Saturday, February 23, 2008

2008 Cowtown Ultra (50km) Report

Respect the distance. That’s what I’m calling this one. No matter how many marathons and ultramarathons I’ve got under my belt, going 26.2 miles or longer is no joke. And in my hubris, I might’ve been a little guilty of not respecting the distance.
Self-portrait at the race start.
Having run a 50 mile race a few weeks ago and 53 miles in November, I was feeling pretty good about last Saturday’s 50 km race. This being the 30th anniversary of the Cowtown, the organizers saw fit to add an ultramarathon to the run. The course would be the same as the marathon until mile 23, at which point the ultramarathon would stay on the Trinity trails for a 5 mile out-and-back. No worries. Right?
Hanging with Toot* just before the race start.
Around 7:00 a.m., I parked at my office and walked the few blocks to the race start. I met up with Toot* just before the 7:29 a.m. start. (No Jballs—he had hurt his foot while playing with his little brother the night before the run.) Toot* and I stayed together for a couple of miles before I bailed on his quicker pace.
Runners coming down Main St. courtesy of Cowtown Camera Girl.
I settled into 9:30 minute miles and kept the pace until about mile 18, when the sun came out and the liberal walk breaks kicked in.
Pic of runners cruising by Texas Beer Company taken by Cowtown Camera Girl.
Just before TCU, I ran into Nell, Ezra, and Frandog, snapped a couple of pics, and motored on. 10 minute miles were now the norm. Somewhere between mile 23 and mile 24, the ultra course split off and I found myself jogging alone along the trail. At one point, a couple teenage girls on bicycles rode by and asked, “How far is your race? Is it a 5K?” I smiled and replied, “Yeah, give or take a few miles.”
As I neared the turnaround, I noticed that the race directors had chosen to make us run up a short hill to the chip-timing mat. Why such masochism? Why? Ugh. Heading back, I came upon fellow Marathon Maniac and El Scorcho alum, Steve Grady. We chatted for a bit before continuing on our respective ways.
Very bad self-portrait in front of "Mile 30" sign.
At mile 28, I rejoined the marathon course, walking more frequently, but actually feeling pretty good overall. Just a little tired. I started running again, stopping only briefly for a bad self-portrait at the mile 30 sign.
Finally, I rounded the corner onto Main Street and crossed the finish line in 5 hours, 37 minutes, 34 seconds. Tired, but not hurting. 31 miles and change in the bank.
After receiving my medal and finishers shirt, I walked back to car, drove home, took a shower, and loaded up the family for a post-race lunch at Dutch’s with Nell, Ezra, Jballs, and Toot*. Mmmmm… burgers and beer.
* Nickname subject to change.


AnthonyP said...

Well done !

Just12Finish said...


Adam said...

Congrats on the finish. Looking forward to the report!

GandaMan said...

Thanks guys! It was tougher than anticipated. Nell took some actual running pics, which I'll post along with the report soon.

Adam said...

Nice! The flaming arm warmers thematically compliment the El Scorcho shirt quite well.

johnking said...

Congrats! Much respect, my goal is to do an ultra this summer, just haven't figured out which one yet.

Frandog said...

Bueno race, Ganda! I think you inspired me to get on the treadmill this morning. That makes run #2 for 2008!


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