Tuesday, May 27, 2008

NB2V Race Report

Grab a cup of coffee and a cookie, this is a long post for a long race.

I packed enough food and clothes for 3 days, 2 pairs of Brooks Cascadias, and my 1 size too big Brooks Glycerin's just in case my feet got too big. You just never know what's going to happen 50 or 60 miles into one of these races. And since this was a self supported run I wouldn't be able to just stroll up to an A/S and grab what sounded good at the time. I think I did pretty well at guessing what I would want to eat or at least what I would settle for to just fuel me down the road.

Tony and I carpooled to the start, it was pretty cool out. While waiting for the 6:30 am start, it was just a little too cold to stand around in a short sleeve shirt and shorts. Perfect for running and by the time I was done not really listening to RD extraordinaire Shawn Lawson, I was starting to shiver a little. I was definitely ready to run. And then all of the sudden she said you can go anytime!!! Of course she wasn't ready to go so a few of us waited a couple extra minutes for Shawn to grab her gear.

I only took me about 5 minutes to warm up. By the time we hit the 2 mile mark, the 4 of us (Tony ,Steve, Shawn and I) had caught up to the lead pack. We got to the first A/S in what seemed like just a few minutes. I wouldn't be seeing my crew which I was sharing with Tony and Shawn until 10.5 miles so I just added a little water to my bottle and headed out.

In the 1:47 minutes it took me to go the 10.5 miles I had already figured out a few things regarding how my race would go. First off it was not cloudy or raining so I could tell it would get a lot hotter than the forecast had predicted. Yeah, I figured that out all by myself. Secondly I had not recovered from my 12 hour 100k race the weekend before where the temps got up to 96 degrees in the Redmond Watershed. I figured it would take more mind power than any race I've ever run. So I just filled my bottle with Heed and grabbed a banana. I could only take it one step at a time

Halfway between here and the 20 mile A/S - Detour point there was a water stop at the Mt. Si 50 mile/kilometer turn around point. Once I was beyond that, the trail was pretty new to me. I had only ever been on it once and I was going the other way, so I made sure to take out the camera and get some photos. After what seemed like an extra mile we came to the McClellan Butte detour turn off. That 3/4 mile of downhill single track was a very nice reprieve from the constant 1-2% uphill railroad grade.

A 30 minute break quickly turned into a 48 minute traffic jam because everybody had to slow down and look at the dead Deer or Elk on the side of the road. And of course I had to tease Jenn, our bus driver, that this was a race and she was driving too slow. I think she's the only person I know that drives faster than I do. I used the time to eat as much as I could. Funny thing is I actually got a little stiff sitting in the car. I headed out of Easton at 11:10 am a minute or so behind Tony, Shawn and Tim.

Shela and I slowly reeled in Shawn and then the three of us reeled in Tim. The trail doesn't change much in this section but we found ways to entertain ourselves. After about 5-6 miles into this 11.5, Shela started lagging behind. I had a water bottle for her and she was drinking regularly and we even stopped to take a dip in the Yakima River but she just was a little off so I decided to leave her with my crew until after the next leg which was 18 miles long. That ended up to be a very smart/lucky decision on my part. I think she got over heated, maybe even before we started running and never recovered. She had a fun weekend playing with different crew members and watching me come and go all night. She did step up after I finished and let me use her as a pillow.

This next section from 32.5 to 50.5 miles was the hottest and second longest of the race. I loaded my pack up with 100 ounces of iced Heed and hoped it would be enough. There's no easily accessible "clean" water on the trail. There are a few streams but they seem to come from sources that you wouldn't want to drink from. There are a couple of rivers but the climb down and back up didn't look fun. I did dip my hat once or twice but as it turned out I had plenty of water. I think Shawn had about an ounce of water left when we got to the A/S.

The only thing I remember about the next 8 mile section was that it was wet but still warm. At Ellensburg we meandered through the town to the A/S at the fairground. Tony was already there with his Domino's Pizza. I had to really focus while I was running to "keep it together" but when it came to my A/S stops I was pretty casual about how long I spent, each time hanging out a little longer. After some Pizza and a Real, running water, bathroom break, Tony, Shawn and I headed out.

The three of us took Tom's suggestion and ran straight to the trestle (staying on the JWT instead of on the road down below) and then down the single track. It was dark but I felt like I was moving pretty good. I'm just glad we found it. I would have hated to had to back track 5 miles to take the road around. It seems like this way was a little shorter but also harder than the road because of the extra climbing. There was no advantage in choosing one way over the other.

It was 11:10 and we finally made it to last outpost. I wasn't sleepy but I knew I couldn't sit and relax or I might not be able to continue. It took me over 25 minutes to "gear up" for the last leg. During that time Tony was napping behind the car and Shawn was trying to catch a 10 minute nap in the backseat. Finally at 11:37 Tony and I headed out toward the finish line leaving Shawn behind so she could finish her nap. This next section was to be a mix of soft sand and rock fields for 20 miles, not the easiest thing to run on, in the dark with 70 miles already on your feet.

We made it about 10 yards before we made our first mistake. It looked a lot different in dark and we missed a turn. Luckily we only went 3/4 mile before realizing it. I tried to talk Tony into just cutting straight up the hill to meet up with the JWT but he wouldn't even consider it. In the dark it was probably the right choice. So, back to the car, Shawn was still trying to get her 10 minutes. But said she'd be right behind us.

Up the correct path we went, signed in, got our permits and headed off into the dark at 12:06 am. Going the wrong way took some steam out of me but I think it took more out of Tony. Those kinds of little things can really get you down at this point in a race. I've heard tale of a runner almost quiting because he felt like the squirrels were taunting him. Tony talked to me about stopping, he wasn't having any fun (I think he knew there was heavy rain coming). He wanted to just walk a while, and then decide what to do. So I went on ahead. I kept looking back for him. One point it looked like he was running toward me and then it looked like he was headed back, and then toward me again. I was thinking my mind was starting to play games with me, but as it turned out that's what he did. Soon what after that it started to rain and I got pretty cold. I hoped he made it back before it got too bad.

This was a pretty lonely stretch, it seemed a lot longer than 20 miles. Even though I was in the lead it was hard to stay motivated. There was a beautiful cavern that I ran through. It had a few Owls, a field mouse with the biggest ears I've ever seen on a mouse, and a few hundred pigeons. All of them except the mouse didn't like being disturbed by my lights and told me all about it with their loud cries and flapping wings. The only other wild life I saw after that were two deer the second of which stopped right in front of me and gazed into my headlamp. After some time passed (definitely less than a minute but it's so hard to judge) I decided to talk her into moving. She did and then I continued slogging toward the finish. I should have taken a picture but I didn't think of it until after. With less than 10 yards between us my mind was racing, I had 100's of thoughts going through my head. What if they are being hunted by coyotes? What if she was a fawn that she feels she needs to protect? Wow what a beautiful animal. I wonder if there are more. ...

One of my goals when I started this stretch was to finish before it got light. I didn't make that but I did beat the Sun. The last 4 miles were at a respectable pace. It was just after 5 am when I finally crossed the road and finished. I was glad it was over. Judy, of course, was there taking pictures and cheering me on. Everybody else in camp was fast asleep, but not for long. Jane her clan came out to congratulate me. And then Jon was up. I was eager to find out how everybody was doing. I got all caught up and then called Jenn to tell her I won. It was nice to hear her voice. Hopefully next time I can figure out a plan for the family to meet me at the finish.

Shawn and all the crew did a magnificent job putting this race on. I'll be back to help or run next year.

For full results go to NB2V.


Mother of Martineau Tribe said...

great job! Next year we will find a place to camp.

Scotty said...

Hi Arthur--

I stopped by--GREAT REPORT, great run!


Backofpack said...

Congrats again Arthur!

shawn said...

Great Win Arthur! Too bad it's not a "real" race ;) and that you ONLY ran 90 miles. double ;)

Thanks for coming out again. Glad you got to experience the last 20 miles this time...fun huh?

Thanks again for having the forsight to know that the cars would be totally packed and to have Jenn come out and be part of the caravan to Easton.

Oh yeah, I totally would have drunk the stream water between Easton and Thorp without you yelling "DON'T DRINK IT!"

Good job!

Journey to a Centum said...

NICE! Congratulations on your first place finish. I guess we know where Shawn would be if she had chugged some water from the stream. "Water Closet Girl".

I think your last picture of Shawn just says it all. She looks so.... happy?

If you just don't feel like you have put your body through enough this month I plan on running 12 Summits this coming Saturday. You could drop a car on Tiger Mt. Road and just run 6 Summits if time is a problem. Tell Shawn and tc too! Let me know emwrbarnes@comcast.net

Our email is down because apparently some spammer was using our computer as a portal for their trash. Comcast shut us down for 24 hours for outgoing mail. I feel so violated!

Steve S said...

Ok, so I guess we can't call you slacker any more. Nicely done and sweetly won. See you soon on the trails or at Lake Young.

Jon said...

I didn't know that there were deer on the trail. I remember seeing a coyote when I drove away from Army West after getting confirmation that Tim was okay for us to meet him at the finish.

Kudos to you finishing (and before the sun came up too!)

Those eggs you made up on my little burner smelled REALLY GOOD. Care to share the recipe? :-D

robtherunner said...

Well done, Arthur!

GotLegs! said...

Ha! I like the picture of "Shawn the white girl dancer" - she can almost snap her fingers.

I can call you slacker, "Slacker!" - where were you last weekend (20th Century)? I suppose you were, what, parenting or some lame excuse!

Are we running Green River Marathon, huh, huh, are we? Come on slacker!!