Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hot to Trot - An 8 Hour beatdown!



I don't know what has me coming back to this event. It's an 8 hour run, in Atlanta, in the heat running a 1.18 mile loop as many time as you can until the clock hits 8 hours. Actually, I do know what keeps bringing me back........

1. A very well organized event - Sarah Tynes and all the volunteers do an incredible job
2. It's an extreme challenge (love that)
3. Lots of great local runners...a great social time even while you are suffering

Last year, I took off like a crazy man on the first 10 laps.....like under 7 minute miles. While it is only a minimally technical trail, it's still a trail. I promised myself to not repeat that this year. 8 hours is a long time. Pace yourself, Jim.

I had been on vacation on the Island of Bonaire and had just arrived home at 9:00 pm the night before the race. I was well rested and well fueled from a week away from the normal hectic days. But I was also under hydrated from a long day of air travel and flight delays. Not a good start.......

The day started out with some light drizzle......I had high hopes that the promised rain would keep the temps and therefore the body temps down. The gun goes off and BAM....crazy Sean takes off like a bear was chasing him! I did not get suckered in and kept it sane for me.

What do you say about an 8 hour 1.18 mile looped course in the heat? Lap 1 was.....lap 2 was....

After about 3 hours, I ran through the aid station and someone asked if I got stung by bees. Being HIGHLY allergic to stings, I was immediately on edge. But I have to admit, I had a quick thought of "gee, if I get stung I can drop out of this heat!". I got back around to the hill and there was a strong smell of wasp spray and a couple people unloading a can of the stuff on a nest on the ground. I can only guess that was my fastest stretch of the course for a few loops! Multiple people got stung 3 and 4 times each. Glad it wasn't me!

All and all, it was a decent race. I had Joe Fejes running hard and I thought he'd come around and catch me as I started to fade. While my pools certainly dropped off, I held on pretty well. Walking certainly became a more frequent occurrance as the day progressed, but mostly just for short stretches. Ended up with the OA win and a bit over 50 miles for the day. Less miles than last year, but I was pleased to have held up reasonably well.

Great day to run with friends and very nice to have my lovely wife come support me in the second half of the run.

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