Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Former Action Guy by the Numbers: 2013

Without further ado the 4th annual by the numbers post:

Officiating by the numbers

Wrestling matches- 100.
I didn't do any Baseball or Football this year due to the Paramedic course, apathy, and the fact that my Football crew chief went to Federal Prison (oops). I am probably done with Baseball for good as it was never my favorite, but I might pick up Football again next year when school is done. Wrestling..well wrestling is wrestling.


Miles Run- 2299 ( really you couldn't get 2300?) This is 280 miles less than 2012, which coincidentally is roughly my average monthly mileage, which is also coincidentally the time ( about a month) I spent on injured reserve do to my Achilles. I call him Chucky and he is still bothering me.

Races run-22 quite an increase from 2012

Ultra races/Marathons  run- 11, 1 100 mile, 2 50 mile, 5 50K, 3 Marathons

Personal records-3 .. I PR'ed at the 100 mile, 50K and Marathon distances

Races with Jay- 3.. Jay really brought it this year


If last year was the year of the Ultra then this year was my year for Emergency Medicine. I started the Paramedic program and have one semester left.

Finals agonized over- All of them

Clinical hours- so far 394 I have about 300 more to go

EMS calls gone on- I have no idea but probably over 100 because I know I have started over 100 IV this year.

I really enjoy EMS I wish I could somehow make a living doing it.

I hope every one has a great 2014. On my bucket list for next year is to pass the National Registry and become a Paramedic. I also want to complete 2 100 mile races and return triumphant from the Ozark Trail 100, the only race I have never finished after I started.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Training timeout

I have been on a training timeout for basically about 40 days. I haven't run seriously since my last 50K race in early November. It was during this race that I finally got it through my thick head THAT I WAS INJURED and needed to rest. I have been battling Achilles tendonosis in my right Achilles tendon for over 6 months and it came to a head during this race. The pain would cause my entire hamstring and sciatic to cramp up the farther I went. I could not comfortably run over 10 miles without pain. That may seem like no big deal but I am used to running 10 miles at a minimum and I was training for a 100 mile race in February.

Well I had to do the adult thing and pull out of that race and for the last month I have joined the ranks of the sick,lame, and lazy ( also airborne crazy). I tell you once you stop working out it sure is easy to sit on the coach. Between my injury and the last year I have spent in Paramedic school I have also gained back about 20 pounds of the 40 pounds I lost in 2011. I also think after constantly training for over 24 months I was probably over trained.

But there is light ahead, although I am scared to run on it at this point my Achilles is feeling better and I am starting to wish I could run again. I plan on starting soon and rededicating myself to weight loss and smart training. I am going to run easy and crosstrain often. I have a 50K scheduled for March and I have another 100 mile race in the works for June. I will keep you updated.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Defense Authorization Bill


I know this may be old news or unimportant news to some. To me this is extremely indicative of our government and both parties. First they are using the Wimpy principle and promising to pay our medically retired veterans later for a reduction in their pay now. " I will gladly pay you on Tuesday for a cheeseburger today!" This is shameless. Ryan mentions the costs were unsustainable. You ass clowns should have thought of that before you committed us to constant battle. What did you think was going to happen? You were warned about this by many many people but instead of changing things then, you choose to take from veterans and specifically those veterans that need it most.

Ok lets talk about "working age" veterans. As I have told every private sector employer I have had in th 10 years I have been retired. "You don't get to use my retirement as an excuse to compensate me less!" Same thing goes the other way. The government doesn't get to use my current situation to penalize me. My retirement was earned fair and square, this is not an entitlement in which nothing was exchanged. I exchanged 22 years of my life. I exchanged birthdays, my health ( I am also a disabled vet), and my family life to do the bidding of our government. In exchange I expected a retirement that was consistent and now the goal posts are being moved.

This is pandering to special interest groups so they can get reelected. This is also a result of the dwindling veterans population in Congress. Term limits need to be enacted so others have a chance to serve and fresh ideas can be presented. Also we need to get rid of the strangle hold these two monopolistic and tyrannical parties have on our government. I do not propose to let them hand me the crumbs they deem I deserve. I propose to demand the things I have earned

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Paramedic update

Just a short update for those that care. I am entering into my last and final semester of the paramedic course. It has been a long haul with just a few more hills to climb. I am hoping in May I will be able to write a post on how I passed the psychomotor and written exam. At this point clinicals are consuming my life but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Wish me continued success and a bright future full of many routine transfers and naked old people

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Things Coaches Say at Wrestling Meets

I have been a High School sports official for about 9 years now. I have semi retired this year due to attending the classes to become a paramedic. Even though I didn't do any baseball or football officiating this year, I am doing my favorite sport, wrestling. Wrestling coaches are a different breed, I would say the majority of them are former wrestlers themselves and a lot could still compete. What they also are is intense. I like intense, however as an official sometimes hearing the same old comments gets old. Sometimes I think coaches say them as a Pavlovian reflex, just seeing what they can get away with. Here are some of my favorites.


"How is that a takedown?"

"There was no control there!!"

"You shoot!!!"


"That was terrible"

"No backpoints?"


I love wrestling

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sycamore 8 Trail Race

This was another little trail run that I was turned onto by Ross. He is a master at finding this runs. There are more here in Iowa than you would think. We had also designated this run a "meetup" between our chapter of   Team Red White and Blue and the Des Moines Chapter. Even though I have been battling some Achilles issues this was a must do for me.

So I woke up about 0430 and made the 2 hour drive the start in Johnston Iowa. When I arrived it was minus 2 degrees and it wouldn't get much warmer. I checked in and got my race number etc.. Then everyone sat in their cars until it was time to get into the school buses for the ride to the start. I did make some small talk through an open car window with Ross and Julia. I also saw and introduced myself to Brandon the Chapter Captain from the Des Moines Chapter. Eventually we piled into the buses, continuing the small talk until we got dumped off at the start. The RD made a small speech and he also allowed Brandon to plug Team RWB. All the Veterans and Team RWB members huddled together for a quick picture as we shivered in the sub zero temps.

With a Ready, Set, Go!!! the RD set us off on our journey. Initially we ran about .5 miles through the grass and ditch on the side of a road, but then we popped up into a small gravel parking lot at a trail head and we hit the single track. The race course would end up being relatively flat and non technical. A really fast course as trail runs go. I had hoped to break 80 minutes for the course but I finished the first 2 miles in sub 8 minute pace so I was looking faster. The race was pretty uneventful I passed some people and others passed me. It was so cold that I had to use my asthma inhaler for the first 5 miles as my chest kept getting tight and then relaxing. I set my sights on this guy ahead of me in black. My mission was to run him down. At one point he was probably about 30-45 seconds ahead of me. I eventually passed him about mile 6.5.

We did hit a paved section for about 1.5 miles that really aggravated my Achilles/hamstring. I felt like I should be running faster on that segment but I decided to keep it steady. I was glad to hit the trail again with about 1.8 miles to go. I was breathing steady by this time and as I saw the bridge across the river and the building that I thought was by the finish I picked it up as I could. I burst out of the trees and headed the last 50 meters across open ground to the finish. I did get passed int hat last 50 meters by some guy who came up huffing and puffing behind me. I hate when people do that. Put out an effort during the whole race don't pass someone at the last minute unless you have been neck and neck the whole way. Just irritates me for some reason. Anyway it was a good effort as I finished the race in 1:01:28 and came in second in my age group. Ross won the race out right and Julia also won her age group. We got these cool little logs as prizes. I will do this race again next year.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Had a pretty good Thanksgiving today. Went over the the parent's house and had brunch. Saw all the family then came home and had a little GBNT. Watched some football and then ate the turkey dinner my wife prepared. She makes the most awesome rolls. I couldn't run today due to an injury I have been nursing but thinking about it counts right?

As I sit here on the couch my mind wanders to a Thanksgiving I had about 12 years ago. I was deployed to Kosovo with my team and we were living in a house in a small village called Kamenica. Since we were far from home but had access to a kitchen we had decided to make our own Thanksgiving. We went to the mess hall a few days prior and grabbed two turkeys and the fixins. Our senior engineer put himself in charge of making the chow.

We woke up Thanksgiving morning and decided to do PT for most of the day as we waited for the meal to be prepared. So we went for about a 15 mile ruck march, did some rock climbing, lifted some weights, the normal. About 1500 we were told the food was ready. We all grabbed a huge plate of food and went to the common room of our house to watch football on AFN and eat. The turkey looked great. I took a big old bite and got the disgusting taste of pine needles. It reminded me of when I was doing winter survival in Canada and we had to drink water we made from melting snow. Never could get all the pine needles out.

Anyway we were all saying "What the fuck?" Turns out that our cook tried to get fancy and grill one of the turkeys. Unfortunately the only wood he had were scrap 2 X 4. So you get the picture. We ended up ditching the first plate but fortunately there was another turkey he had prepared more conventionally. Morale of the story never let an SF guy grill a turkey

Keep our deployed troops in your thoughts today as you spend time with your families and they are missing theirs. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

You are not a Badass

I have a few pet peeves ( who would have thunk)? I don't like tomatoes on sandwiches, disingenuous people, or fish. I also don't like the overuse of words or phrases to the extent that they become meaningless. I have written before about the overuse of "thank you for your service" or that everyone that does anything special is a "hero". Please refer to my former statement about being disingenuous. Along these same lines I hate it when people throw the word "bad-ass" around. The word used to mean something, just because you managed to finish a 5K run doesn't make you a bad-ass. Determined, goal oriented, physically fit but not a bad-ass.

I think this comes form my personal experiences. I "grew up" in a place where elite warriors doing elite things was common place. I myself have a decent resume of multiple cool guy merit badges and skills. I am not a bad-ass. In fact within the realm of special operators I was pretty middle of the road, average if you will. However I know some bad-asses. Men that command the room by their very presence, men that do things so epic you cannot imagine how a human could accomplish these feats.  But these individuals would tell you they are not bad-asses. Because they know of individuals like these:

Robert Lewis Howard (July 11, 1939 – December 23, 2009) was a highly decorated United States Army soldier and Medal of Honor recipient of the Vietnam War. He was wounded 14 times over 54 months of combat, was awarded 8 Purple Hearts, 4 Bronze Stars, and was nominated for the Medal of Honor three separate times. He was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on February 22, 2010.

Col howard.jpg


Basil L. Plumley (January 1, 1920 – October 10, 2012[1]) was a career soldier and airborne combat infantryman in the United States Army who eventually achieved the rank of Command Sergeant Major. He is most famous for his actions as Sergeant Major of the US Army's 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, at the Battle of Ia Drang (Vietnam, 1965). Lieutenant General Hal Moore, who, as a Lieutenant Colonel, was Plumley's battalion commander during the Battle of Ia Drang, praised Plumley as an outstanding NCO and leader in the 1992 book about this battle, We Were Soldiers Once...And Young. The book was the basis for the 2002 film We Were Soldiers, in which Plumley was played by actor Sam Elliott. Plumley was known affectionately by his soldiers as "Old Iron Jaw".
CSM(R) Basil L. Plumley at West Point 10 May 2010.JPG


Salvatore Augustine "Sal" Giunta (/ˌsælvəˈtɔr ˈʊntə/; born January 21, 1985) is a former United States Army soldier and the first living person since the Vietnam War to receive the U.S. military's highest decoration for valor, the Medal of Honor. Giunta was cited for saving the lives of members of his squad on October 25, 2007 during the War in Afghanistan. He left the U.S. Army in June 2011 and is currently attending Colorado State University.[1]
Salvatore Giunta portrait.jpg


Robert James Miller (October 14, 1983 – January 25, 2008), of Company A, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), was a United States Army Special Forces soldier who posthumously received the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony on October 6, 2010.[1]
Robert James Miller sitting.jpg


I could continue for a long time but bad-asses are not self proclaimed. Bad-asses often defer the praise and give credit to others. Bad-asses put the welfare of others before themselves. The next time you tell someone running 100 miles or finishing a triathlon makes them a bad-ass. Think about the folks above and maybe you can just tell your friend..nice job!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Return of the Turkey Trott

This was my 4th running of this race since 2004. It was Jay's1st. He is starting to turn into an Athlete. 8 months ago he couldn't run a mile. This month he finished a 3 mile trail run in 44 minutes and finished the Turkey Trott 8K in 56:06. We ran together and I enjoyed every mile. We talked about a potential half marathon in the future. It was a good day and pancakes were chewed on.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Wildcat 50K

This was the 4th running of the Wildcat 50K at Wildcat Den State Park Muscatine Iowa. I had missed the other runnings due to not knowing anything about the race before 2012. In 2012 I was recovering from my 100 mile attempt at OT100 but I had heard from several friends that this was a great race. I had also heard that the course was tough, consisting of 5 hilly,rough 10K loops. I was looking forward to the race but was a little nervous as I had been told that the course was challenging. I picked up Ross early in the morning and we headed down to the race. I, of course ate my normal pre race honey bun and gatorade. When we arrived we checked in and dropped our donation. This race was a very very low key affair. You showed up, signed in,ran as many loops as you wanted, ate some food and went home. Great food and great people.

After a short speech and a group picture  Myself, Ross, Ross and Kelly started off in a small group. Rob also said he was going to run a few loops. Kelly and Ross K were going to run just a few loops as well while I and Ross S planned on doing the 50K.

The course crossed a road and immediately headed up a long gradual ridgeline. As usual at the start of a race everyone was jockying for position on the single track and it was back to front for the first mile or so. Eventually we headed down hill over a set of railroad tie steps then back up a small set of steps and across a level area next to a large rock formation. The course then headed up hill across another ridgeline. Then down a steep hill and up another one. This hill was one of the few I found it necessary to walk up, the angle was significant. Then the course continued over some fairly rolling terrain to a campground at the 3.1 mile mark. The campground had a small aid station where we turned around and headed back. The trail was mostly single track covered with leaves. Not very technical but the hilly up and down was constant and unrelenting. The out section was generally up hill which made the return section generally a net downhill, however there were ups and downs both ways.

We all ran the first two loops fairly effortlessly treating it as a normal group run. The conversation was great and the miles flew by. After the second loop Ross K and Kelly called it a day and Ross S and I continued on. On our way out on the 3rd loop we saw Rob heading in and feeling strong. At the top of one of the large hills a bandit aid station had surfaced giving out delicious, yummy bacon. I told them I would grab a piece on the way back as we headed down the hill. It was about then that my achilles started acting up. I had been having issues with it since July but today it really started to irritate. I think it was the camber of the trail and they constant up and down that irritated it. Eventually the pain moved up my leg all the way from achilles to lower back. My right hamstring felt like a rubberband about to snap and I couldn't take a full stride. I started falling back off the pace. I could tell Ross was getting restless as he would run ahead and then wait for me to catch up. I felt bad but I couldn't go any faster, I just tried to keep moving forward. On the way back, on the 3rd lap I grabbed a piece of marvelous bacon which lifted my spirits immensely. The 4th lap was more of the same as I struggled to run through the nagging pain that made running uncomfortable at best. The high point was seeing Rob a few more times, surprisingly he seemed like he might be running the entire race after running his first marathon just a week before.

Ross and I continued and started the last lap. I told him there would probably more walking involved. There was more walking as I declined to run up some of the larger hills I had managed to run up earlier. Truthfully though at this point I was probably walking uphill as fast as I could run uphill. So we made it to the turnaround and headed back the last 3 miles. I started feeling better somehow as the miles clicked off. Finally we hit the last downhill and headed into the finish tent. I hit my stopwatch at 6:31:49. Not my best 50K but certainly not my worst and surprisingly good enough for 9th place overall. Given the terrain and my injury I was happy with that. Immediately post race I ate a few chili dogs and had some Coke Zero. Then Ross and I drove home. It was a great day. Oh yeah and Rob finished the entire race.. UltraRob the animal!!!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Fairview Farm 5 Mile Trail run

Well..I have no pictures for this post because I had intended on posting a video log of the entire race. But my technological inefficiency showed through and my Go Pro battery was drained when I got to the race. I guess I must have left it on after I charged it. Anyways this was a good race and a great day.

The first great thing was, it was the end of Daylight Savings time and I got to sleep in an extra hour. The second great thing was I able to get  in 11 pre race trail miles at Beverly park and got to see the usual squirrels but with the additional bonus of the 6 point buck that hangs out in the park. He is usually pretty elusive and its only the 3rd time I have seen him. The third great thing was my son ran the race also and my wife was able to watch. She doesn't go to a lot of my races so that made me happy.

This race is literally a block from my house but I have never run it before because of scheduling conflicts. So after I got done with my warm up miles the family and I moseyed on down to the race site and checked in. I had tried to scope out the course prior but wasn't 100% sure on the route. We hung out for about 40 minutes talking to a lot of my running friends and introducing them to my wife. My son Jay was going to run the 3 mile race and I would be running the 5 mile.

Eventually we all lined up for the start and wouldn't you know it my GD Garmin wouldn't work. I have never had an issue with it before but I just decided to go without it. Once we started I tossed it to my Wife as we ran past. I ran pretty hard the first mile and my breathing was pretty ragged. I am not sure if that was because I wasn't in rhythm or because the first .5 to .75 miles was mostly uphill. I tried to keep some runners  I knew ahead of me in sight but eventually I slowed slightly to a more manageable pace. My legs were really dead going uphill and as this course is nothing but rolling hills that was a problem.

I just decided to run comfortable and hard without redlining it. At about mile 2 we did a short extra loop that included a small obstacle course of a waist high tree log contraption. That was exciting (insert sarcasm here). I had run most of the trails obviously but this course was new so I wasn't quite sure where we were at most of the time as far as distance.

At what I thought was about mile 3 we did a lot of climbing followed by a down hill and some more climbing. At mile 4 we headed back into familiar territory so I picked it up, knowing there was only about a mile left. The last .5 miles is deceptive as you can see the finish but there are about 3 or 4 switchbacks before you actually hit the finish. I hit the last straightaway with my normal energy and finished in 46:33. Not sure where that put me age group place wise as I forgot to look at the results..meh.

Jay finished his 3 mile run just ahead of me and he looked strong. We all hung around to cheer on the rest of our friends as there were quite a few of us at the race. Post race I had a cookie and then Starr,Jay, I and our 2 dogs walked about a mile or so back home taking the scenic trails instead of the straighter paved route.

Trail running is probably my favorite thing to do at this point in my life.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Des Moines Marathon 2013

I hadn't run this race since 2006. The reason was I had a very bad experience back in 2006 after a experiencing a modified course and lack of training. I had pretty much blown off ever running this race again until a friend asked me to to join his charity running team. Team Red Shamrock was running the event to raise to raise money for post cancer care. So Team Red Shamrock showed up to run the race with bright eyes and bushy tails as my daughter would say.

Myself and Ross took the 100 mile ride from CR to the race where we met Team Red Shamrock founder John. John had our race packets and also gave me a kickass Red Shamrock stocking hat. We then headed to the starting line which was a few blocks away. It was a bit chilly and per usual I had to hit the Porto John prior to race start. This put me behind the power curve and I ended up getting stuck in the back of the almost 10,000 runners at the event. I could see my hoped for pace group, the 3:45 group way up in front of me.

When the gun went off it took me almost 3 minutes to cross the actually starting line. I started off with what I thought would be a steady pace. I had this half ass thought in the back of my head that I might be able to PR the marathon distance at this race. I was coming off a big 17 plus minute PR at a 50K I ran the previous weekend so I wasn't sure if it was possible. So anyway I kept it steady as I weaved my way through the usual crowd and congestion that starts at the beginning of a race. Eventually the half marathon runners split off and us marathoners headed up a long hill that was the beginning of 5 miles of rolling hills. I continued to pass runners and kept my pace steady even up the hills. The miles kept ticking away and before I knew it I was at mile 11 or 12 and the course had flattened out considerably. About that point we ran into and through the Drake University stadium. I tried to catch a picture of myself on the jumbotron but I wasn't able to frame it correctly.

After the stadium I kinda fell into drone mode. We hit a small paved trail section through a park and it was in this section that I finally caught the 3:45 pace group at about mile 17. It had taken me that long to catch them and when I did I was only able to hang with them for a few miles before I started feeling fatigued and slowing down. At least I felt like I was slowing down. The course ran through and circumnavigated a large park and also Greys lake. It was running around Grey's lake in 2006 where the wheels came off. In 2013 however I was feeling relatively fine and just anticipating the finish line. I looked at my watch with 4 miles to go and realized I could practically walk it in and still set a new personal marathon record. 

As I rounded the corner for the last 500 meters I turned  it on and was able to cross the line in 3:45:46 which was a new PR.  Was a good day and my Des Moines demons are now slain.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Running Village 50K 2013

So this race was another local 50k that I had run previously. It was run on some trails in Cedar Falls Iowa about 60 miles from where I live. This was the second running of the race with last year being the inaugural edition. Some changes had been made to the course so it was really like running a totally different race. In the previous year there was a 25K and a 50K option consisting of one or two 15.5 mile loops. This year the options had changed to 10 mile, 20 mile or 50K options. I was running the 50K. I knew the course would be fast and not very technical based on my previous years experience so I was hoping to perform well and possibly set a personal record. My previous fastest 50K had been run in 2011 at the Trail Mix 50K in Rochester Mn.

As seems to be the case on all my runs I worked late the night prior and finally got into bed about 4.5 hours prior to when I needed to leave to make packet pickup. As luck would have it one of our dogs decided to be a shit head and jump on the bed and off the bed while alternately whining and scratching the door. Never did find out what his deal was but he effectively kept me up all night. Thanks Joe. I rolled out of bed with the alarm bleary eyed and none to happy with my chances to PR. I stopped for the traditional Hunny Bun and Gatorade and made my way to Cedar Falls. When I arrived for packet pickup it was still dark and not too many people where in the running store that was sponsoring the race. I gave them my name, picked up my packet and parked my car by the starting line. I made contact with my other friends running the race, Ross S, Ross K and Kelly, and we chatted and milled about until race start. Mostly bitching about how cold it was. Eventually we all lined up behind some cones waiting for the start.

The RD gave some last minute instruction and off we went. By my count there were about 31 individuals running the 50K. We had a controlled start as we were required to follow the RD riding a mountain bike until after about half a mile he pulled off and the race was on. The fast runners took off and I fell into  pace that I hoped would gain me that PR.  The race now consisted of three 10 ish mile laps of mountain bike trails and single track.The first lap would be exploratory. I just kept a constant pace as I went up and down the rolling hills and through the winding single track. Some of the course was one way and some was two way traffic. I saw some good views as well as seeing  the leaders coming back at me at some point. I decided that if I was ahead of the race plan I would use the second lap to take pictures of some of the views. I mean seeing the scenery is a big reason I like running ultramarathons in the first place. I was able to to speak briefly to both Ross and Kelly during this lap, they were both running ahead of me and running hard. Ross looked to being contention for the lead.

As I headed back to the turnaround at the end of the first lap I could see that the 20 mile race had started. I saw those racers heading toward me in the opposite direction. I finished that first lap in 1:42 hours. As I had intended I pulled out my phone and prepared to take some pictures on the second lap. I found that it was necessary to carry the phone in my hand to do this efficiently. I also found out I needed to be careful if I didn't want to take a tumble. However I continued ticking off the miles at a good clip. I passed the 25k mark in 2:30 hours. It really helped my pacing to know where I was on the course due to the previous lap. I once again saw Kelly and Ross on this lap. Kelly looked to be somewhere in the top 5 females and Ross appeared to be running in 2nd place. It was hard to tell, as by now there was a mixture of 50K, 20 Mile and 10 Mile runners on the course. By the time I started the third lap my phone was dead. So I was sans photos and sans music.

The third lap was a copy of the prior two, however I was starting to drop off the pace a bit. I estimated I was slowing down about 30 seconds per mile. It was also during this lap where I actually felt like I was racing. I had been being trailed for about 4 miles by another runner who was making steady progress in closing the gap. I entertained myself by imagining I was holding him off at Western States and we were running in the lead pack. I managed to hold him off for about 6 of the 10 mile loop but eventually he did pass me and  he then finished about 2 minutes ahead of me. Once I hit the last aid station I saw another racer that I thought had outpaced me long ago. Ultras being ultras I had caught him through relentless forward progress. The race was on again as I tried to put as much distance between him and I as I could. I ran hard thinking he was behind me, I kept sneaking looks over my shoulder at the turns to see if I could spot him. I never saw him but I put that down to the foliage and the winding course. Once I emerged from the woodline and hit the last 1.5 miles of running trail to the finish I didn't look back but just focused on the finish. I crossed the line in 5:07:02 a PR by almost 18 minutes!!!! I turned and looked back down the course to see I had been racing a ghost. The runner I thought was behind me was nowhere in sight and actually he finished 5 minutes behind me.

It was a great race and a good time. I PR'ed and won my age group. For the first time I also ran the entire race. This was the first ultra where I had not walked one step. Ross came in 2nd overall and accomplished a PR as well. Kelly PR'ed and also won her age group. I am looking forward to my next race.