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JFK50, 2007<br>
Race Report<br>
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JFK. Not my most favorite race, but always a good race to meet up with friends and have a good time. Last year I ran the race and wanted to improve on some weak spots i had. The 26 mile towpath in the middle of the race is a bear to run, just so darn boring, so i wanted to improve my agility on that section, and last year on the final section, 9 miles on the roads, i was not as fast as i should have been. These were my weak spots that were my focus coming into 2007.<br><br>
The day before the race, my running group friend, Ethel, and i drove down to Boonsboro, MD and picked up our race packets. Montrail was giving all the girls there "Run like a girl" hats. Wheee! We then headed to the hotel, unloaded and then headed out to Ledo's for a big meet up. There we met up with: Bob, AnthonyP, Dave (dg1), Derek (Durt), Mandy (DeTurtle), Linda (altoids), Andrea (SGH), Frank (rundangerously), Emmy (CTmarathoner), Lloyd (rootsrunner), and a couple other runners that we know. We were there for hours just having a great time with great company. Funny thing is, most of us will reunite back at Umstead in the spring!!!<br><br>
After dinner, Ethel and i laid out our gear and went to bed. Little sleep came that night and the alarm went off way too early. We met Dave in the lobby and caravanned to the school near the start. Parking was at a minimum and we ended up parking on the grass. In the school gym/prerace briefing, we did find Derrick in the throngs of people.<br>
At 6:40 the large mass of runners sauntered over to the start line over 1/2 mile away. It was COLD!!! I had tights on, even though a few people thought that was overdressing. I never once felt overdressed though! The race started without notice, no National Anthem this year, and before i knew it we were running up the road. My toes were numb and it felt good to run and get the blood pumping. Dave, Ethel, Derek and i stayed together for the first mile or so. Once i switched to a power walk i was happy to be informed by Dave that i was going at 13 minute miles -- all my power walk training was really paying off.<br><br>
Once we hit the Appallacian Trail (AT) section, it was just me and Derek running together. We did get stuck behind some slow runners, or tip toers as they were tip toeing down the trail more than walking or running. It was okay, as i did not want to fall again like last year, i have the scars to remind me every day of last year's race! We were taking our time and i thought we would be about 10 minutes slower than my AT split from last year, little did i know it would be much more. About a mile or two from the end of the trail section, we met up with Anthony and Bob and that really lifted our spirits. The AT was getting old fast. Too many rocks!!! I run technical trails with rocks, but i know all those rocks well, lol.<br>
We Finally hit the end of the AT, and i hit the porta potty. Once at the aid station, i saw that we were four hours into the race, almost an hour behind last years time. I was a bit bummed, but not too long. A nice PB&J sandwich lifted my spirits!<br><br>
Once on the C&O towpath we instituted an 8/2 (run eight minutes walk 2 minutes) to break up the monotony of this section. After about 20 minutes or so, I noticed that Derek was lagging behind. Having run many races with him, i knew this was very out of character. He had hurt his ankle/leg several weeks prior and smartly took some time off of running, unfortunately, it did not seem to have helped and he was hurting. We made the decision to keep on moving down the trail without him. I knew that if Derek could shake it off and recoup, he would catch up to us. But we never saw him again. My heart was very heavy when we headed down the trail and no longer saw him in sight. I had been looking forward to running the race with him.<br><br>
Anywho, for the first hour and more, Anthony was our fearless leader, counting down the 8/2's for us and even snapping pictures. After that, i took over and Anthony kept track of our splits as each mile is marked on the towpath. I ate several PB&J sandwiches during the race which was a nice break from clif blocks. Around the midway point Bob hit a bit of a low point. We worked well as a team and really helped him through. I know my suggestion of drinking some soda made all the difference though! Well, that and maybe Anthony's nonstop encouragement and energy! Unfortunately, Anthony's slow pace is my fast pace and we really hauled ass down the tow path, at least for me. But it was great, this was really what i needed to improve on my tow path section from last year.<br>
At mile 27, I saw Mandy and Linda and told them about Derek and that they needed to be on the lookout for him and he needed help. Mandy stormed down the trail as the super hero she is! We made this a fast stop and kept moving down the trail. We had switched to a 4/1 run/walk which seemed to work even better. The 4 minutes went by very fast and really made time move a little quicker, in my opinion. A few miles later i hit a porta potty and between disrobing my extra layers and camelback, going to the bathroom, and getting all my gear back on, it was a very long stop. BUT i needed it!<br><br>
Bob had a little sheet in his pocket and we knew we had to hit the road (mile 41) by 10 hours. We knew we were good for this if we kept moving forward. Many of our miles were in the 11 and 12 minute range, but between aid stations and the porta potty stop, the average was not that fast. We hit the last aid station before the road (mile 37.5?) and were SHOCKED to find that we were 5 minutes ahead of the cutoff (it was 8 hours and 55 minutes into the race). We just moved through and gathered our thoughts.<br><br>
This last section we just really wanted to power as hard as we could (which for me and Bob was no where as fast as Anthony! lol). However, we picked off a ton of runners on this section. I was counting down our walk breaks and Bob really impressed me when i said "one minute until we walk" and he said "no, we will pass those runners in front of us, THEN we will walk." He became a man on a mission. That was only amplified when we passed two runners we leap frogged with earlier in the race who said something like "oh, we wondered what happened to you guys, we did not think we would see you again." We passed them and never saw them again!!!!<br>
Once we hit the road, we were at 9:40 on the race clock. Not too bad. We have 2:20 to go the last 9 miles. Piece of cake. We had it made. Now we just had to do the best we could. I knew that my strength is power walking over running at this stage in the game, so i would power walk up the hills and move ahead of Bob and Anthony which gave me a cushion for when they caught me with their faster than mine running. I also got really hyper on this section. I was feeling super silly and way too excited every time i passed a mile marker.<br><br>
Around the 6 miles to go point was where they got ahead of me. After going through the aid station i really had to pee. Unfortunately, this section is all road and i was not going to go on someone's front lawn!!! I felt confident i could hold it until the end, but every time i tried to run, i got a bit nauseated from the urgency to pee. So, i just power walked as fast as i could and attempted to run here and there. No matter what, i moved very fast through this section, passing TONS of runners and clocking a couple of 12 minute miles out there. At the 4 mile to go aid station, i was going to use the porta potty, BUT there was line. I figured i would waste more time in line and going then it would take me to haul ass to the end and just decided to deal with it.<br><br>
With 1.5 miles to go, a race official pulled up aside me and made me put a reflective vest on as they had run out of them earlier in the race. Too little too late, huh? Anywho, that cost me a couple minutes that i wish i could have back. I had a neon yellow reflective camelback that practically glows in the dark as well as a head lamp on. Oh well i know that runner safety comes first.<br><br>
I kept moving as fast as i could and when i could see and hear the finish i tried to run best i could and finally saw my cheering section. I high fived everyone and was just relieved to have finally finished the race. I was thinking that Ethel was probably waiting for me all showered and fed and finished for hours, but surprisingly, she was only 2 minutes ahead of me and Bob and Anthony were only about a minute ahead of her! It was great to have finished so close to everyone. Even Dave had a slow day. Weird. My time was slow, 11:33? but with the extra hour i spent on the AT section, i think my race went very well and i accomplished what i set out to do on the tow path and road sections. And no wounds from the race this year!<br><br>
Once finished, I found Derek and got the update on his situation. I am glad he was smart enough to drop. Going on would have only made it tons worse and i need him to be in tip top shape for Umstead!<br>
After the race, Ethel and i ordered chinese food and then went to bed. We had to be up at 2:30am to make it to the Philadelphia Marathon in time. Our running group does the mile 9 aid station there every year. We made it to Philly just in time, 6:10am. The first runners did not come through until 8;10, so we had plenty of time to set up all the cups and clif shots and drinks. It was so cold and damp though. My hand were frozen. My legs felt great and it was good to be moving around after JFK. The marathon gave all us volunteers wind breakers which were a godsend because it did rain and get very windy.<br><br>
During the race i saw a few people i know, including Theia, Keith, Voodoo, and a couple more kickrunnners i recognized by their snazzy shirts. After we wrapped up at the aid station around 10:45am, I got a ride to the finish line and met up with a whole group of kickrunners. It was brief, but i was happy to just go and say hi! Convenient for me, lgreenberg lives in my town and gave me a ride home. Lucky for everyone, there is snow on the ground today. Better today than during either race this weekend!<br><br>
What another crazy whirlwind of a weekend. I had a total blast seeing everyone and spending most of the race with Bob and Anthony. All three of us are returning to the Tetons next year for the Grand Teton 100 miler. I cannot wait.
 

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2008??? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
Great job. You accomplished your mini-goals and stayed injury free. AND made it to Philly to volunteer the next day. You totally rock!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ha!<br>
must edit.
 

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Great report Merigayle! Nice to meet you btw. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Great report. I'm still debating whether I've lost my mind enough to attempt a 50 miler.<br><br>
Oh, and I totally forgot to look for you at mile nine - I realized it at about mile 10, but was too tired to turn around... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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I'll let it slide. I saw you come in to your finish at the marathon, but did not have time to stay around longer. I was with you in spirit <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 

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Awesome. Thanks for putting so much into the report. Love the information and the your results from the effort is just inspiring.
 

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<b>merigayle</b> - great report. I'm pretty sure I'd never consider running more than 26.2. Awesome.<br><br>
So sorry I missed you at mile 9. Thanks for being out there, though!
 

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You are amazing meri! Excellent racing! Looking forward to meeting you at the Fat Ass in December.
 

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I'm sorry I did not get to see your rockstar finish, Meredith. Congrats on another ultra. You've had some excellent year. How very cool that you made it up to Philly to volunteer. One day I imagine you'll do the double.<br><br>
Recover well. I hope to see you once again sooner than the next JFK.
 

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Whoot! Way to go again Meri! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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I wondered about your time when I first saw it in the results, but adding an hour to the AT section it makes a lot of sense.<br><br>
I don't think I should run with you for a while. I've been getting remarkably slower this year, and these days in an ultra my <span style="text-decoration:underline;">running</span> pace is typically around 15-16 minute pace. Your 12 minute powerwalks would make me look really bad!
 

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<b>Meri</b> - it was so great to see you in Philly! I had no clue you were even doing a race the day before - wow, that's quite a double in its own right. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy"><br><br>
Congrats to you on your race! It sounds like you had issues with this 50-miler before, but you ran it smartly and came up all aces in the end.<br><br>
(FWIW, I can't even imagine walking for 11+ hours, much less running any portion of that <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Sad"> boooo. i love running with the Hippo!<br><br>
yeah, i know i was not nearly as aggressive as we were last year, but after a bad fall at Fingerlakes this past summer, i did not want to wipe out on the AT section like last year. I thought i would be 10 minutes slower, not almost an hour!!! So in my mind i had a PR <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
last year Hippo ran JFK and then RAN philly marathon. ugh. It was great to see everyone in Philly, even if just briefly <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Quite the weekend, Meri! Your report made me feel like I was running and walking the rocks and roots myself (without the tripping hazard <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">) You are one hardy and talented ultra runner.<br>
Just a bit over a week until the WS100 lottery! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><br><br>
hup<br><br>
p.s. 11-12 m/m powerwalk? That's uber impressive! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy"> Great report meri
 
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