Sunday, 16 October 2016

Vulture Bait 50K

I knew after last year's edition of Vulture Bait that I wanted to come back to do the 50K.  I registered way back in February and had some second thoughts about doing another ultra so soon after Haliburton..but hey, there's always people who do crazier things.

After this spring and summer of hellish gross heat, finally a race day with near perfect conditions of high 19C (temperature 6C at race start) and sunny.
Fall colours at Fanshawe Conservation Area.
I got up at 3 am to pee and couldn't fall back asleep, so I got out of bed before my alarm.  My stomach felt blah but I ate a hefty breakfast.  

As I remembered from last year, the first kilometre or so is mild uphill, and there are a few small hills along the 25K loop, but the entire course is very runnable.  And did I ever run!  The first loop was definitely the best 25K I've ever run.  My legs felt fantastic.  I wasn't fast but I was super steady.  It was easy to pick people off on the road sections.  There was a lady who blew by me, promptly face planted and then proceeded to spend the next few kilometres doing this annoying fartlek: run really fast for a short distance and then walk a lot, staying just ahead of me.  I finally managed to drop her on an incline and was so glad to not see her again.

One of the highlights at the end of the loop is the themed boozy aid station.  Last year the theme was redneck, this year it was Jamaican, serving Red Stripe and margaritas.

Sampling the offerings.
Unfortunately, the final 5-6K of the loop was very poorly marked, with no flags even at trail forks.  I don't remember navigation being a problem last year.

So what I got from running the best first half ever...was 3:30 clock time, not good with a 7 hour cutoff.  Obviously, there was no way I would negative split the race and I wasn't going to kill myself trying, so I took it easy when it became apparent that I would miss the cutoff again.

I knew I was in my usual DFL position when an older gentleman passed me early in the 2nd loop and someone at an aid station told me that he was the last guy they let go before the 25K cutoff.  I had plenty of food and water, but the aid stations stayed open for me.

The volunteers were all very concerned, thinking that I had bonked or hurt myself, and I lost count of how many times I told them, "I'm fine! I'm just slow!"
Finally, the sweeper met me, he was running backwards on the course to bring people in.  I did not catch his name but I have seen him before, at Seaton and Sulphur.  We were followed by the medics in a golf cart, I was glad to have some company and for the excellent service but seriously...this was not necessary!

Since I missed the cutoff, I have no official finishing time, but my Garmin showed that this was my 2nd fastest 50K, and 2+ hours faster than Hali.

Still got a medal!

Thank you so much to Jennifer-Anne Meneray and the kind volunteers for taking good care of me, even though you totally did not have to!  I am not embarrassed about missing the cutoff, or being DFL, I absolutely did my best and if my best means DFL, so be it.

Drinking all the beers with Shannon and Darek.
So that's it for ultras in 2016.  I'm going to sweeping at The Bad Thing next week and I'm doing the half Raid the Hammer with team Missing the (check)point in November, my first foray into adventure running.  Big things planned for 2017!

No comments:

Post a Comment