabos in just 5 weeks, I was leashed into "do no harm" pacing.
Within 800m, I went from in the front line to mid-pack and my 1-2 guys were getting out of sight. I couldn't believe how ambitious some of these guys set out; it really blew my mind. I settled into a nice, comfortable, conversational pace up the initial climb as guys were swarming around me. One guy came around and muttered about "some runners" just being in the way, and his buddy chimed in that I must think I'm "hot" since I was shirtless. Midway into the second mile, guys were dropping anchor all around. After the climb, it's a smooth half mile descent to the trail.
I went into the trail in 11-12th and made a few passes early, but then I didn't find another runner ahead of me for an hour. Fortunately, I had developed a train to keep me company. I felt as if I were a stumble from being trampled into the Bankhead muck. After 10-15 minutes, I'd shed all but two tag-a-longs. The guy behind me said he was content to let me set the pace, so I settled into my aerobic effort. Consistent with my typical race strategy, I monitored my breathing and kept it locked into my cruising 4-4 (four steps inhaling, four steps exhaling) pattern. Anytime I found my respiratory rate increasing, I slowed down to the point of hiking to stay aerobic.
|Lovin the BEAR chest!|
Having just a handful of runners ahead of me for the next 23 miles meant a lot of quiet time. For the most part, the run was uneventful. There are a few mid-shin-deep creek crossings, several areas I chose to hike, but the course is largely completely runnable. My goal is to cross the line as quickly as possible. For me, that means walking a lot. I just stuck with my plan and "did no harm". The precious few interesting encounters happened as I moved forward in the field.
|THAT! is not Gu!|
Thanks for the help Tony and Todd!!!
Happy and content with a podium spot, I rolled into AS4 to get reports that I was only in 4th place. Demoralized, I grabbed my second bottle refill and my second PowerBar gel and head out. Before long, I was getting glimpses of a runner steadily coming back to me. When I caught him, he made no effort to pursue me. He simply said that I was running smart, well paced race and to not slow down. We shook hands, and as I trotted off he said "just a 10k left!" Sure enough, I was at 3.5hrs and it was time to wick it up a bit. I half heartedly rallied him to charge with me, but in my heart I didn't want anyone challenging me.
|Removing the lid on approach to keep hustling!|
At this point, I believe I'm in 2nd or 3rd place, and I'm getting splits that the next guy is another 15 minutes ahead. When I arrived at the final aid station, I'd closed the gap to ten minutes for the final 2.8 mile gravel road run in. As I passed 25k-ers, my splits were getting shorter until I could see him, (Robert Harem). He managed to pull it back together enough that I trailed off the last quarter and jogged in with a friend while soaking up the finish.
I was met by volunteers with a sweet finishers' insulated mug and promptly awarded my trophy. No dallying around for an award ceremony, thank you very much. Post race grub was burgers, dogs, rice&beans, cookies and hot cocoa. They had a warming tent setup and Dr. Hill from North Alabama Bone and Joint set up a mini triage for running ailment aid. The showers were free, but hot water wasn't available. I bummed a chair from a pal and stuck around to cheer/heckle in some friends.
The mug is the finisher's award
Run NutritionTotal: 820C/450mg caffeine
100C/50mg caffeine Gu double Espresso
300C/200mg caffeine Hammer Gel Espresso
200mg caffeine supplement
220C on course from 2x PowerBar Gel
~35oz water managed in 2 refills of a 13oz Simple Bottle
|3,668ft according to my 910xt Garmin|
click for a larger view
Chuck Terry did a great job on some video highlights of the race. I hate the Panda hat didn't make the starting line!
Gear reviewDeSoto Solana shorts
Love these suckers. They are pricey, but they are amazing. 2 side mesh pockets just right to stash the gloves I didn't need and my 500C Flask. The drawstring supported my bottle too.
Salomon S-Lab Sense
These bad boys look pimp, stick lick glue, and have a phenomenal lacing system. The shoe is narrow, and I was a bit worried about how my feet would love them as the day went on. I did end up with a bloody great toe. The big fella just banged into the end of the shoe for one too many hours. I'm not sure it's the shoes fault, but I've never had a bloody toe.
These things are amazing. I've bought 4 pairs. 3 came in a pack as the thin versions. Each of these three has survived exactly one run. The fourth is a hardier sock and has seen a handful of trail miles. At the cost, I'll need a better alternative.
This thing rocked. It's made to tuck into the back of a waist band. One huge design flaw is putting a plastic weld right there. It wouldn't matter if I had a shirt on and tucked. I've placed a piece of duct tape along the seam and remedy the problem, but not before a training run left me with a nice pink tramp stamp.
Training log link:I had a single 2hr long run and a 2.25hr long run leading up to this race. I felt extremely unprepared, but Accelerate3 had me covered. Somehow, Brian worked his magic and got more out of me again.
|The Dirt Divas on their first trail race!|
Left to right:
Emily Borden, Libby Edwards, April Allen
Emily had a great day on her first trail race and first 50k. She is threatening to finally write a race report herself!
|Making friends. Did you talk these nice folks into submission?|
|There are no friends at the finish line!|
|Big congrats to Mom and my cousin Aaron for joining in and surviving the 5 miler!|