The Way Too Cool 50k, my first race since HURT. I had a good two months between the races, but I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be in terms of training going in to Cool. It took me quite some time to recover from HURT (dang you Nathan for seeming to have a rapid recovery). Still, I was excited for Cool as I would get to see some new trails, see some friends, get a strong run in leading up to the Lake Sonoma 50 Mile on March 27, and generally experience the season kick-off and party that is WTC50k. Oh, and one other thing, I wanted to kick Joe Palubeski’s butt..
See.. this post is less about Cool, and more about the fact that Joe and I have nearly identical ultra racing plans this year: 1.WTC50K, 2. Lake Sonoma 50M, 3. Miwok 100K, 4. Tahoe Rim 100M, 5. Pine To Palm 100M, and probably another race or two towards the end of the year. Due to Joe clearly stalking my racing schedule (likely), thinking it would be a chance to hang out (unlikely), what better to do than talk some smack leading up to all these races and put a little wager on the line once the 2010 races wrap up? I’m not sure who instigated the bet, but I am pretty sure that Joe, being the “funny” old man that he is, definitely started the rivalry based on all of the “hysterical” comments he has been dropping at my expense over the last couple months. At least Joe and our friends have been laughing.
The bet is being refined as we speak, but the basic plan is that we will take the total minutes from our races this year, add in some sort of minor factor to take Joe’s age into consideration (lets call this the dinosaur factor), possibly allow for some “style” and “zinger” bonus points throughout the year (as judged by our friends), and thus a champion will be crowned. And what spoils does the victor claim?.. the loser will crew for the winner at a race of the winner’s choosing, all the while the loser will be dressed in an uncomfortable, semi-self-deprecating costume. I would gladly do this same bet with Nathan, Zach, and Joel, but uh well umm, that might prove to be a lot of crewing by me in a banana suit.
Back to Cool. Leor raced great again, followed by Max King in second, and Geoff Roes in third unfortunately due to a wrong turn while running in the lead. In my opinion though the stand-out performance of the day was by the Masters winner Gary Gellin. Gary absolutely tore it up in what was only his second ultra, running 4th overall behind three amazing runners (and he wasn’t a distant fourth). It was a blast running for a short section with Womens winner Joelle Vaught who also ran a fantastic race and won WTC for the second time. Bev Anderson-Abbs was the Womens Masters winner and was second woman overall. Yes, the post-race frog cupcakes were fantastic.
I felt like I ran pretty well for about 27 miles. I didn’t quite have my nutrition dialed in right and the wheels seemed to come off for the last couple miles, especially the last two which I ran pretty dizzy. It was crazy being able to see the finish line, not quite sure if I would make it there. Fortunately I only dropped one place in the last couple miles (Michael Cook literally flew by me out of nowhere with about a mile and a half to go, way to finish strong Mike). Still, I had a blast running WTC especially with all of the mud and higher-than-normal stream crossings, I somehow finished second in the age group behind Leor (way behind), and I definitely plan on trying to come back in 2011 depending on my race lottery luck.
Next up.. Lake Sonoma 50 Mile on March 27. There is a large group of us descending upon Lake Sonoma which should make it a fun one. Plus we will be smack in the heart of the Sonoma wine country so I’m pretty sure we will have plenty of excuses to taste some vino come Saturday night and Sunday. My legs are pretty trashed and I have not had a comfortable run since WTC, but hopefully I’ll be good to go come Saturday morning and can have a fun day of cruising around the lake (a stride ahead of Joe).
I’ll have Joe’s take on Way Too Cool added in the next day or two, it should be good for a laugh.
The Way Too Cool 50K site and 2010 results can be found HERE
Leor’s recap can be found HERE
Gary Gellin’s recap can be found on Mark Tanaka’s site HERE and Tanaka’s recap is HERE
Jeff Roes’ recap
Rod Bien’s recap
Rick Gaston’s recap