Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Get Me to the Church On Time -- Not So Quick at My 5th Quicksilver 50 mile

Get Me to the Church On Time -- Not So Quick at the 30th Anniversary Quicksilver 50 Mile
Saturday 11 May 2013

I realized that it was unlikely that I was going to come close to my fastest previous times on this course:
  • 7:17 in 2007,
  • 7:22 in 2008 (race report), or even
  • 7:38 in 2006.  More realistic was something like 
  • 7:51 in 2006 or 
  • 7:58 in 2009 (race report).  
Hell, I really didn't care if I finished in more than 8 hours for the first time. My only goal was to make it to my older son's piano recital.  The teacher had actually moved the starting time back an hour by my request.  I knew I could be cutting it close....

This year it was fairly hot-- making everyone's times relatively slow.

But I finished WAY over 8, in 8:48:40 -- 1 1/2 hours slower than by personal best.

I had no idea this would be the last time running this race, since the next year the 50 mile distance would be replaced by the more hair-on-chest-producing 100k distance.

look at me, I'm a blur
always wash your hands after wiping!
dang I forgot to write down who took this pics!

During the last several miles, I thought I could console myself with a top ten finish, but in the final descent, stiff legs (rather than being short of breath, or too fatigued) prevented me from trying to match the surge by Greg Bruso of Santa Rosa, whom I met for the first time at the Inside Trail Marin Ultra Challenge 50 Miler the previous year (when I beat him).  He passed me with with less than a mile to go during the final descent, and there was not way I could mount a counter-attack against his 13-years less aged body.  Nothing to do with aerobic capacity, but just my joints can't take the pounding.  This is what happens when you get older.

with Greg
photo by Allen Lucas
So I really really needed to get moving, but I realized I had to eat and drink and cool down a little before getting in my car for at least an hour.  During which time I took my usual post-race pics.

Harris Goodman, another doctor and fellow Quicksilver teammate

Chau Pham, 50k finisher

with winner Chikara Omine, 6:16:54
despite the heat, he was only 73 seconds behind his own PR and the race's 2nd fastest time ever

ran into Darlene, childhood friend of my ex-girlfriend
when I was living in San Francisco, pre- and early med school
she is now a dentist
wanted to talk more, but had to keep moving

got my schwag from race director and Quicksilver teammate Pierre Couteau, here with one of his daughters

Gary Wang on the right, keeps finishing closer to me each year
this time he was less than a minute behind
schwag, including my Bear II drop bag, special Quicksilver 50 30th edition, by Victory Sportdesign
All ultrarunners should get themselves at least one of these.
no shirt
one of the best schwag packages ever
Since I was parked maybe half a mile away from the start finish area, Allen Lucas' offer to drive me to my car, was life saving.

me and Allen, almost a year later
with my family  I randomly ran into him wit his wife and friends
at El Corte de Madera Creek Open Space Preserve
I ran into two stretches of really slow traffic on the way to the recital at my son's piano teacher's church in San Lorenzo-- while I my bladder filled up and almost exploded.  (I'm an ER doc, lissen-to-me, not an urban myth, yes, this happens! ...)   I missed the inconspicuous turn into the parking lot hidden in the back, and had to stop at a discount grocery store down the street, peed onto a tree in the back, before finding my way back.

My son's teacher had held up his performance and had several students go ahead of him.  Finally I arrived, still covered in sweat, salt and the fragrance of a hot ultra race.

photo of a later performance
The best part was the teacher giving a post-performance speech, in which she gushed about my running 50 miles that morning, how amazing this was, and about my being such a dedicated father to try to make sure I could make the performance.

I was, uh, taken aback.

My wife meanwhile almost threw up!