Sunday, June 23, 2013

Niagara Ultra - June 22, 2013

 Did my 4th Niagara 50K Ultra yesterday.  It was my slowest time but I didn't give a rats ass because I was out to have fun and I had a blast!

 Out of bed at 02:30 am and on the road by 3:00 am with ZERO hesitation.  Let just say I was a little bit excited to to this race again.  I knew it was going to be another hot one but I was OK with that after freezing my ass off to too many times this year!  I had my HD Video Camera and was determined to shoot tons of video and totally take in all the run had to offer.      Decided to leave the Ultraspire Pack home not wanting to cover my back ...too hot.   Ended up wearing ,  shorts,  sans shirt ,  hand held water bottle and my "10K Belt...very low profile pack and knowing my sweat bands would never keep up I opted for a buff made into a headband.  I through having so much on my forehead would cause heating but it worked out rather well.  

 The race started at 07:00 am and 150+ joined me heading out from Niagara on the Lake to the Horseshoe Falls.   I wasn't even a K in and I stopped to shoot my first video and I probably didn't do any constant runs all the way to the falls ...way too much to see.   Heading out of Niagara on the Lake we ran past a series of Vineyards to the sounds of "Gun Shots" going off warding off the Birds.  It made me reflect on the War of 1812.   Ran with Vertical Pierre for a couple of Ks.  After getting over a series of injuries and surgery this was his first crack at the 50K in a few years.   I lost Pierre at the 5K Aide Aide Station spending a bit of time in the Porata Potty .... without going into details lets just say I am 3 for 4 in the past 4 races !!!!!!!!    So heading back out I was right at the tail end of the pack and started leap frogging a woman from Barrie doing  her first Ultra.   Heading into Queenston/Lewiston the Vineyards gave way to stately mansion.  Before climbing the escarpment I came across Laura Secords House.  1000+  folks were doing the "Laura Secord " 32km walk marking to 200 the anniversary of a walk she did .  The story goes like this .....

 on June 22nd, 1813, Laura quietly set out on her journey. She went first to St. David's to see her half-brother Charles Ingersoll who was ill and would serve as an excuse for her trip if the Americans stopped her. To avoid the main roads, she went through fields and woods. Laura followed the course of 12 Mile Creek, which flowed past DeCew's house. Towards evening when she had gone about 32 km (19 miles), she stumbled into a Native encampment which was an outpost to Fitzgibbon's headquarters. Terrified, she convinced the chief that she had an important message. He brought her to Fitzgibbon and she told the Lieutenant her news. Two days later, on June 24th, the British and First Nations warriors intercepted and engaged the Americans at the Battle of Beaver Dams. Trapped in open ground by the enemy, the American commander surrendered his 542 troops to a British force of 300 First Nation warriors and Fitzgibbon's 50 soldiers.

After climbing the Escarpment we head across the "Sir Adam Beck" Hydro Station.

Going across the Dam is always out first taste of the real heat of the day being fully exposed to the elements.  It was warm ,  in the high 20's and very humid but there was a lovely breeze.   With all the stops I was doing plus the lovely breeze I was hot but not all that uncomfortable.    I had been drinking lots of water and had started on the S Caps but didn't take in any  calories until the 15K Aide Station.  I wasn't going Gel but the race supplied them so why not!   Getting to the 20K Aide Station seemed to take for ever with the anticipation of the "Tourist Area".    It was also the time when the leaders of the 50K run  came by me on the return to NOL.   Stopped and shot a video of the first 5.    Seeing ,  hearing and the feeling the Mist from the Falls is always a special moment.    Putting an effort into getting there makes it even more satisfying.   It was around 10:00 am and there were lots of Tourist around making it even more fun.    I hung out at the turnaround aide station for a bit then stopped and took in the Falls for a bit.    Heading back out I stopped and took a shot with a Mountie ...

Heading back I felt great,  not too hot well fueld and hydrated.  In the past the return has always been a challenge but today I really felt it would be different.    In the first 5K back I shot a bit more video ,  paused a few time to look around.    Passing the 30K mark I was satisfied that I had taken it all in and decided I would  see what I could do in the heat.  Water , Gels , S Caps galore were in order.  Maintained all the important things running at a pace just shy of heat stroke and managed a consonant run for the last couple of hours of the race.   Tripped the clock at  6:07:11   93rd of the 178 that started the race. 

 Felt surprisingly good when I finished.   Dumped 2 cups of water over my head the grabbed Pizza, Potato Salad and Beer for recovery.  Didn't sit down for about 10 min after I finished then I sat around for 30 minutes or so chatting up some of my running friends.   Driving home I dropped some stuff off at my daughters in St. Catherines then I didn't make it past Grimsby before I stopped of a large Carmel Ice Cap Supreme.   Had some pain in my right Quad  which is fairly common after this sorts of race.        Today ,  Sunday I feel a bit tired but there is no delayed muscle pain running in the heat.   

 So it was a hugely successful day.  I wasn't looking for a time ,  had a ton of fun and actually had my best ever last 20Ks in this event.    


kim said...

Fantastic race report, Ron! We love your photos, clips & adventures! Can't wait for the documentary! Best wishes on your Owen Sound Odyssey - See you in Creemore. :)

Robin said...

Great race report Ron! Wanted to do this one this year as my first ultra bit it didn't work out. Sounds like you had fun, and that's awesome! Congrats.