Saturday, July 23, 2016

2nd Annual Poorly Organized Mugrage Park 6-Hour Run

Early on, the heat wasn't quite so awful. Here I am with Felicia Fago.  Harold Dravenstott photo

MP6 is yet another baby of mine. The club reserves the picnic shelter for the entire day of the club picnic. The picnic isn’t until 4:00pm, so I figure hey – why not run there for six hours in the morning? I guess now that we’ve done it two years in a row, that it’s now a thing.

And the poorly organized part? I think it’s best to set expectations as low as they’ll go. Then everyone may possibly be delighted when the poor organization isn’t all that bad. In fact, we had several truly wonderful volunteers again this year, and they deserve all the credit. All I do is put the event out there, and then run the thing.

It was hot this year. Even at the 6:00am start, it was getting toasty. Naturally it got hotter as the morning wore on. 38 intrepid runners braved the heat and humidity. I think they all enjoyed it immensely, in spite of the heat. I sure did. You could say that there were miles of smiles.

My goals were fairly modest: a) don’t die, b) if I don’t die, maybe run a fair amount of miles, c) if I can run a fair amount of miles, maybe run as many as 31 of them – 50K would be an achievement. But given my continuing Achilles Tendonitis pain and related poor fitness, c) would be a challenge.

The early miles were fine. I stopped every 5 of the 0.95 mile laps to refuel, and this wound up to be a pretty good strategy. I think that with all the stops I was initially averaging around 10 minutes per mile. I think it was about 8:45am when the heat began to take its terrible toll on me. But I was still moving forward, and at 3 hours, had around 17.5 miles. I slowed a lot after that: I didn’t hit 25 laps (around 24 miles) until 4.5 hours, and those final 5 laps, which I mostly walked, took all of an hour and 21 minutes.

That added up to 30 laps for 28.5 miles. Not bad, but not quite 50K. Did I mention that it was beastly hot? And oh, yes, I finished second to overall winner Theresa Wright. Yup, I was chicked. I guess I’ll get over it. Some day.
The whole gang after the noon finish                          Jennifer Case photo

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