Monday, November 4, 2013

Race report for Mad Trapper 50km Relentless trail race

I awoke at 4am, ate breakfast and was on the road by 5am. We arrived at 'the Ark' at about 6:30am. It was still pitch black, cold and rainy. We were greeted by a dog as we marched up the muddy driveway.

The Ark is a large cabin where they host wedding, parties and, of course, trail races. The name seemed particularly apt given the amount of rain that was falling.

I'd picked up my number the night before so all I needed to do was suit up for the adventure. It was a great atmosphere - two others from work were there and the ultra runner I'd met a few weeks earlier (1st place female in two 100 mile ultras this year). Mad trapper provided our prerace briefing - don't know how many times I repeated 'follow the blue ribbons'.

Just before 7am we lined up on the gravel road. I was feeling good. With a 'ready, set, go' we were off, still in the dark. We ran an 18.5km loop on gravel roads with a few good hills. I maintained a 5'30 pace pretty easily - a little faster than I'd planned. Cold rain was coming down steadily but I was generating enough heat that I removed my hat. I drank water when thirsty and ate a big handful of raisins at the 10km mark.

At this point we passed the Ark again and had the opportunity to get stuff from our drop bags. I was cheered on by my family - awesome support from them! I didn't need anything so kept running up into the hilly forest. It was beautiful soft mossy terrain with trees around. Although I was getting tired I was still feeling good. I got passed by a few runners at this point - people who obviously knew what they are doing. We had 3 loops of this 10.5 km loop to do so I was taking it easy.

Now that I think back, things began to go down hill near the end of the first loop. I looked ahead and noticed one of my work colleagues, a very strong marathoner, walking up one of the hills. When I caught up with him he indicated that he'd had enough with trail running and was quitting as soon as he could find a trail back. can quit, I thought to myself.

I passed him, wished him luck and kept running. I was slipping and sliding - pulled my quad trying to stay upright. I also started to get passed by the half-marathoners at this point. They'd cheer me on 'You can do it', thinking that I was a slow half-marathoner. This started to get me down. One person encouraged 'don't quit now', to which I responded 'no way I'm quitting!' - but it certainly got me thinking.

I walked into the aid station and was greeted by my family. My middle son walked me in, my daughter fed me chips and water. My wife asked 'so can you finish?' I responded 'sure!' And trudged on.

That's when it really got bad. The rain was bitter cold and I was freezing and soaked to the bone. I was walking mostly and slipping everywhere. I hit the wall mentally when I tripped over a log, both feet got caught, and I fell flat on my face in the mud. This is when I decided to quit. It was just too much - too cold, too wet, too muddy, too hilly, rocky, rooty, too hard.

I struggled back to the Ark. I was limping and started the shiver pretty badly. It took me another 2km to find a route back.

I felt horrible. Embarrassed in front of my family and other runners. My first DNF - ugh. I had pumped up this event so much on social media and people were so supportive. Ugh...

Found out the day later that 29 people started and only 13 finished. I ran 32km.

I am still considering but I think I'll try again, hopefully under better weather.

No comments:

Post a Comment