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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Fools 50-Mile and I’m No Fool 50K (there was also a 15-mile fun run option)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">22 March 2008</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">All trails</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">This is by far Florida’s largest and most prestigious ultra event. Although it doesn’t have the distance of other Florida races like LOST (118 miles) and Ancient Oaks (100 miles) it does have the popularity. There were over 250 athletes registered for the 50 mile, 50K, and 15 mile options. I am also very proud of the fact that the RD is a training partner and good friend, he definitely put together a top notch event (it is always quite obvious when an ultrarunner is the RD for any ultra event…this race was no exception.)</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I had to fight my urge to run the 50-mile option seeing as this race was a mere 2-weeks out from Umstead, so I decided on the 50K instead. My GF and I arrived at the race about 2 hours early so we could help with set-up and check-in (hey…gotta earn the comped entry). It was a good thing since the RD was quite understaffed in the morning. We got all of the athletes checked-in a get our stuff ready for the 50K. The course consists of 2-15 mile single track loops. Although a majority of the course is relatively flat there are a few sections that actually have some steep and technical climbs and descents (steep and technical for Florida standards…the entire course is still very runable). The weather was nice as compared to the other races that I have run this “winter”…it was in the low 60’s in the morning and the mid 70’s by the afternoon. The sky stayed mostly overcast all day which meant that the sun wasn’t too much of a hindrance. The only real challenge was the humidity…95% in the morning and dropping to about 75% in the afternoon. This means that I officially haven’t worn a shirt to a race since I ran the Jay Challenge this past July. The recent rains also packed down the sand on the course enough so you could actually run without your foot sliding backwards a few inches with every step.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">The race itself was actually very uneventful. All of that training I have been doing for Umstead has obviously paid off. I was a bit disappointed when I finished with only an 8-minute PR on this course…especially considering that I have run more in the past 3 months than I ever had in my life. That disappointment quickly faded when I realized how good I felt after the race. I felt like I could have EASILY continued to run for quite a bit longer. Sp although my training didn’t do much for speed it clearly helped with my endurance.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Now it’s REAL taper time until Umstead!!!</span></span>
 

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Where is this race held? Brooksville? I used to live in Tampa and lived in Brooksville for a few weeks. They actually have a few hills in that area. Very pretty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yup...it's in the Withlacoochee Forrest in Brooksville...also known as Florida's Rockies. Yeah...living in Brooksville must have been interesting...I'm pretty sure they still burn witches there and leeches are considered "breakthrough medical technology". <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br>
Kidding (kind of)...there's a large group of ultrarunners who drive out there every weekend from Tampa and Orlando to train on the trails.
 

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I am a therapist by trade. When I graduated from Florida Institute of Technology with my B.S. in psychology, I took a job with a company called Eckerd Family Youth Alternatives. It is a wilderness based treatment facility for boys with emotional and behavioral "problems". For the training the new counselors go to one of the camps which is located in Brooksville. for a month or two. I think the camp is located in that forest. I remember huge banana spiders who built their webs at just about head height across the trails, spiders as big as your hand, though the body of the spider was relatively small. After having finished my training, I went to my home camp which was located in the Ocala National Forest near Silver Springs and lived there for a year. It was a good time in my life. I wasn't a runner then and I have ocassionally daydreamed about what it would have been like to run through the trails in that forest. I would chase runaway boys through the woods at night at length for some times, which was fun. If I'm not mistaken, you teach at FIT right? I remember many nights at the 'Shroom and long days surfing up and down the space coast. Brevard County is awesome. I became my own man there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
HA...I'm not <i>that</i> professor. You're thinking of Matt Mahoney from <a href="http://www.mattmahoney.net" target="_blank">www.mattmahoney.net</a>. I did run with Matt for a bit during this race though.<br><br>
The Eckerd kids were all manning the aid stations during the race...they did a tremendous job and it seemed like they were enjoying themselves (or they were just planning their escape).
 

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Thanks for the report. 95% and 75% humidity! Ack! No thanks. I'll stick with the North West Coast. Where I live, if it hits 70 degrees people are passing out in the streets. Sad, I know, but oh so true.
 

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Thanks for sharing. Rest up for Umstead, see you there <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 
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