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PCTR Big Basin 50K - RunUltra Marathon

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Boulder Creek, California
United States
85F / 29C
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = 9/46
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

get up, drive up, eat a bagel during the drive, register and start running
  • 6h 11m
  • 31.07 miles
  • 11m 56s  min/mile

this was definitely my most taxing run so far. not so much mentally and physically, but because of pain. from about mile 5 onwards my legs began to actu up. pain on both sides of the knees, pain in the hip flexors. later pain in the quads and calfs. luckily it was just that - pain. nothing failed, which lets me hope that i'll be ok for the IM run.
what was really annoying was that i limited my ability to go downhill fast, out of caution. i kept passing the same 3 people on the uphill and then they flew by me on the downhills. all of them ended up beating me. oh well.

at about mile 7 our group got attacked by a swarm of angry yellowjackets. i fared rather well with only 2 full fleged stings and 2 half-assed ones sustained, but it hurt enough. they guy who got the worst of it got stung at least 7 times, the poor bastard!
to top that off, when we reached the point of the first aids station we learned that due to a gate the ranger had forgotten to unlock we'd have to go another 2 miles and then back if we wanted water and food. us 50k-ers weren't so bad off because all of us carried at least 20oz, but a lot of the 20k people didn't - lesson learned, i hope. i don't think too many chose to run the extra 4 miles. i'll see when the official results are posted.

i learned my lesson, too: pain and exhaustion take different mental muscles to fight.
What would you do differently?:

eat a bit more, i.e. pack a few more gummi bears and cookies at the aids stations to eat while running. just to make sure. i didn't think i was running out of juice, but i might have on a longer run. hard to tell.

go out easier at the beginning. during the first loop, all the participants for the 20k, 30k and 50k share the same narrow trail. it's hard mentally to be happy to be stuck behind a bunch of very slow people. passing takes a lot of energy and concentration, and there's not much to spare.
Post race
Warm down:

chili, chicken soup and chewing the fat with fellow runners who either waited for partners or just hung out. a lot of them are 'real' ultrarunners who do these shorter ones in preparation for 50 miles or 100 miles. there's a lot to be learned from them.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

i couldn't tell if i could afford to go downhill faster. i sure didn't want to pop anything. now i think the pain was mostly due to overtaxed muscles, but i don't regret my decision not to push it.

Event comments:

i'm getting to know Sarah and Wendell better. Martina volunteered to hand out and sell tshirts, caps, socks etc while she waited for me after she finished her 20k.
i like the trai running atmosphere better and better!

Last updated: 2006-06-05 12:00 AM
06:11:00 | 31.07 miles | 11m 56s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/46
Performance: Average
Course: again, as is always the case with PCTR the course is through absolutely stunning terrain, in this case the Big Basin State Park - through pristine Redwood forests, along babbling brooks and waterfalls lined with moss. as is also always the case with the runs organized by Sarah and Wendell: if there's a choice between going around a hill and over it you can bet on it that it's over the hill for you. thus, the elevation gain is 6250'. most of it not very steep with a few exceptions, like a crawl up some stairs hewn into the rocks next to a waterfall where it's best to use both hands, but virtually no flat section. also, there is an uncomfortably steep out and back section up/down an exposed fireroad, which you have to do twice to get to an aids station.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2006-08-21 9:34 PM

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SF Bay Area, Mountain View
Subject: PCTR Big Basin 50K

2006-08-22 8:52 PM
in reply to: #518192

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St Charles, IL
Subject: RE: PCTR Big Basin 50K

Wow.  That's one tough race dude.  Stung 4 times, no water/food for the first 20k, sore muscles, and you still kicked butt.

Hope the recovery goes well!   

2006-08-23 2:49 PM
in reply to: #518192

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: PCTR Big Basin 50K


Your toughness, both mental and physical, never cease to amaze me.  Bees?  Thirst?  Pain?  .... wow!  you're a brave dude, and bloody strong.  Trail running sounds so cool.

2006-08-23 8:29 PM
in reply to: #518192

Extreme Veteran
Cary, NC
Subject: RE: PCTR Big Basin 50K

Awesome race! Wow... chased by yellowjackets?! Crazy! Glad you were up to the mental and physical challenge. Way to go.

2006-08-23 9:59 PM
in reply to: #518192

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Silver member
Subject: RE: PCTR Big Basin 50K



Just goes to show, you're a tough bastard.

I thought about you on Sunday. Wondered if you were able to go slow enough... and further wondered if I was going fast enough. I think the answer to both questions is.... yes!

Nice job.


When's your IM race?  


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