From left to right: Myself, Mike Keller (standing), Kurt OPod (kneeling), Josh Dillingham, Kim Love-Ottobre, Dan Fox, Rita Barnes, Bob Combs, Frank Dwyer, and Joe Novicky
Joe "Moose" Novicky running past us
As we reached Lanterman's Mill (the turnaround point of each loop) it was awesome to see how much water was flowing over the waterfall. It hasn't looked like this for some time with our dry summer and fall...
Jeff and Dan
As I got closer to the Lily Pond parking lot I ran into Jim and Mike Dobies near the steel staircase, who both stopped for a photo with Rita and Dan.
I thought I was going to see Jeff running towards me on the trail as he started his 3rd loop. However, I was kind of surprised when I reached my car at the Lily Pond and didn't see him. I asked Josh, who was eating/drinking at his vehicle, if he had seen my brother and he said that he was using the outdoor restroom. So, I waited around for a bit and then he showed up. Before we left for the 3rd loop I drank a bottle of Ensure, had a Clif Bar, and ate a Reeses Cup. Once Jeff and I were done warming up in the car we then headed back out. He told me that his legs were starting to feel a little sore and that this was going to be more difficult than he had first thought. Since this was his first ultra marathon I told him we could stay together, if he wanted, for the last 2 loops. He agreed and we continued on. Before leaving our cars we saw Moose heading back onto the trail, so we made an effort to catch back up to him. He was moving pretty good today and we didn't catch up to him until a little bit past the Old Log Cabin (start/finish of YUT-C). We chatted for a bit and then moved ahead of him just before the Stone Bridge. After going a little bit past Pioneer Pavillion we then saw Dave Peterman on the trail who did a nice fake pose for the camera...
At this point Jeff and I were both dreading going up and down the monkey trail hills for the 3rd time today. We were tired and started mixing in more walking but made it a point to continue our steady forward progress. Once we got back to the Lily Pond again, Bob was sitting in a chair outside of his truck, waiting on Jim to finish his 5th loop. We talked for a bit and then Bob said "Get your stuff and get out of here!" It's a good thing he started early and was done in time to yell at us, because it would've been very tempting to waste more time at our cars.
On the fourth loop my left quad was pretty sore, especially on the downhills... but I knew we were on our last loop now and getting close to being done... so... we continued the death march. As we got close to the steel bridge that the park had just finished refurbishing I could hear people talking ahead. I told Jeff it sounded like Mike and Kim so we decided to hide behind a large rock and yell at them as they went past. All of a sudden we jumped out and I seriously thought they were both going to have a heart attack from the expression on their faces. It was pretty funny... Sorry guys... it was hard to resist. Before leaving them, they informed us that they were also only doing one more loop to make it a 50K for the day.
Jeff and I continued to work our way up to Lanterman's Mill for the final time and were very happy to make the turn back north. Not happy to have the monkey trail hills coming up again... but happy to almost be done. Once we finished these hills I noticed that it was starting to snow some. It started out very light but quickly turned more steady. By the time we reached the Old Log Cabin to make the final turn back to the Lily Pond there was already an inch of snow on the ground. It made the leaves covering the trail pretty slick and I was wondering how bad it would be for Mike, Kim and Dave, who would still be out on the trail when we finished. Here's a photo that Mike took when they reached the Mill. What a drastic change from earlier...
As Jeff and I reached the last turn to head downhill to the Lily Pond we ran into Bob who was walking backwards on the trail to look for us. We all walked together and then made a final sprint to the cars as we got close, finishing in 8:18. Jim was standing in the parking lot and gave us a cheer. I am very proud of my brother for pushing through the pain and discomfort today and am glad that I was able to share in the experience of his first ultra finish. Good job Jeff!
With the snow coming down heavy now, we hurried to clean off our cars and then put on a change of clothes for the ride home. There was only one problem... When I turned the key to start my car nothing happened! I thought, man.. this is great. I finish running 33 miles with a winter storm on top of us, and now I can't get home. Luckily Bob had a set of jumper cables in his Suburban so we hooked them up to Jim's van and it got me going again. Thanks again Bob! On my way home the roads were getting pretty bad, but fortunately I was able to make it back to Streetsboro to buy a new battery at AutoZone. Mike and Kim ended up finishing their 50K and Dave Peterman put up an excellent effort to run a sixth and final loop in the blizzard to complete 50 miles. For complete results and other race reports visit - www.teampr.info/urineo.htm
Everyone had a great time this weekend and I'm already looking forward to the next trail run I can share with my friends!