Monday, August 5, 2013

Santa Cruz 50k (and 5000k) -- the first two years of a fun race

Inside Trail Santa Cruz 50k and 5000k
Saturday 4 August 2012 and Saturday 3 August 2013

last year

I first ran this August race on the Inside Trail calendar last year.  It was a great time.  The course had single track meandering along a creek, fast fire road, about 1 1/2 of sand near the top of the initial ascent (repeated once for the 50k), a short fast section of pavement, trails in or next to the UC Santa Cruz campus, and the most memorable part-- a crossing of the San Lorenzo River (done four times for the 50k).  These pics of our river crossing were well worth any pain and suffering any of us might have endured.  I can't figure out why #607 (Nils Eastburg from Michigan running the 30k race) put on his sunglasses to cross the river.

photos by Inside Trail, can't remember the person

I thought this would would a fast course, but it took me 5:12:50, which is barely faster than my 2nd fastest time doing the much harder Ohlone Wilderness 50k (2006).  Still 3rd overall and 1st age group.

I couldn't stay too long, since I had to drive back to the East Bay and pick up my family at the airport, but had more than an hour to hang out.   I hadn't seen them in two weeks.  The next year (this year, 2013) I would be away from them four weeks, but they would fly back the weekend before this race.

with Chris Eide

I think this is Rolly Delfin, who I think does more tris, and who finished 9th.

RD Tim Stahler and Tanya Davis

race schwag and La Sportiva Skylite 2.0's

this year

My work schedule wasn't too bad, but I had been sleeping badly.  I was literally yawning once or twice a minute most of the 75 minute drive to Felton near Santa Cruz.

photo by Allen Lucas
I switched socks at the last minute, so in the last seconds, had to retie my shoes and reattach my gaiters

This was only my 2nd 50k race of the year.  It felt really great to run hard.  I talked some with two 30k runners, Adam Blum initially before he fell back and Yasushi Saito, before he sped ahead for his finish.  Yasushi told me he had finished shortly after me at the Inside Trail Marin Ultra Challenge 50 mile race in June; we hadn't run any stretches together that race, so this was the first time we had talked.

photo by Dwight Brown

Allen Lucas (above) doing the half marathon as always was nice to take pictures of me.  The first time he saw me, he told me no one had come by ahead of me.  I told him I was sure I wasn't in first.

even if I was running so fast I was a blur
though I think maybe had a little to do with being overcast all morning and lots of tree cover

The second time after I hit the 30k mark at the start/finish area, I told him maybe he was right, though I suspected there was at least someone ahead of me, and so far ahead of me that I our paths hadn't crossed. Around mile 25, the guy who was winning came back after finishing the lollipop we did twice.

the two guys who beat me, left to right
2nd overall: Jay Thomson of Santa Cruz, 48 minutes ahead;1st overall: Jacob Singleton of Socal after recently moving from Virginia, over an hour ahead
and beat Chris Wehan's (last year's winner's) time by 50 seconds;
Jacob's woman
My legs got progressively stiff the last 10 of so miles.  My 9 minute mile pace for the first 30 km slowed quite a bit.  Nonetheless, neither of the guys close behind caught me.  And I managed (didn't realize this until later) that my 5:12:43 beat last year's time by a mere 7 seconds.  I guess you can call that consistency.

the two guys who finished right after me, left to right:
Kevin Thayer of Salinas, 8 minutes behind
Patrick Fulton of Santa Cruz, 7 minutes behind

I unfortunately didn't have as much time as last year to hang post-race.  I had thought I would leave IMMEDIATELY after my race, but my legs informed me that doing so would be a very bad, and potentially dangerous stunt.

Maybe 20 minutes later (still too short), I asked RD Tim Stahler if there was any special race schwag for coming in 3rd overall.  He directed me back to the table where Lauri Abrahamsen was working.

beloved self-described Grunt at Inside Trail, Lauri A.
My facial expression-- not what you may be thinking.
The first shot I took appetizingly featured half-chewed food in between my teeth, so I reshot with lips sealed.

schwag, including extras for 3rd overall
left out my shoes-- this year I ran in my La Sportiva Helios
 My caffeine wearing off, I yawned frequently driving to my older son's soccer tournament.

soccer tournament Redwood City an hour after I drove out of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
my son's team won!

After taking my kids to the park to let Mommy finish packing, I got home and very quickly finished packing myself for the red-eye flight out of SFO.

It was a tough couple of flights.  I felt similar to how I feel after a first of a series of overnight shifts.  Since the day-night-day started with running, it also felt like a 100-miler in which I did some napping

It was harder for my wife, and especially my kids.  But at least they can sleep anywhere.

During the 2 hour layover in Detroit, after 3:45 in the first plane.
It would have been better to have a flight lasting longer than my run.
Delta managed to send two of our suitcases to the wrong city, and then told us the 5 pm expected arrival time was too late to have a driver deliver it to our rental home. 

GPS recordings:
2013 (my Garmin Forerunner 205 malfunctioned and only recorded 6.75 miles, so see 2012 for the course)


train we heard off and on through the course
apparently it comes right through the main aid station
50k runners go through 4 times
photo by Dwight Brown
presumably a volunteer at the aid station
Thanks, Dwight, and all your felllow volunteers!

2 days later, after finally getting some sleep
Acadia National Park in Maine
technical climb up Mt. Gorham with family

1 comment:

John Nguyen said...

That Santa Cruz 50K sounds like fun. I'll have to try it some time. Congrats on another podium finish!