Thursday, January 6, 2011

PHUNT 50K - January 2nd, 2011

There was a forecast of rain for race day that changed often the last three days entering into the race.  This resulted in several changes to the race outfit for the day.  In Northeastern Maryland there was 4 inches of snow that melted the two days prior to the race thanks to extremely warm temperatures for late December.  Some of this unseasonably warm weather lasted through race morning and turned colder during the day.  Long sleeve tech shirt, favorite Brooks running shorts, new socks (hole in toe at end-they are going back), new Asics Attacks (not new any longer) were the final selection.
Getting to the race was a challenge.  Leaving with plenty of time to spare I took a right instead of a left off the exit and drove two miles out of the way.  Soon I realized I was lost and had no luck with asking for directions at an Exxon, Shell, and Dunkin Donuts.  Finally I found my way and arrived at 9 am.  Little did I know that being lost would be a recurring theme for the day.  Luckily the race start was postponed until 9:15 am!
Hunt and Phil explained the course with smiles on their faces and we were provided with extra motivation with the promise of a saucer with a Trail Dawg to all finishers.  We lined up and were off.  Well kind of, there were so many people that the course was very slow for the first mile or two.  Entering the woods, I immediately knew it would be a long and slow race.  First we went through ¼ mile of thick mud on the single track trail followed by off trail portions consisting of navigating dry gully beds and briar patches.  There were 300 people at this event so the trail was overly crowded at the beginning.  At the one hour mark the Garmin clocked me at around 3 miles – OMG – no PR today!!  I started pacing with a few folks for a mile then we all dead ended and were lost.  Luckily I found my way back and started pacing with a couple Dawgs (Carl and Keith) that knew the course.  We caught up on each others races, talked about some Dawg events, upcoming races, and the mud.  Good times and by this point the mud was completely covering the shoes.  Almost lost my shoe several times.
The Dawgs knew where to go and explained the PHUNT markings so after getting used to the course and socializing I broke off solo for a while.  I enjoyed this time alone and started picking people off for some enjoyment.  The course consisted of muddy trail followed by muddy trail followed by muddy off trail sections and some open meadows.  The three aid stations were well spaced and adequately stocked for my needs.  I am low maintenance – water, Gatorade, and chocolate chip cookies are all I need.  My time was horrendous due to the course conditions and rainy weather but I had fun, finished and met some cool people. 
Next stop, Hashawha Hills 50K – February 26th!
Garmin:  28.42 miles, 6hrs 37m, 6,382 elevation gain

1 comment:

  1. I was there too. I started about an hour and 15 minutes early with a couple of other women so i managed to finish
    the full 50k. So much fun - i was sad when it was over.