Saturday, February 4, 2012

White Rock 50K

White Rock 50K
What an adventure at White Rock 50K.  It has been too many years since I have done this race and last year it was cancelled because the forest service was working on bridges.  So this year Jamie Huneycutt and crew worked their tails off to make a great new course up a different side of White Rock Mtn.  I found the course to be much easier but it was also 33.4 miles (50K is measured as 31 miles) so the extra distance made up for the easier climbing.

Sign near the top.
Compared to Houston, my race went very well.  At Houston my sciatic was so bad that I hobbled the last 14 miles of that 26.2 mile marathon.  The sciatic has still been bothering me so I was a little reticent about running this race but thought I would give it a try.  The sciatic certainly let me know it was there but it was not debilitating as it was at Houston and so it really did not seem to effect my race, just made it a bit uncomfortable at time.

The start of the race was filled with the usual excitement and pre-race jitters when about half mile into the race I realized I forgot my gatorade bottle!!  I have never done that before.  That's not good to go without water or gatorade for four plus hours!  So I began looking in the ditches until I found a clean looking bottle.  Found one and shook it and realized it had tobacco spit in it.

I looked and found another one and while dirty and muddy on the outside, it appeared clean on the inside.  I would just need to fill it up at the first aid station about 5 miles down the road.
One young runner for OU took off.  I knew there was no catching him.  He was running effortlessly and probably running low 6 miles.  He was out of view in no time.  I've seen many young guns do that only to be walking about mile 20 and I pass them as they struggle to finish.  But this kid meant business and would go on to run a 3:52!  Needless to say, I couldn't touch that.
Some of the hills were pretty steep but it all seemed runnable.

So the battle was for second.  A group of runners who I normally compete against were going back and forth until finally I decided the pace was too quick.  We were running low 7s for the first 8 miles.  I dialed it back and watched the others go and dropped back to about fifth place.  It takes a lot of confidence to just let people go like that and in hindsight, maybe I should have ran with them but I wanted to run a strong second half and did not want to bonk.
Beautiful part of run but this was part of old course.

I  hit 16 miles in almost exactly two hours (7:30 pace) and hit the turnaround in 2:06.  So I was having a good race.  I turned around and tried to pick up the pace.  I was running strong until about 11 to go when a young new runner from KC was coming on strong.  I thought for sure he was going to over take me and I would be resigned to running ten minute miles to the finish.  I decided to try to hold him off until mile 10 and I did.   Then mile 8.  Then 6.  Finally at 5, I realized he was no longer behind me.

That pavillion is where we sign in and turnaround.
I may have let up just a hair here and that would cost me because at mile 2 1/2, I spotted second place, Doug Assenbacher (46 by the way).  I kept thinking he would come back to me but he never did.  He had an amazing race.  So I geared down and tried to catch him but he kept a strong pace and I just could not quite get to him and came in third just a couple of minutes behind him.

I finished in 4:19.  Very satisfied with that considering I could barely run at Houston just a few short weeks ago.  I hope the sciatic continues to feel better and maybe complete better by the time Little Rock Marathon rolls around in exactly one month.

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