is the annual Fat Ass for NEO Trail in December. Held at Mill Creek Park, running most of the same course as the YUTC. Folks who planned to do a 50K needed to just run 4 YUTC loops. Runners planning on running the 50Miler needed to include a section called "The Lily Pond" and the "Big Bear Split or Loop". These sections make the loop 8.33 miles, so a 50 mile runner would need to complete 6 of these loops.
I took the early 4 am start time option, with Cam Baker, Mike Keller, and Jim Harris. I had declared early (June) my intention of running 50 miles this year, which would make me first female to run 50 miles at URINEO. Mike had best intentions of running with me, but this changed when I told him I was going to run the "long loop". This would take me around Lake Newport, making my first loop 12.5 miles.
I had a wardrobe malfunction early. My drinking tube would not draw water. Slim helped me at the covered bridge-the tube, despite having Heed in it, had frozen. (It was about 17 degrees F out.) I quickly put the hydration vest under my top layer, then stuck the tube down by my boobs...hey, there's warmth there..
The guy trio left me and I went down the west side. I kept waiting for the road sections, and then found I was crossing the little footbridge at the bottom of Lake Newport. I had forgotten the road section was all on the west side. It was rather chilly down here, especially when I hit the road section.
An uneventful loop, back to the Log Cabin. I decided to run the same loop again, now in reverse. This would give me 25 miles, then I would only need to run 3 of the shorter 8.33 URINEO Loops.
Another uneventful loop. I did kind of bonk a bit around mile 19 or 20. I made sure I ate, and felt a bit better. I ran into Slim on the Big Bear Loop-he said he was struggling, so I made I told him I felt great! Inwardly I was thinking wow, that's not good if he's struggling, he's probably at mile 26 or so.
Back at the Covered Bridge, I made sure I ate, had some sweet tea, and headed out on the next loop. Somewhere, around mile 30, I hit the Covered Bridge. And the sweet tea, and my "magic beans"-which were peppermint covered Junior Mints kicked it. I "only" had 20 miles to go! I was darn happy about that!!!
I think I was still on the East Gorge boardwalk, or just off, when Slim hollers at me from the opposite side of the creek. He is about a 1/2 mile or so behind me. "I'm coming for you"! The throwdown was on. I yelled back some equivalent of "yah, you think so" and I took off. I thought perhaps I could get as far as the Monkey Trails before he caught up. Besides, we had nothing else to do in the middle of our run, so why not challenge?
I get to the Monkey Trails and take them as quickly as the slick conditions will allow. I'm sweating, but Slim is not in sight. I go around Pot Smoker's corner and have that very runnable section. The snow has packed down the more technical rocks, so I am able to move.
I get through Slippery Rock Pavilion, slowing down for little walk breaks, but then breaking into a run. I've got the mentality: "he can catch me, but I'm going to make him work for it."
I climb up the mud at the Troll Bridge, and then the little switchback trail. At the top, I pause-and see him!!! He's under the bridge! Oh crap. Now he's about 1/10 of a mile behind me? I feel like the gazelle being hunted down by the relentless hunter.
Still, I got the "make him work for it" mentality, and I just go! I run into the Professor.
"Hi Rich, can't talk, Slim's hunting me down".... hug Rich, and keep going.
I'm at Volney Rogers, then crossing the road, crossing the interstate, carefully going down the steel steps...still no Slim.
As I turn onto Price Road, I hear this ROAR and now there's a PACK of three (or four) runners, at the top of the Steel Steps! I both giggle and say 'oh shit' now I'm caught.
Then I decided, no, I'm not, they'll have to catch me. I run up the small incline hill (and mile 32) at a 9.31 minute mile. I'm pretty much sprinting (as much as I can at mile 32) trying to hit the log cabin before Slim. Lloyd Thomas comes out of nowhere behind, surprising me.
And I do it! I hit the log cabin about twenty feet in front of Slim. Both of us are laughing and breathing pretty hard. Nothing like a hard foot race in the 33rd mile or so of a 50 mile fat ass.
So Slim finishes his 50 miler, we eat up, and I head out in front of Slim. Cam Baker, who has finished the 50 miler in the fastest time, wants to know what Jim is doing. "You can't do that!" Cam is indignant. He's so competitive, but is floored that now the bar has been raised...and he's ready to drive home, he can't get time for another loop in.
Last loop goes well. We only lose the daylight into the last 4 miles. My Garmin clicks to 49 miles, then the battery dies. From where we are, I know we have a mile to go, so I know I've got the solid 50 miles in.
I had watched Lloyd Thomas finish his 50 miles at URINEO last year. When I asked him why, he replied something to the effect that he wanted to add his name to a very short list of runners who had done this. I decided then and there that I wanted to do the same. I also got to be first female to do so. My time was 14 hours, 6 minutes, 57 seconds.
I had a good solid run. I need to tweak some cold weather gear clothes. I did eat more per hour this run, so I think that helped. I still need to experiment with my calories. I did the solid Perpeteum, which I'm not quite sold on, and I felt like they gave me gas.
This was a nice training run for my 100K coming up, January 15.