Beast of Burden: 1 of 12 Race Update
Well its been a week since the first step in 12 in 12 has been completed and I would have to say that is went about as well as I could have expected, so here is how it went:
So the race started on Saturday January 21st 2012 and it got off to a great start. The sky was blue and without a cloud. The temperature was -4 degrees and there was very little wind, and with an inch or two of fresh snow we couldn't have asked for better conditions.
I started out the race with Mary Lou and we quickly came up with a plan to run our first 25 in 4:30 and our first 50 around 11:00 and Mare made me a promise not to wait for me, looking back, I'm glad she kept that promise. At mile 37.5 I had to make some clothes changes and Mare was out of Middle Port in just a few minutes and I spent a few extra minutes there and spent the next 18 hours chasing her. More on that a bit later.
I wore my new Salomon XT gortex wings and my go to socks, a pair of Merino Wool Ice Breakers but as luck would have it, for the first time my socks bunched under my right foot and toes and I could feel a couple of blisters coming on, this would mean at mile 50 I would need to take a few more minutes to make a shoe and sock change. I got to the turn around at 10:30 and was pleased with my pace over the last 12.5 miles. I'd banked enough time to make my sock and shoe change and not put myself behind schedule.
I struggled a fair bit over the next 12.5 miles and began to wonder if I'd done enough training to complete the 100 miles. I remember going through this exact feeling with the other 100's I've done so I started singing and just trying to focus on each of the bridges along the route.
The weather stayed great for the entire day, once the sun went down and the temperature remained somewhat steady there were very few clouds and even a bunch of stars, it was going to be a good night.
At each turn around I continued to see all of the familiar faces, first Mary Lou and Ken then Maryka and Charlotte, it is so much of a relieve seeing people you know and hearing all of the good things that go with participating in an Ultra. As usual Michelle was at each of the aid stations making sure I had the stuff I needed at each turn and getting my gear and food ready for the next time I came into an aid station, what a big help and boost that was. Michelle got my shoes and socks changed in record time at mile 50 and I was in and out of the station in a time that would have made Ken proud. I also have to thank Stephane, Kinga, Chris and Jocelyn, four more Canadians who made their way to Lockport to pace and volunteer at the race and at each aid station always polite and ready to lend a hand to help in any way they could, you guys all did a great job, thank you all very much for the support, encouragement and assistance. Great Job.
I met a bunch of great people at the event and as always Sam and his team did a great job putting on the race, providing support and good food at the aid stations, from hot dogs, popcorn and pizza at each station to hot chicken broth, they kept us fueled and ready to go.
During the race I didn't wear my watch so out on the course I wasn't aware of the time of day or my time during the race, this turned out to be a good thing and I continued to get to the aid stations before my scheduled time and I found that sitting at the start and the turn around for just 5 minutes to enjoy a piece of pizza and something warm to drink served as a good plan as the first hour of each leg seemed to go very well and I'm confident this was time well spent. I know Ken will be disappointing I spent time at an aid station but to try to make up for it my stop in Gasport (middle aid station) was only a few seconds at best, usually to pick up a gel, occasionally a cup of chicken broth and then back to the trail.
The race ended for me at 23:16, a personal best for me and a boost of confidence heading to Florahome, Florida next month for the second leg of my 12 in 12.
Here are some other notes from the weekend:
Mare finished the race and was the first woman and her time was about 22:40. Way to go Mare, great job!
Michelle and Ken did a great job, thank you both for everything you guys did to help me get through the first leg.
It was great to see Diane and Henri in Lockport for a few minutes, thanks to both of you for driving all that way to see some of your ultra buddies.
A very special thank you to Saul and Ashley at Artik Promotions for the generous donation of technical shirts with the 12 in 12 logo, they look great and I can't wait to start wearing them.
I also learned on the way to Lockport on Friday evening that I have been selected as one of the Running Free ambassadors for 2012, more on this in another blog, it deserves one of its own. Thank you to the folks at Running Free, Barrie. I will do my best to represent your store and brand as best I can.
The gentleman at the border going back to Canada was pretty funny, I guess he hasn't seen anyone crazy enough to run a 100 miles in one day, made entry back to Canada pretty easy. Thanks sir.
The last thing, its Saturday, one week later and it's time to get back on the road or trail in preparation for leg no. 2. The goal is to run 180 - 200 kms in the next 14 days then take five days off before we head to Florida.
I will update this page at least once more before we go and let you know how its going.
Thanks to all of you for reading this......both of you.....hahaha. Have a great day, keep smiling and happy trails.