Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"Work" a runners necessary EVIL!

Tomorrow 2/28 is the beginning of a tough long shutdown at the oil refinery I work at.  Every few years oil refineries need to shutdown to clean out equipment, replace worn out or old equipment and perform normal maintenance on their equipment.  When these shutdown's occur the Operators like myself end up working a lot of hours to take equipment out of service, clean out equipment, and guide maintenance personal in their work, etc....  

How does an ultrarunner like myself train to compete in the Grand Slam when they are working 70+ hours a week for 2 months?  It is gonna be tough!!!

Here's my plan:

1) Run to/from work 4 days a week (8 miles each way) 64 miles a week
2) Run every Thursday night with my group (6 miles) 70 miles a week
3) Run a 12 hour race in March
4) Run 2-50 mile races in April
5) Run a 100 mile event on the 1st of June
6) Pray that it all comes together for my 1st important race of the year, Western States at the end of June

I know quit complaining and think of all the money you'll make working those long hours.  Well money isn't everything, sure it's nice, but I would rather have the time off to spend with my family and friends and of course to train like a mad man.  I'll keep you posted, hopefully I can stick to my training program.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

2013 Grand Slam

2013 Grand Slam 

I am attempting the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning this year.  This has been a dream of mine for quite a few years.  The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning consists of running 4 of the oldest 100 mile races in 3 1/2 months.  

"The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning award is recognition for those who complete four of the oldest 100 mile trail runs in the U.S. The "Slam" consists of officially finishing the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run, the Leadville Trail 100 Mile Run and the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run all in the same year."

In 2007 I was almost finished running a marathon in every state, only 3 states and 3 weeks to go (my first marathon was in 2003) when a was (self) afflicted by a stress fracture in my left tibia.  I had been nursing the stress fracture for about a month before it stopped me dead in my tracks during the 2007 Steamtown Marathon.  The pain was so horrible I had to start walking at mile 5, I would walk until the pain subsided then run a 1/2 mile then walk, then run, then walk, and on and on, to finish in 5:09, my marathon personal worst.  Three weeks prior to this race I ran a 3:04, so this was really a slow time with a lot of walking.  I must have been "noticeably" dragging my left leg for most of the race because I received a lot of looks, and one of the road crossing guards told me he was going to call an ambulance and pull me from the course, I said a few choice words to him and continued on my way.  There was no way after flying all the way to PA I was going to drop even if my leg snapped during the run, kind of crazy now looking back.  Because the race took me 2 hours longer to run than I had anticipated when I made my travel plans, I had to rush back to Pittsburgh PA and almost missed my flight home.  When I got to the airport as soon as I opened the car door I realized I could not walk.  I hobbled, using my suitcase, to the ticket counter, checked in, dropped off my bags, and asked for a wheel chair.  It was a good thing I was in a wheel chair or I would have been late, the line through security was super long, there is no way I would have made it through that line in time.  Four days after I got home I came down with Bell's Palsy, so now I have a stress fracture in my left tibia, and a paralyzed face, GREAT!  To top it all off I was on pain med's for the fracture, Prednisone to help reduce the inflammation around the nerve bundle, and a antiviral drug to lessen the effect of the virus that causes Bell's Palsy.  Looking back I remember thinking I would never run again, my face was paralyzed and would stay that way (UGH) and the Prednisone made me feel crazy (it's bad shit), not a good combination.  

To make a long story short; I was planning on signing up for Western States  in 2007 for the 2008 race, because of all this I really thought my running had come to an end, Western States would have been my 1st 100 and I was not so certain I could compete, so I didn't apply, darn it, this was the last year of the " third time and you're in".  In 2008 I applied for the 2009 race, this was my 1st time applying and of course, wouldn't you know it, they dropped the 3 times and your in clause.  So this year was my 4th time in the lottery and I made it in!!!

In 2010, since I didn't get into Western States, I added my name to a list of people wanting to pace Western States runners.  I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to pace Chris Roman.  We became fast friends and have ran Badwater the last 2 years together.  Running Western States with Chris from Forest Hill to the finish was an amazing experience, trying to push him, trying to watch out for him, and just becoming good friends made for an amazing experience.  I am so grateful to be able to experience the entire race in 2013.

I have had many goals in running.  My 1st was to finish the New York City Marathon for my dad who never got the chance.  My 2nd was to finish a marathon in every state, I finished in 2008!  My 3rd was to finish Badwater, I did so in 2011 and again in 2012.  This goal to complete the Grand Slam is a big goal and will be tough.  I hope All of you will follow along with me on this quest.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

2012 in review!

2012 in review!

First of all I would like to apologize for being lax on updating my blog.  As always I am burning the candle at both ends. I need to make time to keep this blog updated.  This year I will be trying my best to do so.

Last year was full of highs and lows.  My major goal of the year was running Badwater under 30 hours and a top 10 finish.  In order to improve on my time from last year I needed to do actual heat training somewhere where it is hot like Phoenix, work on walking faster, and run a couple of road 100 milers as training runs.  My training came together perfectly and I achieved my goals.

Last year I received help from sponsors like Race Ready and Brooks they will continue to sponsor me again this year.  Race Ready makes very high quality running apparel shorts and shirts in America, one of the last few American Made apparel companies.  Brooks shoes are my favorite brand of shoes, I wore a barely used pair in Badwater and was amazed how well they performed only a couple of blisters.

One of the problems I find in ultra's is having enough pockets to carry GU, GU Chomps, S-Caps, hat, gloves, thin wind breaker, arm sleeves, a place to put trash, etc.  I use to wear a bottle waist pack, but they weigh a lot, bounce around on your hips, and tend to slow me down.  This last year I decided to carry Nathan water bottles, wear my Race Ready shorts, and at night carry a Nathan Hydration Vest (minus the bladder) to carry my extra light, extra batteries, and cold weather gear, etc.

The races I ran as training runs for Badwater turned out to be a perfect fit.  The 1st 100 was called Labor of Love in the canyons outside of Las Vegas.  The race went really well until about mile 50 when the heat and road really started to get to me.  I also took off too fast.  At mile 50 I was winning the race but knew I was falling apart.  The best thing about running an early season 100 is it is OK to fail a little, if you fail in one that is not a goal race then no harm no foul, at least you didn't fail in an important race "like Badwater".  I ended up finishing in 3rd place, but best of all I learned a lot.  The 2nd race I did was Keys 100.  I felt good the entire time except for getting so sleepy I had to take a nap around mile 55.  My daughter crewed me from Key Largo to Key West, having her there made it really easy to throw a towel on the ground near the car and sleep for 15 minutes.  The nap made a world of a difference, I woke up and was able to finish strong in 10th place. The 3rd 100 I did prior to Badwater was one of my favorites San Diego 100 (this was my 3rd finish).  San Diego 100 is a great trail race put on by an amazing ultrarunner Scott Mills.  He thinks of everything and puts on a great race.  The trail is not terribly difficult but not really easy either just a great mix. I ran a conservative race just wanting to be under 24 hours and be able to walk away unscathed!

Like I said previously Badwater was my big goal.  Badwater was amazing as always.  I love the heat, I love the team atmosphere, I love the night running through the passes.  There really isn't anything I don't love about Badwater, well maybe the road, I am really a trail guy at heart.  This race is so spectacular, I thought once I had ran the race I would want to stay on trails from then on, but I just can't get this race out of my mind.  It is a magical place, running at night through the passes without a headlamp with the moon shinning bright, watching shooting stars, no city lights to disturb the bright stars and moon. it truly is amazing!  I will be back pacing in 2013!!!

Kevin Douglas and I won a free trip to TransRockies last August on Facebook from Fitful, they provided the meals for runners as soon as they finish.  Having a balanced meal early following a tough run is key to recovery, after all TransRockies is a 6 day stage race and we can use all the help we can get. I met a ton of great people and had a great time running.  I had not recovered from Badwater so it was all about just finishing every stage and staying healthy the entire time.  I finally got to meet Trey Bailey and Eric Sach from Renton Washington, two of my fellow Washington runners.  I knew them both from Facebook, but as you well know it just isn't the same.  Lots of good times joking back and forth, competing in the stages, and during meals.  Great times that will always be remembered.

In 2012 I paced many marathons in the following times 3:20, 3:25, 3:30, 3:35, 3:40, and 3:45.  All of my pacing jobs were successful (even the 2-3:20 marathons I was worried about).

A few weeks prior to Badwater, on my way to Phoenix I went to Lone Pine and Death Valley and trained with Brad Lombardi.  We managed to get permits to climb Mount Whitney the highest point in the continental United States.  
 Brad and I working our way up the mountain from Whitney Portals
 A view to the East overlooking Lone Pine and Death Valley at the Summit
Proof I was there!
Right above a cool waterfall on my trek with the Seattle Mountain Runners around Mount Ranier.
 Rob and I in Red Rock Canyon a few days before Badwater
Our whole group in Red Rock Canyon before Badwater
 The girls on my crew at Zabriskie Point
 The guys at Badwater Basin (lowest point in the United States)
 Mike Miller, Kimberly Miller and Mark Hellenthal in Furnace Creek CA
Our whole crew at Zabriskie Point
 Me, Dr. Ben Jones & Brad
2012 running in Death Valley 1st 17 miles
135.4 miles in 29:40, that's a long way! Good for 10th Overall BABY!!!!!!!!!
Swollen hands, swollen sore feet, Amazing Race!

Monday, December 12, 2011

12/10/2011 Ghost of Birch Bay (Race Director)

Thanks goes out to all the participants that braved the 2011 Ghost of Birch Bay Marathon and Mega 1/2 Marathon.  Here are the pictures Dave Robb took of the event. Thank You all my Skagit Runners volunteers that made this race go absolutely perfect, Dave Buttrey, Dave Robb, Chris & Toi Wright, Kevin Douglas, and myself Terry Sentinella. 

I was asked some months ago to act as the Race Director for this race because Scott Krell wanted to run the Honolulu Marathon and it just happens to be on the same weekend as The Ghost of Birch Bay.  This is a very small race and very casual like all NW Ultra events (club runs).  My favorite type to direct.  Kevin and I got to Birch Bay about 4:45 in the morning and proceeded to mark the course with orange chalk and flour.  Our motto is to leave no trace!  Dave Robb, Chris, and Toi arrived a little after 6:00am to start setting up the start/finish, registration, and eating area.  We had 43 people register for the event and 30 start the race, all but 2 of the starters finished. 

Kevin and Dave Robb manned the aid station by Semiahmoo Parkway, and Dave Buttrey manned the aid station by Century 21 Real Estate office.  Chris & Toi were in charge of the start/finish, registration and feeding all the hungry runners.  I did my usual helping where needed and roam the course. 

As you can see in the pictures the roads were frosty and a little icey.  We had overcast skies luckly the rain/snow gods smiled on us and the rain stayed away for most of the race.  Towards the end of the race it started to mist.  YES we lucked out!

8:00 Start
8:00 Start, come on quit talking Terry so we can run!
They're off

Our Fort Lewis Guys!

The Marathon leader
Beer station, grab and go!
2:58:00 marathon, WOW!

Watch out for the horde of folks behind you

Stan Nakishima

Look at my creation!

Cool HUH!!!

John MOVIN, watch out Steve is on your heals!

Just Havin FUN!

Still Havin Fun!

Walla, this is what happens at aid stations when the volunteers are bored!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

12/4/2011 Rock N’ Roll Las Vegas, 3:20 Pacer

Rock N’ Roll Marathons always bring some type of excitement, 2011 Las Vegas was no exception.  This race made history!  The 1st time 44,000 people hit the strip in a night time run!  5,000 of the runners were marathoners, and the remaining 39,000 were ½ marathoners.  What an incredible sight to be seen!!!  The Marathon had 3,760 finishers, and the ½ Marathon had 33,123 finishers for a total of 36,883 finishers, amazing given the size of the course!

I lead the 3:20 pace in inaugural Rock N’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon in 2009.  I had an excellent experience, many of my runners finished with me, and we were able to keep pace the entire way.  In 2009 we started the race with the ½ marathon runners, ran 10 miles on the strip before heading to the west to run 13 miles in the industrial “strip club laden” area of Las Vegas, and finished the last 3 miles on the strip.  I thought it was a PERFECT course.  The only real mishap I saw was the 1st mile mark was in the wrong spot, at .9 miles.   I heard they ran out of water for some of the “back of the packers”.  I marked all this up as “new race” and a learning curve, overall a positive experience. 

This year they changed the course so the full marathoners ran the industrial area 1st then merged with the ½ marathoners at 13.1 miles.  To add excitement they started us 1 ½ hours before the ½ marathoners, so when we hit the strip at 1:40 minutes into the race the fast 1/2ers were way ahead of us: we merged with walkers and runners about ½ our pace.  They promised to separate the ½ runners from the full runners.  To accomplish this they put cones about 16” tall about every 500’ – 1000’ with a sign saying ½ marathoners “right”, full marathoners “left”.  They gave us full marathon runners 1 lane the other 6 lanes were for the 1/2ers.   Hmmm maybe next year they can put a barricade separating us the whole way, or barricade tape, or better yet START EVERYONE AT THE SAME TIME!  I saw at least 7 people go down from tripping over the cones, I almost ran over ½ marathoners WALKING in our lane with their headphones so loud I could hear their music, even over all the noise on the strip, HOLY CRAP MAN!  I had to yell constantly for about 10 miles,” ½ Marathon to the right, full marathon to left, 3:20 pace group coming through, Please help us out”.  Every time I pleaded with the other runners to give us room they “for the most part” obliged, if they could hear me over their DAMN head phones.  My group tucked in behind me and held strong until we hit water stations, then it was like a war zone, runners & walkers stopping mid stream, stretching, taking up the entire road.  I lost 15 – 20 seconds at every water station and a percentage of my runners.  Since I was their pace leader my job was to stay on pace, to stay on pace I had to pick up the pace between each water station, it wasn’t working too well.  This is not the right way to pace a marathon, just in case you didn’t already know!!  By the time I made it to mile 23 I lost everyone in my group except for 2 runners.  They were just too tired fighting the crowds and gave up. 

My BIG question now is WHY did they change the course this year, and have the ½ marathoners start 1 ½ hours after us?  With the amount of races Competitor Group puts on worldwide you would think they would know this was going to happen and make provisions to assure their runners were kept safe.  This was a very unsafe marathon in MANY ways, read on! 

As the President of our local running club and Race Director of a few small races it is important to me every participant enjoys their run.  The people that want to compete can compete, the people that want to qualify for Boston have the chance, the people that want a PR have the ability to do so, and the folks that just want to be out there and finish have the ability to do so as well.   Everyone has a different view of what’s fun for them and what’s important to them.  It is our duty to give them the best chance possible to accomplish just that.  Rock N’ Roll Las Vegas 2011 didn’t live up to their end of the bargain for their participants.  I feel they didn’t plan on this fiasco, it happened because of a lack of foresight on their part!  So what kind of changes can be made to make sure this doesn’t happen again?  A lot can be done if they care to administer changes.  I hope they look at all the complaints positively; a lot of good can and will come out it if they choose to do so.

I finished the race with a time of 3:20:21, 21 seconds over.  This bothers me, I take pride in coming in ahead of pace.  On a positive note the bands were awesome, the distance was 26.41 miles, exactly what is expected in a big marathon, the medal was very cool, the shirt was very nice.  Competitor Group really does put on a good event, they just need to ALWAYS put safety of the runner as #1, the course always has to be perfect, they can’t run out of water/electrolyte drink, or medals. 

I was very happy with the finish area food, water, medals, and ability to get back to the Pacers Room where my wife Delores was waiting for me.  My wife Delores, her friend, Kevin Douglas and I met up outside of the pacers room and high tailed It to our hotel room for showers and clean clothes.  It is a good thing we left fast, it went very smooth for us, not so for others!

After we got cleaned up Kevin and I headed back to Mandalay Bay for our free beer.  Ok that wasn’t a good idea!  We just about made it to the “Free Beer” when we hit a wall of people in the corridor in front of Starbucks.  There was probably 3,000 people jammed in the hall going NOWHERE!  Kevin and I tried to get through just in time to get stuck right in the middle.  After 10 minutes of being crunched between 3,000 people I noticed a lady laying down in the middle of the floor and an EMT working on her.  I told Kevin we were getting the heck out of there.  We forced our way back the other direction and noticed another lady down being worked on by another EMT.  Holy Crap man this is frickin NUTS!  I was never so happy to NOT get my free beer!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

11/27/2011 Seattle Marathon Weekend, 3:30 Pacer

Seattle Marathon weekend started out with perfect weather to run a marathon in and ended with probably the worst weather I have ever seen to run a marathon in!  2010 Pine to Palm 100 still has "the worst weather" trophy though.  A river of rain was coming down sideways the whole marathon; the wind was blowing upwards of 40 mph. I'll take hot and humid over constant rain & wind any day!  At least I can slow down if it's too hot!

Day 1 - Wittle Waddle, Delores and I took off early Thanksgiving morning in pursuit of Delores running her 1st double, that's 2 races in 2 days!  She ended up running the Wittle Waddle 1/2 Marathon with a PR of 2:42:41, impressive!  Kevin Douglas and I volunteered all day manning the aid station at the 1/2 marathon turn around.  After Delores finished we decided we would spend the night in a hotel somewhere around Tacoma so we would be close to the race on day 2.  We found the Best Western by the Tacoma Dome for a decent price and easy access to/from I-5.  Since we ran/volunteered for this race on Thanksgiving Day, we missed out on all the family dinners.  We drove around Tacoma for a few hours trying to find a descent place to eat dinner, the only place we found was the Emerald Queen Casino, $25 for a buffet meal, in a smoke filled joint, NO THANKS!  So we drove around a little more and found a small tavern in the shady part of town.  I asked Delores if she wanted to give a shot, no pun intended, we were pleasantly surprised!  They offered a small turkey dinner for $6 or a turkey sandwich for $4.  The meal was homemade just like mom cooks and it was just the perfect amount of food.  They also had great beer and the football game on, it really couldn't have been better.

Day 2 - Wishbone, Gig Harbor is an amazing place, so close to Tacoma, yet so far away.  It's a very nice small community tightly tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the big metropolitan Seattle area.  This race is put on by none other than Marathon Maniac Bill Barmore.  He holds the EXPO and packet pickup in his living room the morning of the race, and once everyone has paid their $10 (food bank donation), picked up their numbers, pins, and BS'd for awhile they all head about a block down the road to the Crescent Forest trail head.  The course is a 7 mile loop in a figure 8 design.  The 1/2 marathoners run the loop twice and the full marathoners run the loop 4 times.  Yes each course is a bit long, those are free miles.  Bill doesn't want anyone to feel they were cheated miles!  Delores finished a little slower than the day before, but accomplished something she had never done before, 2 -1/2 marathons in 2 days.  Good Job and congratulations Delores!  I manned the only water station (other than the start/finish) in the center of the figure 8, with a few other volunteers.  Once we were set up I started running partial loops with different runners.  I ran with Shawna Tompkins for about 5 miles, Delores for 2 miles,  Marita Trohimovich for 3 miles, Kevin Douglas for 2 miles, and Gary Marr for 2 miles.  It was a lot of fun to run fast with Shawna and Kevin, run a comfortable pace with Marita, and run nice and easy with Delores and Gary.  What a great way to spend the day and have a good time with friends.

Day 3 - Ghost of Seattle, Delores and I stayed at my friends Scott and Denise Krell's house the night prior to the Ghost.  Scott and I arranged a few of the last minute things for the race while Delores and Denise organized all the registration stuff, then we drank a few shots of Bourbon, and headed for the sack, after all the next day was going to be a long day, setting up the race course, finish marking the course, registering participants, and all the other stuff that goes along with putting on a NW ultra’s club event.   We arrived early & started unloading all the stuff from Scott’s vehicles, setting up the registration tables, and finish area.  As soon as everything was set and the real early starters took off Kevin Douglas and I set off to finish marking the course.  We barely made it back to the start to watch the regular starters take off.  This year was kind of exciting we were going to have 2 ladies trying to qualify for the Olympic trials, Lauren Matthews and Trisha Steidle, as well as Chuck Engle running all 3 of the 1st events trying to set PR’s and win each of them.  Trisha ended up being a no show (She won the Seattle Marathon the next day), and much to our dismay Lauren missed her qualifying time by 4 minutes, kind of disappointing, but a great effort.  Chuck finished with an amazing time of 2:41, not bad for a guy that just ran a marathon distance the 2 days prior and set course records at all 3 of them.  Kevin and I had to be at the Seattle Expo at noon to man the Pacers Booth, and attend a Pacers Meeting at 2:00.  When we left the Seattle Marathon Expo we headed back to Seward Park to help Scott take the course down, whew what a full day!

Day 4 - Seattle Marathon, I arrived at the race over 2 hours early to insure I found a parking spot.  This was probably a mistake because it was a bit frigid. I was glad I decided to wear my Race Ready shorts that a tad bit longer than most of my shorts, plus they have ample pockets in the back for GU Packs and S-Caps.  Luckily the rain held off until after the marathoners started running.  Last year I was planning on running the Quadzilla this year, that’s all four races, but Chuckit Pacing asked me to lead the 1st ½ of the 3:30 pace team, so my plan changed to volunteer in the 1st 3 races then run Seattle.  The 1st 3 or 4 miles really was nice, until we hit the I-90 floating bridge, then the wind started, and the rain got heavier, and neither really let up until the race was over.  Normally I don’t mind crappy weather, but when I am trying to lead a pace group and hold a sign, it gets down right old having the sign just about sail out of your hand constantly, plus the sign they gave us was very awkward and heavy.  Bucking the wind and rain made it a challenge to maintain pace.  I was grateful that I only had to pace the 1st ½ of the race, after that I could do what I wanted.  I reached the ½ marathon distance about 1 minute early, exactly where I planned.  The second pacer, Sankara Narayanan, met up with our group about 13.6 miles in, we ran together until mile 21 when I decided to slow it down and just cruise on in a very easy pace.  The last few miles of this course were hardly bearable the wind was so strong and rain was coming down in buckets!!  I was soaked to the bone and cold.  I was never so happy to see the finish line.  When I reached the finish line I met up with quite a few friends and many of the people I had paced.  I think 10 or 12 of the folks that started out in my pace group finished with our pace group, very impressive, thanks Sankara for bringing them in. 

All in all it was a great weekend.  It was the 1st time we spent the Thanksgiving holiday away from our kids.  I’m not sure if I want to do that again, but I guess they are 19, 23, & 24 years old they should be able to fend for themselves.  It was a bit strange though not being around them. 

Kevin Douglas and I were the only 2 people in the WORLD that weekend to finish the QUADZILLA volunteer weekend of 2011.  Would I do it again, HECK YA! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

11/13/2011 Peachtree City 50k

The original intent of this trip was to pace the Soldiers Marathon 100 miles SW of Atlanta Georgia.  I had airline miles I could use but had to book my trip on Monday - Friday, no weekend travel days.  I left on 11/11, and returned on 11/14 so I was able to spend both Saturday and Sunday in the Atlanta area.  I planned on pacing the 3:45 group at Soldiers, and Sunday just messing around in Atlanta.  That was of course before I found out about the possibility of running a double!

My flight to Atlanta on Veterans Day 11//11 involved a 2 hour layover in Denver, during my layover I got on Facebook and contacted a fellow 50 State Club member who was running Soldiers Marathon, Cheryl Murdock.  She told me she was planning on running Peachtree City 50k the day after Soldiers Marathon.  She also told me Scott Ludwick was the Race Director.  I happened to be reading Scott's book "A few Degrees from Hell" for about the 5th time.  Before I ran Badwater 135 this year I read and watched videos of anything and everything pertaining to Badwater 135 I could find.  I found this book to be the best book available (in my opinion) on the subject.  This book profiles many of the 2003 Badwater 135 participants, their experiences, good, bad, or indifferent.  I thought it would be the perfect book to read post Badwater and take care of my boredom during the long flight.  Now that I had experienced this amazing race a lot of the stories would really come to life!  Reading "A Few Degrees from Hell" during my flight really brought back a lot of memories.  It lit a flame in my soul and reassured my reasoning for wanting to run this AMAZING race again.

Cheryl gave me Scott's email and I promptly emailed him hoping he would allow me to register day-of-race.  Man I love small races; he emailed me almost immediately saying I was in the race.  He also said he would autograph my book, and come and say hi at Soldiers, how cool is that?

The directions to the race stated the start was in Luther Glass Park on the corner of Peachtree Parkway & Crosstown Drive, in Peachtree City Georgia.  As I am driving through town I am looking for small directional signs, road signs, something to give me a clue where the heck I was, and if I was on the right road to the start of the race.  Finally I see the Peachtree Parkway road sign, now which way do I go, left or right?  I made an instinctive left on Peachtree Parkway, I proceed about 5 miles then turned around when I realized I should have made a right instead of left, guess my instincts are a bit off!  I finally find the intersection, park in the K-Mart parking lot then proceed to the start area to sign up for the race.  I arrived in Peachtree City about 6 am for a 7:30 am start. As soon as I reach the registration table Scott approaches me and introduces himself, and introduces Susan Lance, one of his running partners.  Susan was featured in his book "A Passion for Running: Portraits of the Everyday Runner”, she has ran numerous 100 mile races including Western States Endurance Run 100. Scott is also a seasoned runner, he has finished Western States as well, Badwater 135, and ran everyday for 28 years, maybe close to 35 years now, amazing feat!

I took off with the other runners at 7:30 for an easy 31 mile training run.  My legs were extremely sore from Soldiers Marathon the day prior; there was no way I was going to even try to compete.  I settled into a nice 8 minute pace with a guy name Kevin and Molly Wolfgram close behind us, before too long Molly joined us.  Somewhere around mile 12 to 13 Molly and I decided we would run the whole run together, Kevin was just running the 25k.  She didn’t want to race it because of overtraining issues, and neither did I since I had run a marathon the day before.  It was a perfect fit!  At about 15 –17 miles into the race Molly started to get a pain in her side, she had to slow down a bit, she tried to eat more food, cut back her water, your usual tricks trying to remedy the problem, to no avail.  I don’t think anything helped her; she just gutted it out to the finish.  Now that is a tough girl!   We ended up finishing 15 minutes or so slower than I had anticipated we would at the ½, but still a respectable time of 4:44, not too bad for an easy training run on the 2nd day of a double.  I placed 11th in the men’s field, and Molly placed 2nd in the women’s field.

At the end of the race Scott gave me a cool medal.  They had coolers of soda and water, as well as Panera Bagels of all different flavors, excellent!!!  I ended up placing 3rd in my age group the 1st place person in my age group was only 11 minutes ahead of me, ugh!  I know on fresh legs I could run that course in 3:45 easy, maybe next year I’ll try to compete??

Finding out about this race, and running this race was a pleasant surprise.  I didn’t expect to run the race; it wasn’t planned and therefore was one of those amazing times in my life that just happened!  When the race was over I had the chance to BS with Scott Ludwick and Susan Lance a bit more and meet a few other Badwater Veterans, Andy Velazco, Mike Smith, and Al Barker.  I also purchased Scott’s other book “A Passion for Running: Portraits of the Everyday Runner” which has stories about amazing endurance athletes, many of whom I know, and a few I met at the Peachtree City 50k.

It doesn’t get much better!