|Andy and me after 50K|
|John Hubbard, Joe Huising, me and Oleg Tabelev|
Saturday May 24th 5:00am the gun sounded and my plan to push the pace started immediately. The temperature was 12 degrees Celsius at race start and we ran out into a very rolly 25K loop in beautiful Elk Island Park eventually running 4 loops, each one proving to have their own challenges. A couple K into the race I noticed that Andy was the only chaser and boy were we moving. At times running 4 min/km our opening splits were crazy fast: 10K (0:43:30), 21K (1:31:00). At this pace a blow up was sure to happen but was it gonna be me or him. Around the 42K mark (3:11:00) there is an equestrian section of the course that my ailing ankle just hated. The pain set in, my lower leg started to tighten and my pace started to drop. Sensing an opportunity Andy blew past me. It took everything I had to keep pace with him to finish off that loop all the time telling myself “All I need to do is make it to the third loop, Sammy’s loop.”
|New Balance 1400’s|
In my last blog post I wrote about the four loops at the Blackfoot Ultra and how I was dedicating each loop to my wife and each of my kids. Two years ago the third loop was when I really suffered. This time around I knew that thinking of Sam would help me a ton. Upon finishing the second loop I was in big trouble and the pain in my ankle was getting worse. I was thinking while I run away into the third loop, I would stop and walk back to the start but the opposite happened. I sprinted out onto the course and said “Sam.” My pace picked up, my pain diminished, spirits rose and every couple minutes repeated my son’s name “Sam.”
|Me and Philippe Legace|
The dude that was winning the 50M at the time Mack Kont was back and forth with me and when I looked back, Andy was nowhere to be seen. Awesome this was the gap lap. I loved running past spots I remember suffering at two years ago, now breezing right past. The heat of the day was setting in and Mack was having stomach issues which made his pace drop and for the first time in the race I was all alone. Alone with Sam.
For the third time that day I ran through the damn equestrian section of the course, once again putting more torque on the ankle. The mood started slipping yet again until I heard a familiar “Whoop whoop!” behind me. My buddy John Hubbard, who was
running the 50K, had caught up with me. He mentioned he was already suffering and we should run together…done! John and I ran the remaining third loop together and I have to admit, finishing 75K with 25K left to go I felt pretty bloody good.
|Me and Any Reed|
|Me and Gary Poliquin|
|After race beverages with friends|