( Love his attitude towards the sport )
Where to start? Sorry for the long break between blog post. Things have been super crazy around home and the store. You can tell spring has hit and track season is underway. Crazy amount of people rolling in everyday, but hey that is why I love my job. The day in day out interaction with runners of all ages is what make my day.
I guess I should start with a little re-cap of the Sylamore 50k race some 4 weeks ago. Hmm well the trip was a perfect way to spend 3 days with my buddies Paul and Adam. Nothing like rolling along the highway in the TCRC RV listening to great tunes and talking, talking and more talking.
After the 12 hour drive we got all settled in at the Sylamore creek campground across the street from the start/finish area we got some grub and settled down for the night. Nothing big to report.
We awoke in the morning to a perfect day for a 31 mile trail run. It was like 38 degrees outside with some cloud cover. As we lined up at the start I saw my friend Mike Rush the owner of Rush running in Arkansas who I met a few years ago in France on a Salomon trip, it was so good to see him. I also saw Nick Lewis who I met a few years ago out at Leadville 100. He was second that year and was my pre-race favorite to win this race.
I was so happy to be back here in Arkansas and it was great to be back at this race after such a long time between visits. I knew I would not be as fast as the last time I ran here, that was ok with me. Being back here reminded me of coming to this race the first time with my then girlfriend Sonya before we where married. Good thoughts pre-race.
The race director said go and we took off and within like 5 mins Adam was gone and Paul and I wondered if we would see him later? At mile 1 we hit the creek crossing which always opens up the eyes with it's cold water that is almost waist deep. If you where not awake you are after the creek! Paul and I made our way down the trail together during the opening 10 miles or so. I was feeling super good and strong. I was seeming to pull away from Paul on the climbs but I knew Paul would always be right back with me. After the second aid station at like 11 miles or so I started to pull away from Paul and made my way to the turn around at 15.5 miles. I saw Adam coming back on the trail at 14 miles or so. He looked strong and when I reached the turn and saw that he had like 20 min's or so on me and that most likely the next time I saw him would be with a beer in hand at the finish line. Things can happen as I well know but I thought that was a safe bet.
On the way back to the finish after the turn I tried to be strong and pick off a few people along the way. While I did get some folks I also felt like I could not push as much as I liked on the rocky area's. That was going to be my downfall. Unlike me Paul is great on that type of ground and with like 2.5 or 3 miles to go he was right with me and pulled past with like 1.5 miles to go. My first thought was when I got back to the creek I could hammer and catch back up. When I hit the creek and did lower the hammer but I was to far back and finished 1 min behind him. My last mile was 6:30.
While I was slower than I hope, it was a good day. A good day with friends on a great trail! Still much work to do before the Black Hills 100 mile at the end of June. I will be there and ready to go. This was just one step in the process of getting there as I love this sport and will always bleed for it as long as I have a heart beat in my chest. Happy trails!