A picture that this guy took of Jeff and I running through the pines - the quality of some of these pictures are low since I had a disposable camera
Heading towards the Ohio Turnpike and the Boston Store
When we arrived at the Boston Store, I noticed a somewhat large group of runners gathering, including Roy Heger and Tanya Cady. We talked to them for a bit and then Jeff and I were back on the Buckeye Trail without any further stopping at the Boston Store. Later on down the trail though Jeff was very glad that I brought a stash of toilet paper with me (to wipe his nose of course!) Around the area of Blue Hen Falls and beyond the trail starts getting tougher with steeper climbs... and we could definitely tell as we began sliding up and down the hills more frequently. It started to feel like we had to make 2 steps for every 1 in order to make ground.
We maintained a decent pace though to Snowville Rd. and then stopped there to eat/drink some. Past Snowville Rd. we then ran through the section of open fields which I always dislike because it's like a swamp. Surprisingly there weren't really any major falls today but there was a section of single-track trail past the open fields where my brother stepped to the right a little too much and had his leg completly slide to the right, making him collapse to the ground. It was a graceful fall though and we both laughed for awhile.
We then navigated the section of the Buckeye Trail between Snowville Rd. and Parkview Dr. This area is not traveled a whole lot and therefore the snow was not packed down as much as it was before. Jeff and I were really starting to feel tired at this point and we began to think whether or not we should go all the way to Brecksville. At about 12 miles or so into our run we then decided to turn around and head back to Pine Lane. We figured if we felt good enough when we got back to the Boston Store then we could hop on the Towpath and do the extra 7 miles that we would need in order to complete the 50K distance before arriving back at our car. Unfortunately as we got closer and closer to the Boston Store we both had no desire on doing our additional 7 miles on the Towpath. The snow and ice had made our legs feel like someone had hit them with a hammer. The "ultra shuffle" was definitely in effect now. We would run for awhile until we felt exhausted and then slow down to a fast walk. We tried to run more frequently though the further along we went so that we could be done faster.
The closer we got to Pine Lane the more and more the rain was starting to pick up in intensity. It was starting to feel pretty cold out now, especially since we were somewhat dehydrated. Once we reached our car with 24 miles complete we now had a difficult question to answer. Do we call it a day or do we continue on? We mauled over this question for some time as we loaded up on food/water and then we were finally able to convince ourselves to push on. Our plan was to just run the road on Rt. 303 heading east for 3.5 miles and then turnaround and head back. Once we reached the intersection by Rt. 8 though we were only at 2.5 miles. So, we decided to head back to the car once again to fuel up and then complete the final 2 miles needed for our 50K distance. These miles sucked bad but we were able to run a few of them in under 10 minutes even with a decent amount of walking.
As we reached our car for the final time we were both very happy that we decided to complete the run rather than take the easy way out. This goes down as my 14th ultra and my brother's 2nd 50K in back-to-back months. Great job Jeff! To read his report - Click Here
I'm also very happy that I have been able to put together a good string of distance running lately with a 70 miler in Nov., 50K in Dec., and this 50K in January. Plus I only have about 3 weeks now until the official Winter Buckeye 50K, which takes place on Jan. 26th. Hopefully we will get another freeze before then or else the trail may be even worse than it was today.
After getting a shower at my place Jeff and I then headed over to Colleen's house for an evening of camaraderie, food, relaxation, and ultra talk. It's always fun to hear everyone's stories, especially Art Moore's and Leo Lightner's, who are both around 80 years old with lots of ultra experience. Here's a photo that was taken shortly after we arrived...
From left to right - Chuck Shick, Leo Lightner, Chris Shick, Rita Barnes & Dan Fox are behind Jeff Musick, Art Moore behind Brian Musick, Judy Nejman behind Colleen Theusch, Debbie Lemmer, and Eleanor Royko
*NOTE - A few people were not shown in this picture or had left before the picture was taken
Some background info given to me by Colleen of the people listed above:
Chuck & Chris Shick have been Mohican volunteers for a over a decade - the last few years they have captained the Bridle Staging Area aid station. Rita Barnes has the most Mohican 100 finishes for a female (6). Rita & Dan both did 50 miles at the FA. Judy Nejman is an EMT who has volunteered at Mohican several years. Debbie Lemmer ran part of the FA50, also volunteers at Mohican - usually in food service at some time. Eleanor Royko - finished the FA50K last year. She volunteers at Mohican often - as Fire Tower aid station captain the last few years.