Arrived 10 minutes before the start. The race had a no disposal cup policy at the aid stations. Left my water bottle in the car. Had to run back to the car. I was in the farthest parking area. Started about 2 minutes late. No big deal in a race I was planning a 12:30 - 12:45 finish.
The 50 miler consists of 4 loops of 11 miles & 6 mile final loop. The aid station on the course was 5.91 miles out and loop back 5.09 miles. The plan run each loop at 2:46:19.
Loop 1 - Two other runs with a late start. I follow them on to the course. The course goes < 50 meters from my car. We pass the parking lots and go on to the trail at some point. The 2 other late comers leave me in the dust. Now I am alone. I must focus on not missing the flags. I missed the briefing. Not sure which flags to follow. There are green,blue and pink pokey dot flags. Luckily all are going the same way. I catch up to other runners. There is a 50K option. Forgot to put on HR monitor. Running by pace on a trail with no mile markers. Right! I reach the aid station 8 minutes behind. In and out in about 1 minute. On plan for aid station. Finish the loop 2:44:50. In aid station about 7 minutes. Not good. Pulled snack bag of Ramen noodles and frozen towel from cooler.
Loop 2 - I leave the aid station. I miss the turn for the trail. Getting ready to turn around I spot 2 runners going onto the trail. Luckily it was a loop road. I start to pick off more runners. I reach the aid station on time. Readjusted my time to aid station to account for the 5 .9 mile instead of 6 mile distance. I was not 10:00 behind on the 1st loop. It was 5.9 miles and not 5.5 miles. The ice towel is placed over my head and under the visor.Volunteers mentioned runners were starting to feel the heat and humidity. I was fine with it. I did start having some chaffing along the top of the shorts. Blood pressure drops. I eat every drop of noodles out of the bag. Walk for 1.5 mile to recover. Take a
Success table. Down about 2 teaspoons of table salt. The second half of the loop takes you past the
lake. There are about 3 flights of steep steps and a 15 meter hill. The course is runnable and only
slightly technical. The hills are on the return loop and most are long inclines. Reach the start / finish aid station. Restroom,food and water take about 7 minutes. Too long again. 5:00 behind. Pace off Tiana and Karen
Lop 3 - stayed in the aid station too long. 5 minutes. Left the station with Tiana and Karen. I did not
want to get lost again. Played leap frog with them to the aid station. Walking the hills,running the downhills and running the flats when possible. We reach the lake section. Mainly flat, rocky but runnable. The goal is to stay close. I fall behind. Next goal is to kept them in rear shot. I notice I do not hear them. Either they are not talking or I am really losing ground. I reach the steps and discover they are no where in sight. It take nearly 4 minutes to cover the steps and hill. Less than1/4 of a mile. I finish the lap in about 3:15. The goal is 2:46. With a 13:00 cut off. I decide to run the 4 lap and
drop. My pace is now around 16 minutes.
Lap 4- I drop the hydration bag and leave the ice/ cold towel. Feeling confident. This will be a good last lap. I take my 20 oz hand held. The brain cell must have completely died. The clouds rolled in. It started to rain. I get my $1 poncho. The rain last for 5 minutes. The poncho comes off. I want to trash it but no littering on trails. I tuck it between the fanny pack. The sun is back out in all it's glory and it has it's friend humidity. This loop is more of a walk fest than a run. I am probably going to drop at 44 miles. I need 48 miles to make my week. Back to the steps. Starting to lose the sunlight. I get to the steps and there are yellow jackets going into one of the steps. I stay to the far right. I am glad I will not come this way again. I make it back to the start-finish. Ready to call it a day. RD "you have time if you run". He tells me the directions for this loop. I say ok. As if I really understand. I don't. 11:40 since the start.. I barely know my name.
Final lap- Six miles to go. I am guesstimating 13:05 finish at my present pace. I can do it. I'm fired up. 1st mile goes under 15. The trees are not dense. The light is good. The pace slows to run walk. I reach the bridge. Thinking it is a 5 mile loop. 2.5 miles to go. Realize it is a 6 mile loop. 3 miles to go. Losing light fast. Trees are dense in this section. My glass are tinted. I take of my eyeglasses to see better. Maybe I can run some. I go 50 feet and fall. Eyeglasses back on. Now it is all walking. $70 light at home on the table. I catch up to Di Shi who has come back to bring in a friend. Her friend has a headlight. She is have a harder time than I am. But,she was smart enough to bring a headlight. I left mine because the plan was a 12:30- 12:45 finish. 6:30-6:45. Sunset about 7:00. I make it back on to the black top just before it is completely dark. Hoping I would not have to wait on The ladies behind me. The finish line shelter is on a hill. It is dark so know one see me until I am within 20 yards. 13:29 finish for 50 miles but a DNF. Did not make the cut off. This was a training run. RD come up and tells me the cut off was 13:59:59. I made. YES! Tiana sand Karen finished in 12:56. They too were running for the 13:00 cut.
Side note: Could barely walk for 4 days. Did not run again 6 days. Planning to take a weeks vacation after Pistol 100. Win or lose.