I haven't been to the Umstead race in about 5 years and I must say that Blake and his army of volunteers have kicked it up a notch from what was even 5 years ago an excellent race experience. The quality, quantity and variety of food, the quality and quantity of volunteers, the prettiness of Umstead Park in early April, and the overall organization of the event make this an event with few peers. I'd mention names from the organization of the event but I'm afraid of leaving some out. A lot of people work very hard to make this the popular event that it now is. This was the 18th running and it filled within, I've heard, from 1-3 minutes.
As you probably know I sat this one out babying my achilles tendon which was hard but at least I had time to catch up with lots of friends from my time living in the area. It was wonderful to see so many old friends! It was painful to see Fred (Doom) Dummar on crutches after his extensive knee reconstruction after landing wrong in a parachute jump. Best of luck with the speediest of recoveries, Doom! That injury really keeps things in perspective on my minor annoyance of an achilles!
Liz finished her run in style runnning around 22:30. She says that she feels strong but has no speed. She is so steady right up to the end of the runs! She's not fast but that steady forward progress gets things done in a very timely manner. She definitely has increased pain and is feeling the strain of so many races in so little time (9 in 3 months) struggling to recover but nothing seems to be threatening to stop her yet. Both of us will be skipping the Philadelphia 100 this coming weekend. Me to let the achilles rest and Liz to let everything rest. The following weekend Liz will be going down to FL for the Wild Sebastian 100. I will be staying home to work.
After Sebastian we will load up the RV and drive out to NV for the Labor of Love 100 mile and the following week the Salt Flats 100. Then we fly home from Las Vegas for 9 days to try to get in some work before returning to Las Vegas for the Zion 100. If anyone reading this or anyone you know has someplace to stow the RV for those 9 days (1-9 May) to save us some parking fees we would be much appreciative. We'll also be needing to leave the RV in the Denver area from 15 May until 12 June. The RV is a 24 ft Winnebago View and not one of those monster 40 foot bus rv's.
My plan is to probably start the Labor of Love monitoring the ankle and running in shoes with plentiful toe drop. There is definitely some tightness in the achilles area and some serious knots in the calf muscle but no pain at all. I've been having some serious doubts about whether I'm being too conservative but I'm following my gut which tells me that as it is now it would not allow me to continue with our schedule. I'm doing a lot of self massage with The Stick and rolling my foot over a golf ball to loosen the plantar fascia. I'm also doing some gentle stretching and wearing (but not enjoying!) the Strassburg Sock.
Being a spectator at Umstead I got to witness a lot of inspiring efforts last weekend. I saw Ed Demoney, at 78 years young, attempt 100 miles. He had to stop at 50 but hey, 50 miles! I saw 4 people 70 or older finish 100 miles including good friends Bob Calabria and Tom Sprouse. Tom had a serious lean going at 90 miles and with 5.5 hours didn't think he could finish but got some massage and later in the final loop used some ingenuity to help fix the lean. He picked up and carried what I would say was about a 4lb rock the rest of the race! I got to see the incredible Mike Morton break the course record and run an uncontested 13:11. He is now 40 but the sky is the limit on what this guy can do. He is as smooth and effortless as anyone I've ever seen run, even after 80+ miles. Garth Peterson broke 17 hours at 48 years of age. And women's winner Traci Falbo nearly broke 17 hours with a 17:02. Congrats to all! Joe Lugiano is a technical wizard who, with some colleagues, has completely written the timing software and web interface. The searchable results can be found here.
I'll post a report on Liz's run at Wild Sebastian when she gets back.
Race count: Liz (9) Scott (5)