Just after the finish - catching my breath!
Back to reality…this year I finished 22nd out of 43 finishers and 46 starters with a time of 7:30:42. I finished faster than that in 07 (which was my first ever ultra) and I was much slower that that time in 08. Next year my goal will be again to try to break 7 hours, and to aid that goal perhaps next year I will incorporate a bit of a pre-FlatRock taper to allow my legs to be a little fresher going in. I’d run 60 miles the week before and week of the race. Never even thought about a taper since I’m training for what’s yet ahead (Run for Missions 100, etc.). I had hoped to break 7 hours this year but it just didn’t happen – I didn’t have the speed. Strangely, however, I never got really tired and I felt fine the rest of the day and the next day (yes, I felt ‘just fine’ and almost completely normal after FlatRock!) which is really weird to me because I remember being so trashed the last two years. My lowest point was between miles 15 and 23 were I just kind of putted along. But at mile 23 I had a surge that really took me all the way to the finish. When I came out of the trailhead, I sprinted hard all the way to the finish line about 2/3 mile away or so. Official Results: http://flatrock50.org/results/allresults.php#09results
There is another story though…my good friend Jesse Penna has come with me for all three FlatRock’s thus far and both this year and last year we invited Christian Stratton and Kendall Ens (from Jesse’s youth group at Northridge) to come along with us for the fun, the campout and the good food, etc. Well, we got them registered in the 25K at the last second and they both finished! They aren’t runners, don’t really run ever, wore jeans and steel-toed boots and finished strong! They got so many funny looks and questions (and suspicious whispers) as to why they are actually wearing jeans and cotton t-shirts and boots! They did their best and finished well. Congrats to the first time unorthodox trail runners! Afterwards they came up to me and said they respect the challenge of ultra-running much more than they used to and won’t ever make fun of me for limping around the day after an ultra anymore. And they said they don’t ever want to run FlatRock again! But we’ll see about those kind of never gonna vows!