Sunday, August 30, 2015

Marvelous Moebius Monster Mileage Madness

Sorry about the continuance of my alliterational insanity. I’m trying to stop. Really. This post is actually a race report about the 2015 Moebius Green Monster Trail 50K, which takes place at Sunny Lake Park in Aurora, Ohio.

But first, to the tune of A Horse with No Name by America:

On the first part of the journey
I was happy this wasn’t real life
There were plants and roots and rocks and things
There was dirt and hills and stings
The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz
And the sky with some clouds
The heat was hot and the ground was dry
But I tried to stay vertical to the ground
I've been through the trails without getting maimed
It felt good to be not quite so lame
In the trails you can’t remember your name
'Cause there ain't no root for to give you no pain
La, la
After three hours in the Moebius sun
My skin began to turn red
After five hours in the Moebius fun
I was feeling pretty darn dead
And the story I told of a runner this bold
Made me sad to think there was more to tread
You see I've been through the trails without getting maimed
It felt…...

With the thought of meeting up with Brother Dave and his wife Carol, wife Debbie made the journey to Mantua to crew for me. This was a rare occurrence; I often travel to races with friends, but seldom with Debbie.

Prior to the start I enjoyed kibitzing with several friends from MCRR: Ron Ross, Jeannine Nicholson, Ladd Clifford, Larry Orwin, Chris Thomas and Jack and Suzanne Sharpe. Larry was volunteering; the rest of us would be running. We were all startled when people started running right in the middle of our conversation. Race Director Stephen Godale had started the race on time, much to our surprise.

The sudden start. I'm on the left, starting my watch.

Flock of geese over the lake just after the start

And the sun was just starting to rise over the lake

I quickly fell in the second-to-the-lead pack, which included Chris, Kim Good and several others. Chris likes to talk a lot whilst running, and this was fine with the rest of us; it kept us entertained. During that first of five 10K loops, I hardly noticed the scenery, or even the rocks and roots along the way. I was intent on staying with this group and not thinking too much.

End of lap 1
I came in at 1:00:33. Debbie was waiting with a bottle of Tailwind and some Endurolytes. I had told her to look for me every 60 to 75 minutes, so this was going fairly well. So far.

Our pack broke up a bit during the second loop. Now it was mostly me and Chris and only a couple of the others. I began to notice, and remember from last time, all the rocks, ruts and roots. Not that I tripped over any of them. Not yet anyway.

End of lap 2
The second loop ended with a time of 1:00:14. Pretty consistent, eh? Debbie was waiting with a bottle of Tailwind and some Endurolytes.

During the third loop, I was running with only one other guy, and he tripped and fell. When I stopped to help, he said, “At least I got that one out of the way.”

End of lap 3
I caught up with Jeannine. “What are you doing back here with us slugs?” I asked as we ran together for a while. She told me that Ladd had wanted to go faster, and she had let him go. This was a little unusual, especially because I thought she might possibly win today. I guess she was having a not-so-great day.

I, on the other hand, was having a pretty good day. So far, that is. I came in for the end of the third loop with a split of 1:01:01. Steve told me he had me at just over three hours flat. Debbie was waiting with a bottle of Tailwind and some Endurolytes. And now there were only two laps to go. How hard could that be?

I was mostly alone now, although I did encounter another runner on occasion. I even lapped a few friends, including Blondie Hinton and Barry Smoloff. When I least expected it, one of those many roots along the trails reached up and grabbed my foot. Down I went, but luckily not too hard. The dirt and dust clung to my sweaty skin, but I was otherwise none the worse for wear.

End of loop 4
Along with my loss of coordination, I learned that I was also experiencing a loss of speed when I finished this fourth lap with a split of 1:06:50. Debbie was waiting with a bottle of Tailwind and some Endurolytes. Dave and Carol had made it over and were cheering me on with wild abandon.

And now there was only one lap left. I was still not too far off the pace I’d need to run close to the 5:01 time that I turned in here five years ago. I’d come in hoping only to be within an hour of that, and here I was doing much better than expected. But it was getting quite hot, and I knew from experience that this would be a tough final lap.

It was. I had trouble keeping any sort of consistent pace, walking the uphills, the downhills, and even much of the flat areas. I stepped gingerly over all the roots. Except one. Yup, I fell again. And once again, it wasn’t too hard a fall, but the dirt and dust clung to my sweaty skin once more, adding to that which was already there.

Earlier I had been thinking that I might place pretty well. I was pretty sure there weren’t any 60-year olds ahead of me, and maybe not even any 50-year olds. But now a handful of runners passed me on the trails, including Ron. He and I talked a bit, but I was sad to see him go.

The Finish, at last!
My time for this final lap was 1:22:12. What with still getting over injuries and not doing so many long runs, I guess I got what I deserved. Still a time of 5:30 was pretty good. And it was good to have Debbie there to help me out – she even hosed me off after I jumped in the lake.

A jump in the lake felt great!!
And now it’s on to bigger and better things. I think.

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