Wednesday, May 18, 2011

MMT - May 14-15, 2011

The 4AM start of the Massanutten Mountain Trail 100 Mile - Fort Valley Va.

What a difference a year can make. Weather it was the WUS infuence, my awesome pacers, better nutrition, better endurance or a litle of all, I had a great run and felt much stronger than last year throughout the race.

Mile 12—After Edinburg Gap - Photo Aaron Schwartzbard

We were lucky the rain didn't begin until later in the event. The start was upper 60's and humid. The rocks were a bit slippery especially after the rain began which was on and off all night Saturday and Sunday morning. Well before that, the heat took a toll on many, for me around mile 40 at 2PM or so. I just had to find a way to take in food. Not much seemed appetizing, but I managed to eat some noodle soup, some turkey and cheese and some other salty chips and pretzels. After the sun started to set and it cooled off, I felt better and started moving better than expected. I had run a lot of this first 40M with Joe Shramka, but knew it was just a matter of time before he took off which he then did.

Joe Shramka being paced by Betsy Nickle
- Photo Bobby Gill

When I got to the mile 63 aid station, it was around 9:30PM which I thought was a great pace for me. I saw Brittany, Tyler, Dwight and Art. They all helped me get filled up, fed and on my way. Art started pacing me at this point. This is the same place my friend Glenda Rodriguez paced me last year and I complained to her all night about my various ailments. I don't think I was nearly as delirious this year.

Art did a great job keeping me moving and focused. He kept the conversation going, and never pushed the pace. At 11:30PM Art finished his first section with me and Dwight Mikulis picked me up for the slog through Jawbone Gap and Kerns Mountain in the fog. Dwight and I came across David Ploskonka having energy problems up on Kerns Mtn. He was stopping frequently due to this. We helped him all we could and kept moving making sure he was OK before we left. (David ended up finishing fine in 31:47). Dwight was able to get me through this tough section and out to mile 77 where I got some camp style cooked eggs and some cold soda. This is where I picked up Art again. Martha Nelson greeted me with Joe Clapper and Michele Harmon busy running the party aid station. Meanwhile, Aaron Schwartzbard was busy snapping pictures with his fancy camera. Brian Greeley had a few beers and fell asleep and was nowhere to be seen. Tom and Kirstin were there since Tom switched from runner to volunteer mode. I guess Sara Stanley wasn’t there this year. Mile 77 is truly becoming party central in Fort Valley. If I don’t run next year, I might have to just hang out here for a while.

Art Perraud waiting to pace Doug for second time at 2:50AM
- Photo Aaron Schwartzbard
Doug gets ready for Bird Knob climb with Art
- Photo Aaron Schwartzbard

Art and I made it up the climb onto Bird Knob only to be greeted with torrential rains. My feet were starting to hurt but it didn't make sense, because my trail shoes generally drain the water very well. More on that later. Within 5 miles, there was Dan Pesta’s Corn Chowder aid station up on the mountain literally in the middle of nowhere. Good stuff! Thanks to Dan and his crew.

Kerry Owens pacing Doug
- Photo Aaron Schwartzbard

Kerry picked me up at mile 87 around 6AM at Quatro Hubbard’s Aid Station. She then ran me all the way to the finish, no breaks or slacking allowed! My overall time was 30:39, more than 4 hours off last years’ time.
As far as my feet go, I don't tend to have foot problems so was surprised when they started hurting in the rain. Apparently I wore the wrong shoes.

Both pairs look the same, right? The ones I grabbed out of my car were the ones on the left which are Gore-Tex. Note to self, never use Gore-Tex unless it is frozen outside, Gore-Tex does not let the water out of your shoes. See results below.