Sunday, November 23, 2014

Race Report - 2014 JFK 50 Mile

A bucket list item for many ultrarunners.
The JFK 50 Mile Memorial Run is an ultramarathon that has been taking place annually since 1963 in Washington County, Maryland. It is the largest and oldest running ultramarathon in the United States that start in the town of Boonsboro, Maryland and leads 2.3 miles on asphalt roads towards South Mountain before entering the Appalachian Trail for 13 miles. The course then continues on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal towpath and along the Potomac river for 26.3 miles before entering the final 8.4 mile leg of the race along rolling country roads. The race finishes in Williamsport, Maryland right in front of Springfield Middle School. The course is laid out in a point-to-point configuration that resembles a horseshoe and covers a total of 50.2 miles with +3,300ft elevation gain (according to my Garmin Fenix altimeter). This rather varied race course with its rugged Appalachian Trail section, smooth gravel and dirt towpath and rolling country roads is not only challenging to both seasoned ultrarunners and newbies alike, it is also extremely beautiful.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Race Report - 2014 Pinhoti 100 Mile Endurance Run

Following Benj Lance, who made a special guest appearance as my crew, after climbing to the top of Alabama (Mt. Cheaha).

The long way there
For me, this race began about 23 months ago, when I was released from the hospital after a suffering from multiple deep vein thrombosis (DVTs) and bilateral pulmonary emboli (PEs) due to a traumatic ankle injury. A month later, I underwent surgery to temporarily insert an Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filter to prevent new blood clots from forming while undergoing reconstructive ankle surgery. Serious running was out of the question for almost a year, but I started my rehab and recovery almost immediately. Fast forward to about 9 months ago, I had just finished the Mountain Mist 50K with an agonizingly slow finishing time. My training mileage was extremely low and I was still dealing with the fear of reinjury as well as mileage that was far lower than necessary to be adequately prepared for a challenging trail 50K. However, I was lucky enough to have a couple of friends who were more than willing to trudge along with me for as long as it took to cross the finish line (Thanks again to the Trice brothers:-).

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Race Report - 2014 Mystery Mountain Marathon

Race start.
If I remember correctly, I had registered for this race two times before and both times, I ended up with a DNS due to a previous commitment or injury. This time, I wasn't going to let that happen. After racing in the Fleet Feet Monte Sano 15K on Saturday morning here in Huntsville, AL I headed home to watch some soccer before loading up my car to head to Fort Mountain State Park just outside Chatsworth, GA. I didn't feel like making the 3 hour drive on the morning of the race, so instead I headed West Saturday afternoon to pick up my race packet and make use of one of the primitive campgrounds inside the state park that was reserved for runners. However, the weather forecast called for thunderstorms, so instead of unloading my minimalist tent and potentially having to deal with lots of wetness at night and on race morning, I decided to camp out in the back of my car. It wouldn't particularly comfortable, but it would be dry and warm.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Race Report - 2014 Southern Tennessee Power Classic Marathon

It was Thursday night and I was roaming on Facebook to see if I anyone was looking for a long run this weekend. Pinhoti 100 was only 4 weeks away and I was in need for another long run. When I came across Ryan's post about running a marathon or half marathon race in Winchester, Tennessee about an hour north of Huntsville, I was immediately interested. I looked up the Southern Tennessee Power Classic Marathon to find out more. I was still undecided when I came across a post where a fellow runner offered up her free race entry coupon. Initially, she was asking for a nominal fee, but when we both realized that online registration had closed prematurely, she offered the coupon to me for free in hopes that the race director would still honor it. When I contacted the RD, she did just that. Now I had a free entry and a free ride (compliments of the Chaffin family) along with great company (Blake came along to run the half with Ryan while Aleisha was doing the marathon as a training run), so how could I not go.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Race Report - 2014 Georgia Jewel 35 Miler

Hanging out with Jerry and Todd prior to their 100 Mile start.
Originally, I had planned to run the 50 miler as part of my Pinhoti 100 training. However, things changed. By luck, I was able to run a tough 100K mountain race in Poland during a business trip 3 weeks earlier, so I figured there was no need to beat up my body more than necessary in preparation for my goal race. I also found out that my wife and I had been invited to a wedding that race day afternoon, so the 35 mile distance was the only distance that would even give me a shot at making the wedding 3 hours away in Birmingham that same afternoon.