Sunday, July 7, 2013

Creemore Vertical Challenge 50K Ultra - July 6, 2013

Returned to Creemore yesterday for my 6th consecutive year running my 5th 50ker at this event.  It was probably the warmest CVC ever with lots of Sun exposure,  temps around 30 and a humidex somewhere in the mid 30's...somehow I was OK with that!   I know its wasn't going to be a PB in that kind of heat but I was determined to "Run" this one leaving the camera at home.

The race started at 08:00 am and it was already in the low 20's and climbing fast.   Its been an awful long time since I did the "death march" so I decided to play the fade going out "fast" and taking advantage of the "cool" morning.   Breezing through the 5K aide station Morgan commented that I was really moving.     I decided to keep pushing to the base of "Hill 1" around the 7K mark and that would be my first walk of the day!   After the first climb we loop around a heavily forested property which was a nice break from the increasing Temps and Sun.   Gelled at the 2nd aide station and just about everyone after  and started drinking a bottle of water every 5K.    Past A.S. 3 its the longest downhill to be followed by the longest uphill  including "O2".   I was real conservative on the down.  It was really steep in places and my right foot complained a bit.   Ran all the way to the base of "O2" then walked the big one.    Made it AS 3 again feeling pretty good running all the way to "Top Hill" the last walking climb of the first loop.    Was real conservative going back down "Hill One",  dropping into the low lying pasture land  it was like a blast furnace ,  hot dry winds!    I know this course really well but it never ceases to amaze me just how much the last K takes out of you..once again it was another "Oh yeah now I remember moment".  I was starting to feel a bit tired and heat was building when I made it to the 25K mark ,  the start finish.   Before crossing the line I grabbed a quick Creemore on Tap and posed at the start finish while Pierre took a shot of me enjoying the Brew.   I  wasn't wearing my Garmin so I really had no idea what my time would be on the first loop.  I was thinking 2hrs45min and was a little disappointed when it was 2hrs56min.  I knew there was no way that I would get break 6 hours and was thinking maybe 6hrs20min would be possible.   Because of the increasing heat I knew there was no way I would be any quicker and was suspicious of perhaps a  7 hour day.    The second loop was all about managing the heat ,  hydration ,  electrolytes and calories.    The only variable that I  was having trouble managing was the heat.   I was running in shorts ,  no T ,  and no head ware.  I had a White Towel with me that I soaked in  water and would drape it over my head and shoulders when exposed to the sun.   This was a very effective strategy in managing the heat but I also had to decrease my pace.   Topping "Hill 1" the loop around the Forest was a gift.    Half the loop is downhill which I ran ,  the other half a gentle uphill which I ran the first time but decided to walk to bleed off some heat before heading back out into the Sun again.   Ran to A.S. 3 again then all the way down the big one.    This time I started my walk as soon as we turned and headed back up the escarpment at around the 14K mark.... first loop I ran to the base of "O2". It was at this point that my right Knee felt like it wanted to give out or lock up Never had this before and I was kind of glad it wasn't one of the recurring things that nag me from time to time.   Making my way up "O2" there was a nice breeze coming down the pipe and I was mostly shaded.    In spite of the "break" walking up the big one the day was really starting to catch up with me.  Heading back to A.S. 3  I had the towel completely soaked on my head.   The water dripping down made its  way into my mouth and it was just like taking a gulp of Sea Water.   I was also starting to get stupid thinking it  had started to rain as  water droplets were falling off my towel onto my arms and legs.  I even took the towel off seeing if there was a passing such luck.   After making it up the final climb "Top Hill" I was ran  all the was until we dropped into the Wheat Field heading off to  Valley.  With the exception of the odd small hill here and there I was able to keep moving to the finish.    Choose the Wet option at the river crossing and it felt really good on my tired feet.     Not sure of my finish time but I think it was round 6hrs26min.  I was quite please with the result on such a hot day.  

Update ...thanks Pierre ,   final time was 06:36:51.   

Past Creemores I really felt like the course beat me up but not so much this year.    Walking breaks were strategic  in an attempt to  moderate the body temps otherwise I was able to run the entire race "Death March" today!!!!!


Pierre Marcoux said...

Hey Ron. I'm amazed you avoided the death march on a true "struggle" day! I was getting hot just writing up the 50K runners who were dropping at the halfway point...

I have you at 06:36:51, which is a solid time for yesterday's race. Of 105 entrants, 20 were DNS or DNF.

If this keeps up, Creemore is going to get a reputation!

kim said...

Love the beer at 25K, Ron - you really know how to enjoy a race! It was crazy hot! See you at Limberlost! :)