Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bridle Trails 50K Results

(photo courtesy of Allison Moore)

Correction: Uli Steidl was the winner! I apparently listened to the wrong source. Congratulations Uli!

For the first time I was able to participate in the annual Bridle Trails 50K which as usual was a mudfest. This race is put on by Seattle Running Company and attracts some very speedy characters.

This race is unusual in that the start time is 3:10 PM. The race is held at Bridle Trails State Park. The trails are a combination of single track and wide gravel paths. The race includes a 5 mile, 10 mile, 50K, 50K pair, and 50K relay which are run on a 5 mile loop. Between the snow melt and rain we have been having in the PNW conditions were ideal for mud and deep puddles. The course did not disappoint. The mud has a strange thixotropic consistency which is probably caused by the through mixing of horse poop by the bombardment of running shoes.

Our carpool got together at 1:00 PM and five of us headed north to the Kirkland area. We stopped on the way for some much needed Starbucks and continued north only to miss our exit. After some brief stress we called one of our lifelines (Michelle) and she verified the exit number for us and we pointed ourselves in the proper direction to allow "Insane Jane", to do a day of race entry and Steve, Jenny, Rob, and I to check in and get our numbers. Thanks to Steve for driving.

Participation was high this year with over 500 runners toeing the line. The majority of runners were doing the shorter 1 loop and 2 loop distances. The 5 mile race started first at 3:00 PM. All others started at 3:10. Nothing like having 500 people churning up the trail so we could get the full enjoyment of all that it offered. Did I mention that it started raining fairly hard just before the start and continued to do so for the entire evening?

Somehow I had it in my mind that the 10 mile race started before the 50K so I was lallygagging around the starting line when I suddenly realized that 50K runners were standing on the starting line. I jumped in at the front of the pack and we were off.

In my everlasting spirit of being a stupid runner I found myself running with Arthur Martineau, Alison Hanks, and Devon Crosby-Helms. Arthur ended up sixth overall in the 50K. Devon has qualified for the 100K World Championships to be held in Europe this summer. Arthur left us on the first major hill and I hung near Alison and Devon for the next three laps. To be honest it was apparent that Devon was really just out for a training run. I'm guessing when she's really got the jets going that she doesn't chatter away with friends. When I asked them why I was still with them after three laps Devon boosted my confidence by telling me "they sucked". They left me in the dirt on lap four. I must really suck.

I ran my first four laps at what I would consider race pace falling only once but in a good area that did not involve deep mud or water. The water and mud took it's toll on my tired legs from my other recent running escapades so the final two laps involved some race pace, some shuffle and slog through the mud, and some er um... power walking.

I was passed by running legend Uli Steidl during my 5th lap. He was on his way to a rare defeat and only 5 miles ahead of me when he finished. Results have not yet been posted and I've heard the drop rate for the "Winter Trail Running Festival" is higher than for the Hardrock 100.

Rob, Steve, and Jenny had decided to run the 50K together. The plan was going well until Jenny slipped in the mud an tweaked her knee that was surgically repaired in the last couple of years. They were in their third lap when she hurt it. Jenny decided to let Rob and Steve go on and take another lap at a more cautious pace. Rob and Steve finished in around 6:30:00. After four laps (20 miles) Jenny dropped. She will be back next week with her knee brace. "Insane Jane" has never bragged of speed but she does have determination. She was in dead last 43 minutes behind the next runner when she started her last lap. She came in before the 11:30PM cutoff finishing strong and very very happy.

I should mention that while Jane was running her last lap the four of us in the carpool took off to get gas in the car and grab something to eat. We ended up at McDonald's where we watched "Rattler" consume two Big Mac's, a super sized fries (he left some of those) and an apple pie. We called and made our appointments with our cardiologists and should probably plan on bypass surgery as the crap we ate embeds itself in our arteries.

Finish time for me: 5:26:20 or so.

Next weekend: Capitol Peak Fat Ass 50K


Laura H said...

Wow Eric - I think you're the insane one! Nice job - that was one muddy course!! My skin is still glowing - yes, horse poop has its benefits. Don't eat any though. You seriously need to rest - you've proven that you do not suck.

Gotta Run said...

Another one next week???? You are leaving us all in the dust already!!!

You suck.... I THINK NOT!!

BTW - thanks for the the thoughts on the heart rate training. Made me dive into a bit more research based on your comment. I even emailed the coach of the plan I am following to get his thoughts.

Wes said...

I always considered you more of a "Fat Ass" than a mud slugger :-) Well done again!! Good thing you didn't miss the start!

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

It was some kind of fun! No really, I did have a blast out there in the mud for a while!

robtherunner said...

I can't believe I left those fries and gave Steve one of my apple pies. I wonder if my eating habits are part of the reason I'm finishing an hour behind you. Have fun at Cap. Peak next week.

wendy said...

look at you hanging out with the in crowd. =)

let me know how the doctor's appointment goes - you may have to see a couple of different ones now that I know your plans for next week too!

Stuart said...

Nice job, think what lovely skin you'll have from all that mud! Down here in LA women pay $1000s for that kind of treatment!

Karen said...

A new word of the week "thixotropic" thank you ;o)

If I even tried to eat all that McD stuff after I would barf it back ...bleah!

Nice race report and great race! Thanks :o)

Darrell said...

Gotta love the mud. Thixotropic comes up almost daily at work, in regards to orthodontic adhesives/cements.

Cat said...

Sounds like a good time was had. Thixotropic - I'm going to work it into casual conversation...


Anonymous said...

OK, thixotropic? Is that really a word? If so, I'm going to have to impress people with it. ;)

Sounds like a messy run. Have you managed to scrape all the mud off of your body yet? I don't even want to think about the shoes!

By the way - cool photo. :)

Nic said...

You went out with Arthur and Devon?!? That sounds a bit nuts... nice work pushing it! See you Saturday for more mud and fun!

Steve S said...

Thixotropic - in layman's terms
1) Puddles
2) Squishy dirt and gravel
3) Puddles
4) Muddy puddles
5) Puddy Muddles (Mud Soup as Rob calls it)
6) Mud/Horse Poop slop
7) Deap muddy muck
8) Shoe sucking mud
9) And lastly Praying Mud (When Rob knelt down to kiss the beautiful brown)

Capital Peak won't be the same fun without the dark and bouncing headlamps. But we can hope for slushy snow or ice.

ALM said...

Great job Eric! As always, you had your great smiling going! It was fun seeing you at the aid station.

Donald said...

Any race report that leaves people scrambling for their thesauruses is a great one. And that picture is awesome!

Lily on the Road said...

Trust Steve to dive into his Thesaurus!!!

Congrat's on your race, WOW!

lizzie lee said...

Ha ha.... Let me know how the cardio Big Mac appointment went!!!

Devon said...

You don't suck. You are awesome. Glad you ran with us. I suck, I mean I did quit after 4 laps (though that was the plan, lol). Good work out there!

Anonymous said...

I inclination not acquiesce in on it. I over precise post. Especially the title-deed attracted me to study the unscathed story.