July 12th, 2020
Ice Age 50 Mile 2008
Saturday May 10th, 2008
Already having a pair of Ice Age Key Chains, I deciding that this year I was going to go for it. I needed to complete the ensemble of pretty SMO's (Shiny Metal Objects). I was after the BELT BUCKLE. Not just any belt buckle, but the one sporting the Wooley Mammoth that can only be attained via completion of 50 miles with the strict deadline of 12 hours.
Knowing my running times, frankly, this scared the crap out of me. I had only completed one 50 mile race under 12 hours. My training over the winter and spring consisted of some 12's, a 16 mile run, a lot of cross country skiing. I also had the joy of running 40 miles at McNaughton. So, I just figured well, what the hell, I get to run on the trails I love, see my friends, and I will deal with the finish line when I get there.
That attitude carried me all day. It was a beautiful day. I ran with others who had completed, or attempted the 150 at McNaughton. There was much discussion about the terrible conditions we endured there. I felt like such of wimp for only doing 40 miles there. Truly, It really was that bad. The weather at Ice Age couldn't have been more compliant.
As the miles flew by, I was energized as I saw my friends on the out and backs. So, many people to say "Way to go" and "Nice job" to. Three of my running friends, Michelle Gallagher, Mike Delahanty and Dominick Guinta, had run a marathon the week before. They Rock!! Dominick was running his first 50 miler. By the smile on his face, you could tell he was totally hooked. I ran a mile or so with Tom Green, and learned about the first Grand Slam. Very cool. Casey Lopez is heading back to Leadville. He is going to make it. Go get 'em Casey! I loved Mary Gorski's cow outfit. Jack Edgar was along the course helping to fill my water bottle while he was crewing his wife, Gail. Thanks Jack. That is what I love about ultrarunning. The people who do it, love it. There is a passion there that you share with each other for a short while as you tell your stories on the trail. Whether I made it to the finish in 12 hours, or not didn't seem as important as the experience of being on the trail with great people, as I tested the limits of my endurance.
Yes, I pushed myself harder than I ever had in my life. I needed more focus than during any marathon. I hit the 50K point almost as fast as my 50K times in previous years. But, I was having fun, too. I came up that last hill and heard the finish mat beeping. I starting running faster. I started thinking 50 mile PR. I got it, too. 11:38....and the Wooley mammoth Belt Buckle. YEAH!!! See Y'all next year.
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