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:
Paul Lefelhocz (only 50 miler finisher of the day)
Arthur & Edina Moore