Sunday, February 5, 2012
Rocky Raccoon 50 Mile Race Report
My Rocky Raccoon 50 Mile race adventure got off to an expected start with a rain coming down over the several days before the race. We had heavy rains the night before and even started in a light rain for the first several miles of the day. Otherwise the weather was good, moderate temperatures that cooled only slightly during the day with sun coming out only late enough to provide extra twilight visibility before dark. The course is 3 loops of a 16.67 mile course run through Huntsville State Park in Huntsville, Texas. My general plan is to run an 8-2 run-walk plan with extra walking up hills and large inclines, short rest stops at all aid stations and a break to assess myself between loops. I ran the race with my friend Karen, who is an experienced ultra-distance runner. Karen ran the 100 mile distance at this race last year. Loop 1: There is a lot of water on the course and it is only a matter of time before feet are wet and mud is splattered up along my legs. Fortunately my trail shoes (Brooks Ghost GTX) proved to be good at keeping most of the water out my shoes and draining excess water away from my feet. Initially, we try to avoid as much water as possible by going through makeshift detours around water-filled areas, but this only goes so far and we are often forced to go right through the water. Overall, I felt like this lap went pretty well. I did suffer from a moderate amount of gastrointestinal distress for several miles in the middle of the loop, though a trip to the porta-potty helped to address that for a few hours. After that, I feel like I am back on pace and running well with some of the more difficult parts of the loop ahead. I'm shown in this photo approaching the last aid station in the first loop.