Saturday, January 3, 2009

Art Moore's FA 50K

Me, Kim, Rob & Michelle

What a great first run for the new year! Today was Art Moore's annual FA 50K+ run and my plan was to meet Rob Powell, Michelle Bichsel, and Kim Love-Ottobre at Pine Lane @ 7:00am and run the Summer BT50K course in reverse from Pine Lane to Brecksville and back. This is the same course that I did last year with my brother. For anyone not familiar with FA events, click here for a brief description.

This FA event allows you to run anywhere you want, as long as you report your time/distance to Art Moore at "Purple" Colleen's house in North Olmstead afterwards. Each year Colleen organizes a very nice post-run dinner and everyone gathers at her place to discuss trail and ultra running. There is always a good contingent of Mohican 100 folks in attendance, including the legends (10 time finishers of the Mohican 100 Miler - Art Moore, Fred Davis, & Roy Heger). I've done this FA for at least the past 2 years in a row and each year I enjoy the camaraderie and ability to chat with some of the best ultra runners in the area.

As I was driving down Rt. 303 towards Pine Lane I noticed a couple runners on the right side of the road and figured that it was probably Rob and Michelle trying to get in some early miles before our run. I honked at them and then continued into the parking lot at Pine Lane where I met Kim who was waiting in her car. We looked inside the car next to her and saw a bottle of Ensure, along with some running gear, so we figured that was definitely either Rob or Michelle's car. After waiting a few moments we saw a headlamp coming down the road and realized it was Rob & Michelle who were both finishing up an early 8 miles together. They refueled at their car and after a NEO Trail Club prize drawing and group photo we hopped onto the Buckeye Trail a little before 7:30.

Michelle & Kim trying to cross a stream early in the run and stay dry

The weather forecast for today was pretty good. Partly sunny skies (which became mostly sunny as the day went on), very little wind, and a high temperature around 33. The trail had about an inch or inch and a half of snow on it with some ice in spots and frozen ruts from last weekend's mud fest, but nothing that wasn't manageable. The trail was definitely runnable and a lot better than when Jeff and I ran it last year.

During the first couple miles of today's run we were given a beautiful sunrise to watch and the eastern sky lit up with bright pink and purple colors...

Rob, Michelle, and I exchanging leads throughout the run but stuck together for the most part and had a lot of fun.

When we reached our turnaround point in Brecksville I was surprised how good I felt. I attributed this to the sunshine, today's rare blue skies, and also to the increased training that I've been doing lately. It's been quite awhile since I've felt this good on a BT50K attempt. Here are a couple pictures to show how nice it was out there...

As the run continued, Rob and Michelle were both getting low on energy since they didn't bring enough fuel along with them, so I gave them some PowerBar Gel Blasts to keep them going. Eventually Michelle and I pulled ahead of Rob and we ran together from before Snowville Rd. to the Boston Store. At the Boston Store Michelle said she was going to wait for Rob but told me to continue on and see what kind of time I could get. I could tell I was getting pretty hungry during the last 4 miles but knew I was almost done and pushed on to finish in 7 hours, 33 minutes... a 20 minute improvement from last year.

After a shower at my place I headed over to Colleen's and noticed that Rob & Michelle had just arrived at the same time I did. We then enjoyed some hot food and cold microbrews together, which always makes the day's effort worth it! Only 2 more weeks and I'll be back on the Buckeye Trail to run in the official winter BT50K that takes place on January 18th.

Group photo at Colleen's place

Front Row - Irma Davis, Chris Shick, Kim Love-Ottobre, Autumn Keller, Gailanne Joachim, Flo Davis

2nd Row (kneeling/stooping) - Glenn DuMonthier, Brian Musick, Leo Lightner, Colleen Theusch

3rd Row - Ida Greiner, Joe Eisenberg, Rob Powell, Noreen Keller, Mike Keller, Tyler Bates, Zenek Zapotocky, Debbie Lemmer, Chuck Shick

Back Row - Eleanor Royko (almost hidden), Michelle Bichsel, Fred Davis, Mark Shelton, Dan Fox (face half hidden), Rita Barnes

Others that attended but were not in the group photo:
Bob Fehlner
Roy Heger
Ashura Keller
Paul Lefelhocz (only 50 miler finisher of the day)
Tim McGinty
Arthur & Edina Moore
Judy Nejman


Rob "Buckeye" Powell said...

That was such a blast and so glad you had some fuel for Michelle and I to enjoy. Looking forward to seeing you at BT 50k!

Rob "Buckeye" Powell said...

Ohhhh Yes, most important, nice sharing the cold microbrews!

Jeff said...

Excellent run for the new year! :)

Mike said...

Nice seeing you man.

Brian said...

Rob - That's what friends are for! See ya back on the BT in a couple weeks.

Jeff - For sure!

Mike - Good seeing you again too. It had been awhile.

Michelle said...

Great report Brian! It was a fun day, the beers at Colleens were the only thing my stomach could handle.

Brian said...

Thanks Michelle.. I hear ya!