Sunday, June 13, 2010

Steal the Seal 50k (31 miles)

Midnight (June 12th) Friday night/Saturday morning I started my first official ultra marathon of the year. Official because I did run past the marathon January 2 in an unofficial ran.
This race is called "Steal the Seal" because early in Oklahoma State history the first Capital was Guthrie. The story goes that the State Seal was stolen in the middle of the night and taken to Oklahoma City to make it the new Capital. So the premise was that we would symbolically return the seal to Guthrie.
At midnight we started our journey to Guthrie from the State Capital in Oklahoma City. Down Lincoln to 50th and then to Martin Luther King Dr. This street has several names as it passes through Oklahoma City to Edmond and beyond. I started with three other friends and we ran together for about six miles. One surged ahead and the other slowed down a bit after the first 10k. When we left Edmond it was very dark and the fireflies were putting on quite a light show for us. It was probably the most enjoyable part of the race outside of the finish. Bill and I stayed together until around 2o miles when I was starting to fade. Bill was still running strong, so he went on. It was about this time that we left pavement and hit a dirt road. It was very dark on the road and at this point I started to use my head light. The dirt road part wasn't bad except when cars would pass and then the dust was a problem. Since most of the cars were supporting us though, I'll take some dust. There were too few aid stations in the second half for the heat and humidity during this run. When I saw Cara and Shay on the dirt road it was like an oasis. I was out of water and knew there were no more aid stations until the finish. Another small change I'd make would be to put more signs on the dirt road to confirm that we're going the right way. Although I did not go off course, I was afraid I had. I ran for over 5 miles without a sign and couldn't see any lights letting me know that I was near Guthrie. My Garmin was reading 30 miles and I was still on this road. Just as I was about to panic that I had gone too far, the road curved and I could see pavement and houses, Guthrie. I knew I was near the finish and picked it up a bit. Now there were people at the turns to let you know where to go. Three blocks to the finish. I crossed the finish line in 5:36:21. Fifth male and sixth overall. This was not an easy run but neither was it really hard. There were hills and the heat and humidity made it difficult. But it should be good training for yet another ultra, 50 mile, July 2nd with another midnight start.
Thanks to Bret, Bill, and Mary for the time we ran together. Thank you to all who manned the aid stations in the middle of the night. Thanks to all of you roaming the course with aid to anyone who needed it. Those that I remember were, Dave, Keith, Cara, Shay, Chuck, Vaden and friends, and special thanks to Brandi and friend for the aid, and Brandi for the ride back to my car.


Southbaygirl said...

Awesome!!!! What a great race! But bummer that the dirt road wasn't marked well-especially in the dark!!! Will they change that?

At least you ran at night instead of during the day!!!

Just_because_today said...

a night run...I have to fight staying awake during the day.
You are my heroe