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Maysville to Macon - Run

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Maysville, North Carolina
United States
35F / 2C
Total Time = 12h 11m 28s
Overall Rank = 9/15
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

parked car at the Circle at Atlantic Beach and rode with other runners to Maysville. Pre-race meet up was at Hwy 55 restaurant in Maysville.
Event warmup:

not much :)
  • 12h 11m 28s
  • 50.2 miles
  • 14m 34s  min/mile

Like many of the racenc events, this is not a truly straightforward run. We began at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday (yes, 1 minutes after midnight). After a rousing send off by the fire department and police department for the town of Maysville, we headed into the darkness of Hwy 58 South. The plan is to run 18 minutes, run 2 for as long as I can manage. At the beginning, the group is immediately split in two bunches - the fast people and the not so fast. Despite hearing the calls of "too fast" off went a bunch of the runners. I determinedly stayed as slow as i could manage, knowing that even if I hit my goal time of 10 hours, that was still 10 hours of running. Ran with Jeremy for part of the first hour before i went on ahead. I was worried that despite the cold, i was over dressed. I was running with tights, Hammer shorts on top of those, Hammer tri top (keeps the chafing down and provides two nice tight pockets), a short sleeve base layer and a long sleeve Champion tech shirt underneath my bike wind jacket. Gloves were on my hands with foot warmers stuck to them. After a couple of hours, I was warm. There wasn't much wind and my activity was keeping me pretty warm. I carried two bottles. One had water with Fizz tabs. The other had a 5 hour serving of Perpetuem.

Had an enjoyable run down Hwy 58. Played leap frog with another runner for a while, but for the most part I was on my own. That was fine for early in the run. Those who know me know I have an internal sound track that plays in my head. This race's sound track was limited to two songs. Dangerous by Big Data started the race. After a couple of hours it was replaced by Southern Sun by Boy and Bear. That song lasted the rest of the run.

Around 3:45 i crossed onto Emerald Isle. I walked the bridge, up and down. The runner I had been playing leap frog with finally caught back up on the bridge. He ran up the bridge and down it. All I could tell him was that he was a better man than I :). Once on the island I kept thinking that I had a short run to get on the beach. Wrong. That run what seemed like 30 minutes or more. About a 1/3 of a mile before the beach two runners caught me. Shortly after that they began their walk and my run time had started so I passed them again. When we got to the beach access, they were probably 100 yards behind me.
Once onto the beach, I had my first encounter with the soft sand. Not being the most alert (or brightest) bulb in the chandelier, I was convinced that once I got near the water, the sand wouldn't be an issue. To a point, that was true. For then. Since the tide was out, there was plenty of firm sand to run on. As the morning progressed, the tide came in and finding firm sand was difficult.

Down the beach you could see the strobe light for Aid Station 2 which was roughly the halfway point. With nothing else but the light, you couldn't tell how far away you were. So i kept running thinking that I am pretty close. Again, not terribly alert or bright. Around 4:58 I walked into AS 2.

AS 2 was the only inside aid station. It was also where your bags were (if you left one). I had a small red bull and another 5 hour bag of Perpetuem. As i drank my red bull, i mixed a new bottle and topped off my water bottle with fizz tabs. I was sweating sufficiently that the neck of the wind jacket was chafing my neck. So i put Body Glide on all parts of my neck, just like I would if I was getting in a wet suit. That made a big difference as the morning progressed. Leaving AS 2, I had my jacket partially unzipped to try and cool off. We had the benefit of the wind being at our back almost the entire rest of the race.

At this point I'm about 26 miles into this and feeling pretty good. I'm still able to keep my 18:2 ratio, even if it is a bit slower than i would like. I have approximately 6 miles to AS 3, so off I go into the dark. I'm still feeling pretty strong and am butchering Southern Sun as I progress down the beach. I get to AS 3 around 6:30 a.m. Top off the water bottle and have a grape. Back onto the beach. I stopped and took a picture of the sun as it was coming up. Absolutely beautiful. And only 18 miles to go. I feel like I can still get close to 10 hours. Silly boy.

After leaving AS 3 I'm able to keep my 18:2 ratio going for about 40 minutes. Then I need to walk for 20 minutes. After that walk, I'm back into my 18:2 ratio for about 3 cycles, then another 20 minute walk. Rinse & repeat. But I'm starting to lose my happy thoughts. AS 3 said AS 4 was approximately 6 miles down the beach. I hit 1 hour 40 minutes out and i haven't seen the cone or strobe light. I can't remember what exactly the beach side of AS 3 looks like and start panicking that I have missed the AS and will be disqualified. The 20 minute walk breaks are becoming more frequent, but not yet taking over the race. My mind on the other hand has been subsumed by the not so happy thoughts. I hit 2 hours and still no AS4. The happy thoughts have taken up residence and redecorated.

Then down the beach, I see a cone. Really? I have my doubts since I have already had at least 2 confirmed hallucinations of seeing signs for AS4. Plus the not so happy thoughts are happily ensconced and don't want to move. Yet, this cone seems solid. And lo and behold there is AS 4. I haven't missed it. As I come into AS 4 I tell them I have two questions: 1) is this in fact AS 4? and 2) Please tell me that was more than 6 miles. It turned out the distance was closer to 7.5 miles. Still slower than I wanted, but not knee crawling drunk slow yet. I top off my water again, eat a grape or two and head out to cover the next 7+ miles to AS5. I'm looking at 11.5 or so miles still to cover.

I leave AS 4 with the plan to continue the 18:2 ratio as long as I can. That came to about 2 miles, give or take before the legs declared that they were sick of sand and were not running on sand any more. So, the happy thoughts I had recovered by finding AS 4 were now tamped down by my legs. I still have plenty of time to meet the cut off, or do I? That debate now begins. The not so happy thoughts have evicted the happy ones and put security locks on the doors.

As I continue walking up the beach, alternating between a sad shuffle and a determined lope, I have turned off my internal sound track to focus entirely, and often erroneously, on whether I'm going to make the cutoff. We're talking about snap changes in calculations. Clearly, the brain is now mush. I can't do multiples of 60. Heck, I can't add one and one at this point. Oh well, some one will come get me if I miss it.

I finally get to AS5 where Jimmy is there with the happy news - only 4.5 miles to go. I was really hoping that would be 1.5 miles. No such luck. We are now on the Fort Macon property proper. At this part of the race we have to go around the end of the island to the back side at the Coast Guard Station. RD has put two hole punchers on the beach that you have to use on the bib number. This is to make sure you don't cut the corner. As I get to the first hole punch, Jeremy catches me. Remember Jeremy? He's the runner that i passed back in the first hour. He is looking strong as he reaches me. We walk around the end of the island and up into the parking lot of Fort Macon, chatting the whole time. It was a great pick me up to have him there. His wife and kids were going to be at the finish line to see him finish. Despite having completed several of these races, his family had never seen him finish. I think most of us appreciate how special that can be.

As we hit the parking lot asphalt (hallelujah no more sand) we started jogging. After a bit I needed to walk up a small incline and told him to head on. I shuffled the last 1.2 miles to the finish line, finishing with a smile. I was the 9th finisher. Of the 15 that started, 5 dropped at some point during the race, so one other person finished behind me. Still, I was happy to have finished.

The veggie burrito and potato soup was heavenly. Amazingly I could still move with out much pain or discomfort. I had made the cut off by 48 mintues and some change. Happy thoughts are back.

I would recommend this race to everyone. It is tough, but rewarding. There is a lot to learn running by yourself in the dark for several hours. There is a lot to learn to be at the end of the race with someone else. There is not much that compares to watching the sun come up over the ocean after 6 and a half hours of running. It is akin to having Easter with the world reborn.

What would you do differently?:

There isn't much I would do differently. The training was spot on. There wasn't much I was going to do to deal with the sand. Nutrition was pretty good. Equipment worked wonderfully.
Post race
Warm down:

sat down and ate a veggie burrito :)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

General fitness and sand. Lots of sand.

Event comments:

this is a tough race, setting aside the distance. I recommend everyone try it :)

Last updated: 2015-02-15 12:00 AM
12:11:28 | 50.2 miles | 14m 34s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/15
Performance: Good
Course: point to point race from Maysville down Hwy 58 to Emerald Isle then west to end of island, then follow beach the length of the island to Fort Macon, come off the beach and run down the road to bath house
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2015-02-15 2:52 PM

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Kinston, NC
Subject: Maysville to Macon

2015-02-18 2:21 PM
in reply to: #5093479

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Maysville to Macon

Great job out there!  I'm so happy for you, especially knowing how much training you put into this and how smoothly your recovery seems to have gone.  Impressive for sure.

Oh my goodness, what a lot of sand running!

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