Sunday, July 14, 2013

Psycho Psummer 50K 2013

Four of us made the trip from Iowa down to the Kansas City area to participate in the Psycho Psummer 50K in Wyandotte Lake County Park. This race was part of the trail race series put on by the local running group the TrailNerds. We left Friday afternoon made the 5 hour drive to packet pickup and settled into our hotel room to get some rest. Brian was running his first ultra and he was nervous to say the least. Ross and myself had a good time teasing him.

Bright and early we woke up and made our way to the start line. We had to grab a shuttle acrossed the street from the hotel but it was fairly painless. We arrived about an hour early and I spent the time doing what I do and taking pictures on my phone.

 The 50K race consisted of three loops around the lake. There was also a 10 mile and 20 mile option. We had been warned that the course was hilly and challenging but more on that later. Brian, Ross and myself were doing the 50K, Casey was doing the 20 mile and Ross's Mom was doing the 10 mile. It promised to be a great day. Eventually the RD grabbed the megaphone and we all lined up for the start. Short announcements were given and then we were off. We started off running acrossed some grass for about 500 yards until we hit the first small hill and turned left into the woods. 90% of the course was on horse trails,singletrack and mountain bike trails. There was only about quarter mile of pavement we had to use to cross the dam at the 6 mile point. Brian, Casey and I ran together until the first hill and then we all settled into our own pace. The traditional ultra conga line formed for the first few miles and I would run behind people for most of the first 10 miles. I don't really like that as I can't see what is coming up so without being rude I tried to pass people so at least I was in front of the pain train.

Aid stations where plentiful both manned and unmanned. Actually I made myself skip some so as not to waste too much time. I resolved to only stop at the manned aid stations and then not even all of those. I subsisted most of the day on ice water, oranges and watermelon.Although I was carrying them I didn't ingest 1 GU all day, which was a win for me. I ran the first loop not knowing what to expect. Mentally I ended up dividing the course up into 3 sections. Overall it was constantly rolling and hills but some hills were steeper and rockier than others. The first 1/3 was fairly non technical single track with shade, and the occasionally rocky hill. The second 1/3 was a constant up and down of rolling and twisty single track that I thought of as the "mountain bike" section because while it wasn't very rooty or rocky it was slanted and conformed to the sides of the ridge lines. You always felt like you were running trying to keep from falling down the hill.The last 1/3 was the killer. Steep, rocky hill after steep, rocky hill. Your heart was in your chest even walking these bad boys. All of  this was interspersed with a few open meadows and that short road section as you crossed the dam.

So the first lap went fairly well and I finished it in 2:05. During the second lap it started getting hot and it would remain that way. The second lap seemed to go by fast, however it actually took me 20 minutes longer. The hills and heat were starting to affect my performance. About a mile before finishing my second lap the race leader flew by me with a " strong work" comment. I was like, "thank you small fast female person." She couldn't have weighed more than 100 pounds and she looked to be about 12 years old. I later found out she was 26 and an US Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier. No matter how you slice it she was fast.

The third lap was the worst as could be expected. It was hot and it seemed like I was crawling. Hills I had ran up on the first lap I was now walking with hands on hips. I was still moving forward fairly strong but it was tough. At each of the last three hills I kept telling myself that this hill had to be the last one. Eventually I came out on the meadow prior to the finish and knew I only had about 100 meters to go. Down a rocky section and I crossed the finish line in 7:22:28. This was about 2 hours slower than my 50K PR but was consistent with the times I had seen for this course. There was some confusion with my time because my chip had malfunctioned but I got that straightened out eventually. Ross had finished in 5th place and both Casey and Ross's Mom had finished their races. Brian finished about 30 minutes behind me and became a first time ultra marathoner. All in all a good race and it was a good time. Definitely a challenge

1 comment:

  1. This race was an experience that I will never forget, not sure why I picked this one for a first as it made it that much more challenging, and yet that much more rewarding knowing the difficulty of it. Nice race report Mike.