Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pick Your Poison 50K Trail Run

2nd Ultra of the Year has been completed, did the Pick Your Poison 50K at Horseshoe today.

PYP quiet a reputation for being extremely tough. Last years inaugural event had more DNFs due to mud and just plain old tough slugging then any other OUS event. Changes were in order and this year, it was still tough but much more runnable .
Results ...

Race day started early , up an hour before my alarm at 4:00 am ... breakfast , hot tub and the I was dressed and out the door by 05:45. Arrived at 07:30 and bumped into Christie, aka Nature Girl. This was her first Ultra since Haliburton , she was both excited and nervous. Talked with JD, aka jdbegin for a bit and bumped into Sheldon, aka Doonst just prior to the start ... lots Run Mania folks to be found! In the final few minutes I relaxed quietly alone focused on the task ahead.

The race started without much fan fair. After a few last minute instructions from Adam the race director we were off! The course was a 12.5k loop through the Ski Club. We started off with a gradual climb across a few of the Runs and then headed into the Forest. About a K in the single tack the fun began. Lots of ups and downs with narrow dirt paths. I quickly became apparent to me that this course must have been a disaster during last years heavy rain.....and then I hear it , THUNDER...Oh SH#T guess I am going to get a taste of last years mud and then I prayed it would hold off for at least 2 loops. After slugging it out the first 5K I checked my Garmin and it said an AVG 8 min pace ... oh man , another 7hour Run seemed to be a real possibility. Then it happened... a gift from the Running Gods , the course opened up to single lane road , slightly downhill covered in wood chips. I changed my ruining stance from Trail to Road stretching out the legs and picking it up to a 4:30 pace. The easy running went on for a few Ks , it was a combo of tractor trails and flat single track through a Pine Forest. The Runners pretty much had the trail to ourselves. I passed an Elderly Woman out for a hike , one of the few people I would see that wasn't running or helping out. As I ran past she stopped and yelled at me " Hey you look like a Mohawk" I looked back and smiled she went on " You really do" she said "they use to run around here you know , you're bandanna ..... you really look like a Mohawk". I had a pretty good chuckle ...funny things happen on the trail. The last 4Ks of the loop were the toughest , back to the narrow paths that ran diagonally across the sides of very steep hills forever going up and down... never flat. This was also when the rain started .... I knew the rest of the day was going to be a real challenge. With about 1K to go in the loop you emerge from the Forest and you are on top of a Ski Hill above the start/finish... the view is spectacular and so was the lightening ...D'OH! Yup I was a little concerned , I have a great deal of respect for Mother Natures Light and Sound show and I was standing on the top of the World...not good at all. I quickly bled some elevation making it to the bottom without getting fried..YIKES! It was Raining really hard at the start finish. I was shirtless on the first loop and starting to get a bit of a chill on so I grabbed a compression shirt at the car. I find compression shirt acts like a wet suite! I also traded my Halo Sweat Band in for a Sugoi Running Cap. Putting a Ball Cap on while running on the rain is like wearing a raincoat. A couple of Ks into the second loop the rain let up. It wasn't long and I was heating up so off came the shirt, it was shorts and a ball cap and I was quiet comfortable in the light rain. The course was beginning to soften up but it wasn't too slippery yet. I made it through the first tough 5Ks in about the same time as the first loop and then I began to pick it up. The last 1/3 of the second loop I was trailing Ron Gehl and another fellow. Listening to these guy laughing and carrying on you would have thought it was two old buddies sitting at a bar somewhere yakking it up over a few beers. Ron has a distinctive laugh that puts a smile on your face. I am always hesitant to pass these legends of Ultra Running. They stopped at the second aide station and I kept wasn't really like I was passing them! The light rain continued right through the second loop. The last few Ks of the second loop were really tough, it was starting to get quiet slippery and it was slowing me down. When I hit the start finish completing the second loop I commented to Adam on what a great course he laid out and how the rain was "just beginning to soften up the trail a bit" knowing very well that it was going to be tough...I love to put on the game face! The third lap would be my Music Lap , pulled out the Tunes and played it Rocking Loud. The rain was still coming down pretty hard and there was a bit more Thunder and Lightning. The continuing rain mad the last few Ks almost impossible , it was very slippery, skid marks everywhere. All I could do is to try an walk through the tough parts and I was still going down. In one had I had my MP3 Player the other was my Water Bottle. Dumb move on my part , using the hands in this section would have really helped. Completing the third loop I dropped the Mp3 and grabbed a light T contemplating that I may get cool near the end. As I passed by the start finish heading out for my final lap I loudly declared " This is my victory lap". The rain had stopped heading into the last loop and the sky was getting brighter. The slick mud that was lap 3 turned gummy and was allot easier to get traction. I was really starting to slow down but I thought I may be able to get it in in under 6 hours, this thought helped me to push through the last part of the day. In the tough slick forest in the first 1/3 of the course a fellow came up from behind and joined me through the rough section. He was new to trial running but had done quiet well in Seaton a couple of weeks earlier. My second cute moment of the day came when he was using his hand to negotiate a tricky spot he came in contact with a plant and asked if it was Poison Ivy, I looked and told him "No your OK that's a Trillium"! I was starting to get quiet Nauseous and beginning to cramp a bit , with 7K remaining I took 4 eload caps and downed it with a glass of water and then a glass of coke. I didn't eat or drink for the last hour running right by the last aide station with about 4K remaining. Entering into the last single track section I was passed by Steve Beach. He was surging, I saw him a few K into the loop and figured he was about 10 minutes behind me. I asked him if he thought he could get it under 6 hours and he replied "No" but we both agreed he would be close. I wish I could have kept on his heals but I just didn't have it in me. I literally crawled up the last hill emerging once again at the top of the Ski Run. The legs didn't have much left in them and I started to fly down the hill not able to put the breaks on. Crossed the finish line and let out a big cheer! Garmin said 6hrs5mins15seconds, 45.03 km I was pleased!

Watched and cheered as others crossed the finish. Watched Ron Gelh come in he wasn't that far behind me. JD came in grumbling something about why do we do this and "please excuse the expletives", I responded "JD I like your expletives because the F%$#ing World is Round"... if you follow his blog you will know what I am talking about. After a few minutes of recovery I headed to the car , downed three Advil and then I had the best darn Burger I have ever had after a race.

Almost 24hours have past since I finished. Aside from being really really hungry I have very little pain. After Seaton is was 5 times worse ... just what is it about Seaton?
Next week its the Trillium 10K , a week later the Mississauga Full then two weeks later its the Sulphur Springs 50K.


JD said...

Good run. It was an epic race. See you at Sulphur.

chris mcpeake said...

great report. Was an awesome race.