Saturday, December 13, 2008

2008 URINEO FA 50

Lanterman's Mill & waterfall

Today marks the 3rd year for the URINEO FA 50 Miler which starts at the Lily Pond parking lot in Mill Creek Park (Youngstown, OH) and is organized by the N.E. Ohio Trail Club. Last night I slept at my parent's house in Warren and woke up this morning at 4:30 in order to get ready and be on the road a little after 5:00. There were 3 starting times that everyone could choose from this year - 5, 6, & 7 am. My brother arrived at 5 and met up with Bob Combs, Jim Harris, Frank Dwyer, Mike Dobies, & Joe Novicky. I showed up at the Lily Pond at 6 and met Greg Murray, Kevin Jones, Jay Layshock, Rich Vrboncic, and Pat Dillon.

From left to right - Pat, Jay, Greg, Kevin, & Rich

Rich pumped up on the first loop

What a beautiful day to run in Mill Creek Park! Very cold though! Last night's low was around 15, with the high temperature only making it up to around 30 today. At least there wasn't any wind when we started, but that changed later in the day and became quite cold after we were finished running.

Earlier in the week it rained quite a bit and temperatures went below freezing at night so we thought that things might be pretty slick today. However, the trail conditions were much better than we had anticipated and we only ran into a couple spots of ice on the trail. The rest of the trail was frozen solid and primarily dry. You did have to watch your footsteps though as there were quite a few leaves covering the trail, except for the sections that have been blown off by NEO Trail member Bruce McMurray.

Early in the run speedsters Jay and Pat pulled ahead of our group and they stayed together for most of the day. Pat was able to finish his first 50K today in just over 6 hours. Congrats Pat! Another great performance to mention is Jim Harris' completion of the 50 mile distance today. He was the only person to finish the entire distance. All of these guys looked strong throughout the day.

Jim and I near the Lanterman's Mill boardwalk

One thing that's nice about this run is being able to change the direction that you're running in order to see everyone out there on the course. It's also fun to yell or practice your NEO Trail turkey call whenever you hear or see someone on the other side of the river. At one point we ran into Bob and a few others at the Covered Bridge and Bob showed us the wound on his hand that he sufferd from a fall before sunrise. He must of hit the ground pretty hard because he said that his chest was a little sore as well, but he was still in pretty good spirits. We had a lot of fun out there today and had a total of 18 runners show up! Great turnout!

My original plan for the day was to do the entire 50 miles, but early in the run I was already beginning to feel the very early stages of an IT Band problem around my left knee. Luckily as a preventative measure I wore my IT Band strap for the entire run and I think this helped to minimize any damage. Since this is a loop course and you pass by your car approx. every 8 miles I figured I would just keep running and see if it got any better or worse. After finishing my 3rd loop (25 miles) I decided that the smart thing for me to do was to call it a day and try to stay healthy for my ultimate goal, which is next year's MMT 100. I was happy though to get in 25 miles today to follow up my 50K at Laurel Highlands three weeks ago.

Afterwards I hung out in the parking lot and enjoyed some post-run refreshments with Bob, Mike, and Jeff, as we waited for the final runners to come in. For final results, click here. Then, once everyone was finished I drove over to the Jib Jab Hot Dog Shoppe in Girard and met Jim, Mike, Kim, and my brother for some chili dogs and fries. We shared our stories from the day and assumed that we were probably talking louder than normal since everyone in the restaurant was staring at us. The annoying tapping sound from my screwed shoes probably didn't make us seem any more civilized either. Oh well... Who said ultra runners were normal?

I will leave you with a few more photos that Greg took during our 3rd loop. They came out pretty nice and really captured the beauty of the day...

Lake Cohasset waterfall

Lake Cohasset

The Steel Bridge

View from atop the Monkey Trail

Me next to Lake Glacier

Me and Greg at the Lily Pond parking lot


Nick Billock said...

Wow, a superb day on the trails and from what I can tell, no bee stings, either! Confirmed: I missed a great one. Thanks for the report, Brian. It looks like everyone had a great time and the trails really cooperated, too...well, except for drawing "first blood" before sunrise. Rock on, NEO Trail!

Kim said...

Nice write up Brian! And those pics from Greg were great!
How come his camera didn't freeze?

Slim said...

Nice job on your sub marathon.

Did you run yesterday?

Did you run today?

Are you going to run tomorrow?

Brian said...

Nick - Haha.. nope, no stings! We had a blast! Sorry you couldn't be there.

Kim - Thanks. I don't think he took it with him until his 3rd loop.

Slim - I knew you'd like my new distance category! =)