Sunday, June 17, 2007

Another long run thwarted by thunderstorms. I left the house around 5:30 a.m. About 3 miles into my run, the skies opened up and poured buckets of rain. Neverending buckets of rain. It's now 10 a.m. and it's still raining. I had planned to go for 20 or so miles but bailed when the lightning started getting close. About 7 miles was all I could manage. Bummer.

Update: Around 11 a.m., the skies had cleared and the sun had emerged. So, naturally, I hit the pavement to finish out my long run. I made it about 1/2 a mile before the clouds blew in and drenched me yet again with sheets of rain. No lightning, though, so I kept at it and got another 9.5 miles in.

On a more upbeat note, yesterday's Star Telegram did an article about El Scorcho. Here's what they had to say about our race:

Spots in El Scorcho race a hot commodity
Star-Telegram staff writer

It seemed reasonable. For Ryan Valdez's 30th birthday, he and buddy Jason Costantino, 24, would run 30 miles in the middle of the summer.

How hard could it be? Both had ridden the Hotter 'N Hell 100 bike tour in Wichita Falls, that legendary dead-of-summer beast.

"I won't say [running] is harder, but you don't have nearly the cooling effect of a bike," said James Newsom of the Fort Worth Running Company, which Valdez and Costantino approached for help organizing a small race for friends and family.

Newsom and his father, Jim, one of the area's top running coaches, convinced the duo to hold the July race after dark. Thus, the first El Scorcho 50K was born.

Scheduled for midnight July 15 at Trinity Park's 3.1-mile oval, El Scorcho grew from a goofy idea to a full field of 200 runners. At 31 miles, this ultramarathon will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

"When we first talked about it, we said, 'OK, that's fine and everything, but we don't want to kill anybody,'" James Newsom said of the July date.

Valdez and Costantino never expected more than 50 runners, but that was "150 more entries ago than we thought," Costantino said. He's had to call the city about 20 times to re-up the park permit number. People are begging in e-mails to get in. Next year, the event might move to the Trinity Trails.

Costantino wants to fit in a 201st runner, local ultramarathon specialist Dr. Stephen Hudgens, who is set to run the Badwater Ultramarathon on July 23, a ghastly 135-mile race starting in Death Valley. Hudgens has run ultramarathons in China, Greece and Antarctica, among others.
"Badwater is our race on steroids," Costantino said. "Hey, I'd ride the course and hand him water. I'm pretty sure we can fit him in."

Hudgens said he's considering a warmup at El Scorcho, which at this point would be easy for him.

"I don't think [finishing El Scorcho] would be a problem," Hudgens said. "If you want to do your first ultra, I think this is the best way to start. You use up your reserves in a marathon and hit that wall. The extra five miles is a way to push a little further and get past that fatigue."


Just12Finish said...

Congrats for filling up El Scorcho. I didn't get into NYC, so I bailed on running a long race. Look forward to the race report though!

Addy said...

Quite a nice article! Sounds like this race is going to be lots of fun.

Good job on fitting in those runs amidst the thunderstorms!


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