Monday, July 24, 2006

Sunsweet Trail Running Festival

Well, I might have bit off more than I could chew last weekend. With only a month after States and doing SOB 50k the weekend before adding another 50 mile weekend might have been a little much.

This was the first year of the Sunsweet Trail Running Festival and looked mighty intriguing on paper. It is put on by Alan Abbs and Beverly Anderson-Abbs. Bev was currently 2nd at WS Alan was 20th. Bev is currently leading the Grand Slam followed by Alan in third.

Brother Jeff above after downhill.

The weekend would consist of Saturday's running of a five mile uphill, five mile downhill, and later that afternoon a 10 mile flattish run. Then on Sunday was to be a 50k. One could do any or all of the events. I choose the later.

Saturday was fun. A fairly good climb of 2400 ft in five miles. Followed by running down same trail for the downhill. The high school kid Ben ???? smoked everybody on the downhill, Jeff and Sean included. Lewis Taylor ran like a goat winning the uphill.

Ben (above) getting garb from Bev after slammin' the downhill.

Lewis Taylor collecting his goddies after winning the uphill. (right)

The 10 mile run was a little different. Oh, the trail was awesome running next to the McKenzie River, but the tempature was 100 degrees. That zapped me for energy the next day.

The 50k again ran next to the river for the first 5 miles. Everybody but Ben (Oakridge high school speedster, yes 4:10 1500 meter runner!) got off trail for a bit. So, we all added extra miles right off the bat. No worries, it has happened to me before and I am sure this is not the last.

Well, lots of climbing for the first 18 miles. But I was drained. I was dead last as the fast dudes were all up front. No worries, I have been good at this three times already this year.

Get to mile 12 and I see my brother waiting for his relay exchange with Craig. He ran down the road with me to the aid station and he could tell I was out of energy. Nothing going wrong, just fatigued. (Brother Jeff at top of page.) He told me to drink every three minutes on the way to the next aid station as this is what he did last year on his way to winning Javalina. I followed suit all the way to mile 18 aid station.

MILE 18 AID STATION: THERE WASN'T ONE THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was only 10 minutes behind Brian and they pulled the @#$$%&$ aid station!!!!! I was completly, beyond angry!!!!! I was saying more cuss words than I care to share. How could they leave a runner out here in 100 degree heat?!!!!!!! I was livid!!!!!! What to do? Well, I decided to run back the six miles to the last aid station. No water for 1:15 in 100 degree heat!!! Not the way I want to test my pysiologic capabilties. I was so mad that I actually ran back faster than my way out by 10 minutes. A good way to light a fire underneath me I figure. Don't want to do this all the time though.

Well, the guy that stranded me met me at a road crossing at the five miles back from the missing aid station. He was sorry but I have to tell you, I still wasn't happy. I did have to remember that he was volunteering his time to do this. I told him I was fine and thanked him for finding me.

Well, the rest of the race was not so dramatic. Caught up with Brian and he was tired. It was only his second ultra and his quads were gone. I just told him that we can finish this thing and I would stay with him. He told me to go on but there was no need for that on this day. So, we stayed together for the last seven miles.

Brian to right, mile six.

Well, we both got DFL. No, big deal. I was the only Master to finish all four events. And for this I got $200. I never expected that.

Sean won open, below. $200 smacks for him.

Sean to right, mile 22

Megan, above, Mile receiving garb from downhill the day before. And at mile 22 to right. $200 smacks for her.

Five out of the seven Team Sunsweet Ultrarunning team were on hand having a good time and collecting some dough along the way.

Would I do this event again. Heck yea. The trails were awesome. Tons of food after the race and we all had a great time. Yes, one mishap with me. But heck, what a great motivator to not being Dead Last!!!

The longest covered bridge in Oregon. The starting point for the 50k.


angie's pink fuzzy said...

finish DFL and *still* get $200. now that's pretty awesome.

too bad about that AS!!!

olga said...

Eeek, sounds brutal with heat and no water. Congrats on a win though.

stephruns said...

as a friend of mine just said to me the other day when I had a couple of bad runs " without the bad runs we wouldn't appreciate the good ones". And voila..a super good one came along:-)