Sunday, March 1, 2009

Mount Cheaha 50k: Before the Race

As soon as 2009 Mount Cheaha 50k results are available, I'll post them here. I heard through the grapevine that Dink Taylor won the race, but I don't know his time. Congratulations Dink!!! He actually convinced me to run this race. I was in his store buying shoes for my kids when he told me about the race. Listening to him tell about the course convinced me!

I did not race the course yesterday. I enjoyed the scenery, enjoyed Matt's company, spent extra time at the aid stations, and ran comfortably. Even so, I really wanted us to finish in under 7 hours, which we did in 6:52.

It rained the whole drive down. The forecast was for rain all during the race. I was beginning to dread the race. We drove up to the Bald Rock Lodge and picked up our race packet. We got soaked just walking from the car to the lodge! Yuck. The packet was full of goodies, cotton shirt, race number, trail runner magazine, instructions, a Hammer perpetuem sample, and some organic live food bar that I haven't yet mustered up the courage to try.

It rained all night. It rained for the entire drive from the hotel to the finish line in the morning. This race is a point to point, so you meet at the finish line and ride a shcool bus to the starting line. It was so wet that one of the school buses was stuck and didn't make it to the finish line on time. It had to have a tow truck to pull it out. So, the race was 1.5 hours late starting. Even though the forecast called for rain until 11:00, by some stroke of blessing, the rain stopped almost exactly at 7:30 am. So, it would have been ideal if the race started on time. I didn't have any other plans for the day, so it didn't really matter to me.

As we were waiting for the bus, I took the time to meet some folks and chat it up. What else was I going to do with the next 1.5 hours? Knowing about the delay would have been very useful information at about 4:00 am. I definitely would have liked to sleep longer.

As I was sitting there in the lodge, I realized that I may have been just a bit out of place. Everyone was talking about this 50k or that 100k or this 50 miler or that 100 miler. Remember that time at the 100k? Or, remember the Western States 100 miler? Or, I plan to beat last year's time at the Mississippi 50 this year. Hmmmm. What have I gotten into? Do I belong here? I guess not many folks pick Mount Cheaha as their first ultra. I was told that I was jumping right in the deep end!

Race report is next...

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