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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(sorry, this a bit random and discombobulated)<br><br>
Highly regretting my missing the boat on signing up for the B&A<br>
trail marathon, I decided yesterday to sprinkle this race in. Can't<br>
really beat it for $20 and the ability to sign up on race morning!<br>
Ultras are almost always a good deal, but this one really takes the<br>
cake. There is a "marathon" option and a "50k" option, both of<br>
which are known to be approximate distances, the marathon<br>
being more like 27.5 miles and the 50k being probably around<br>
31.5 miles (not too far off). I thought of this race as just a bit<br>
beyond a fatass race, so I planned to push it just a touch, but<br>
try to stay far enough below the pain bar. The race being 95%<br>
dirt trail, I had expected lots of mud with some of the recent rain<br>
storms. I thought considering all, the course was in great shape<br>
with muddy areas, but pretty much all runnable. It was quite<br>
cool at the start with temps not too bad, but a very cold, brisk wind.<br>
I rode down with Melissa, who was doing the "marathon" option<br>
because she's doing B&A trail marathon tomorrow - her first<br>
double! Hence, she was taking things very conservatively.<br>
This is a point to point race, so you park near the finish at Seneca<br>
Creek and you take a bus to the start in Damascus, about a<br>
20 minute ride.<br>
We ran into my friend Martin at the start, who is clearly now fully<br>
infected with the ultra bug. You must be<br>
prepared for this race - there are no mile markers and no cups<br>
at aid stations. I carried one 20 oz bottle, which was sufficient,<br>
filling up with ultima generally, until the 2nd to last aid station,<br>
which had gatorade endurance. I'm fine with either, but ultima<br>
has almost no calories so you need to factor that in. I didn't<br>
eat much during the race, but I did snack on a PB&J quarter,<br>
a few handfuls of cheez-its and potato chips, and some other<br>
crackers. One aid station had Coke which is my favorite ultra<br>
drink, so that was probably the bulk of my calorie intake! The<br>
race started at 8, with a good downhill segment covering 95%<br>
of the asphalt that makes up the course. After that we jumped<br>
on the trails, which were your typical trails with ups, downs,<br>
roots, rocks, and a few stream crossings. Frequently, you<br>
were running along the river, which made for some nice views.<br>
I felt fairly well through the race, taking things very conservatively,<br>
just wanting to make sure I felt good at the end. At roughly mile<br>
14 or 15, you come to an aid station where for 50k, you add a roughly<br>
4 mile loop, or for the marathon, you continue on. So I started<br>
the loop, which had some pleasant new scenery and more<br>
riverside running. However, it also had many roots, bringing<br>
back memories of Rocky Raccoon a few weeks ago!<br>
About 1/2 mile into the loop, I missed one of the guiding streamers<br>
and headed onto the wrong path. After 1/4 - 1/2<br>
mile, I was dumped out onto a parking lot, wondering where<br>
to go. I finally saw a streamer onto one of the trails and headed<br>
in that direction. About 10 minutes later I found myself on a path<br>
that looked very familiar, like the one I had come out on at the<br>
beginning of the loop. Shortly thereafter, I came upon a pair<br>
of runners going in the other direction. Not having seen anyone<br>
coming in the opposite direction on my way out, I came to the<br>
conclusion that I had added a loop by missing a turn. I turned<br>
around and followed the two runners, this time noting the streamer<br>
I had missed the first time through and heading on the proper<br>
trail. Ok, I'm back on track now and I slowly but surely pick off<br>
the 10 or so runners that I was ahead of before the loop. Well,<br>
for me it ain't an ultra if I don't get lost or add distance somewhere.<br>
At least it's only a 50k! I finished the loop coming back upon the<br>
aid station, thankful not to have been thrown off too much. At<br>
this point, I came upon Martin, who was doing very well, moving<br>
along, apparently with plenty of time in the bank to choose the<br>
50k option. After this point, you begin to approach the marathoners,<br>
so from here on, it was just a matter of passing folks on the single<br>
track. Around mile 26 or so, I came upon the "peepmania"<br>
aid station, where the main course was peeps (the little marshmallow<br>
kind). You knew this was coming because for the 2 or 3 miles before,<br>
there were a number of signs with a peep theme. At this aid station,<br>
I avoided the peeps, but loaded up with Coke and some chips. The<br>
aid station crew told me it was about 10k to go. I was happy to know<br>
a distance and I then started to watch my GPS and count the miles<br>
down. With about 4 miles to go, I came across Melissa, who was<br>
doing just fine and I ran with her a bit. She wasn't happy with<br>
her race, but, really she had to be conservative for tomorrow. I went<br>
on my merry way because it was now time to have this race end. I've<br>
had enough. I had picked up the pace a bit to minimize the rest of<br>
the time I would have to spend out there. With about 3 miles to go,<br>
I came upon the 3rd place woman, who was doing quite well, but<br>
not interested in pushing the pace. She stayed close behind because<br>
she finished not too long behind me. I counted down the miles from<br>
the aid station and just longed for that one mile to go point. It happens<br>
to be where you leave the trail and head out on a dirt road where everyone<br>
was parked. This road lasts forever. You just keep going with no sign<br>
of the finish, just wondering if you're going in the right direction. My only<br>
solace was my GPS which was still within the 10k "promised" to me.<br>
Sure enough, the finish line appeared, 6.23 miles from that aid station!<br>
I was none too disappointed to be done with the race! 5:11 - certainly<br>
not my best 50k time, but nonetheless a decent day. Lots of good<br>
food afterwards, and even a hat! Then to follow that, they drove us<br>
the mile back to the car! Never had so much for $20. I would certainly<br>
do this one again.

· Registered
1,776 Posts
Sorry I missed getting to say hi before the race. I took my time also and ended up going for the "marathon" distance in the intrest of a cutoff time. Glad to hear you had a good race. Although I did indulge myself at the "peep Show" stop....

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4,365 Posts
Sounds like a great event, despite the peeps! (But we know DEturtle will eat them as she has been known to eat marshmellow creme off the ground ... ) Thanks for your report.

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3,941 Posts
Good Job, Jesse<br>
Glad to see you've bounced back well after the RR run.<br>
I've ran a few sections of this trail and liked it very well.<br>
Kinda hard to believe it's in the middle of metropolis practically.<br>
Visiting my DS and her husband in Germantown next month and will check Seneca Creek out again.<br>

· Premium Member
15,296 Posts
Great job Jesse! Glad you made it to Seneca Creek. I was going to run B&A too and it sold out, so i ended up at Caumsett 50K in NY. The Seneca Creek trail is very scenic and the run around the lake is very nice. Thanks for another good race report <img alt="smile.gif" src="">

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1,339 Posts
Great job Jesse!<br><br>
Smartest thing you could have done was jump back into another race after Rocky. There is not doubt it did wonders for your confidence. Getting lost is something we've probably all done one time or another, but you found your way.<br><br>
$20 for all that. What a deal.<br><br>
Boston is next?<br>

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405 Posts
Jesse ---congrats and wonderful report --I like discombobulated reports (wow-that was hard to type) -a 5:11 on a trail run after your effort at RR is impressive. And you finished well and felt good, and didn't go out to fast!

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139 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, folks. I strive to discombobulate!<br>
This was actually my third race since Rocky (ran Washington's Birthday<br>
Marathon a few weeks ago, then a local ten mile hilly challenge race last weekend).<br>
Next weekend will be Lower Potomac River Marathon (anyone here doing that? doubt<br>
it, unless you also like to run marathons for speed work!) and nothing until HAT run<br>
after that! Still trying to wait until I feel "100 fit" until I sign up for Vermont ...

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405 Posts
Jesse --my and Frank (Rundangerously's)'s friend Tim is running that lower Potomac marathon. Tim will also be at the HAT run, as will Frank and I ---sounds like it will be a fun event ---a first trail run for me...of the year so it'll be more like a hike.<br>
see you there! Good luck next weekend!

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230 Posts
great race and report jesse!<br><br>
i'm looking forward to hat! i hope we finally get to say hello to each other in person! <img alt="biggrin.gif" src=""><br><br>
i did the potomac river runmarathon a couple of years ago - but no connection to the lower potomac one?

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256 Posts
Nice run Jesse! This is Will from JFK (it took me a while to finally migrate to this new site). It was good to see another familiar face out there. I won't be at HAT run (didn't sign up in time), but I do plan to run Promise Land 50K. Anyone else planning on that one?
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