Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Psycho Wyco 50K Trail Run, take II

This past weekend I ran the Psycho Wyco 50K Trail Run in Kansas City for the 2nd year in a row. Let me start with this:

Thank You to Bad Ben Holmes and all his awesome volunteers. Bad Ben - you and your Trail Nerds put on one excellent race. I loved the cowbell and yelling at the 1st aid station -it's great having that excitement pull the runners through the Triangle. The 2nd aid station was definitely a nice bonus that I took advantage of 3 times. And the 3rd aid station... WOW. Hand's down that's the best I've ever been treated at an aid station. One time through someone took and filled my water bottle, while someone else filled my Nathan pouch with goodies, while someone else handed me some cheese quesadillas, and they topped it off with some of the good Valentine's Day chocolates. All that in a matter of seconds, and I swear they were cheering for me for taking all the stuff. A beautiful and tough course, with great markings and tons of friendly people... this race is definitely worth doing, and I hope to be back again and again. Thank You!

Last year I drove down myself, this year I went with Les and Mike. This year was way cooler. Last year I parked on the far side of the parking lot and put my drop bag by the main aid station with all the rest. Check out the 2nd picture above... yup, that bridge in the background is the course. When you go with an ultra veteran like Les, you get to work out of your vehicle... much better. Each time through I stopped and picked up a new gel flask, and stripped off a shirt.

Here we are at the start. Notice how I'm trying to sneak ahead of the other two. And a little bit later as we hit the first water crossing, look who's in the back. I'm still getting used to the 'ebb and flow' of these races. You can be running with someone, then there's a gap, and then you're back together again. I've found this happens as people get tired and recover at different times, and also based on the terrain. I seem to be ok power walking the uphills, but get blown away by people who can run the technical downhills.

The good news: we all completed the 50K. Way to go, Minnesota runners!!

#91 below is Glenn, and I caught up to him towards the end of lap 2. He was walking due to back pain. In true ultrarunner form I encouraged him to stick out lap 3 as he had plenty of time to walk it in. And he did. After some ebb and flow, we finished the race together - both walking and running. Way to gut it out, Glenn.

After getting going, most of lap 1 I spent with one main thought going through my head: BAM! That's right... BAM! I was racing another runner and I was taking it to him. BAM! Take that you weak, slow runner. BAM! You're going down, you don't have a chance, I'm ahead and increasing my lead with every mile. BAM!

So who was this poor sap?? Well, ME of course. That's right... using my Garmin I was racing myself using last year's Psycho Wyco race data. And I'm happy to report that I kicked my own butt. After lap 1 I was ahead by ~.75 miles and 10 minutes. After lap 2 I was ahead by 30 minutes and ~1.70 miles. And at the end I was ahead by 1:07 and ~2.7 miles. Woohooo!

This was my 5th 50K and I'm definitely happy with how it went. So what's next? I'm thinking the biggies will be: Chippewa, Superior, FANS 12 (?), Afton, Half Voyageur, Pikes Peak Ascent (?), Superior Moose Mtn, In Yan Teopa, and Surf the Murph 50 mile (???????????).

I decided to post a few more pictures of the course. Mud has been a big deal the last two years, and the pictures don't really do justice. How about joining me down there next year to check it out for yourself?! :)