A little late and a little scarce with details, but Saturday, October 24th was the Rock Creek 50K at Lake Perry. It was the second time I've run the 50K there and this year was even better than the first.
My goal was anything sub 6 hours so I tried to come into the half way mark at 2:45 elapsed time but it felt too fast to push it that much so I ended arriving at 2:55 and leaving the aid station at 2:58 elapsed time for the first half. That means I had to run an equal or negative split to finish in 6 hours. I cruised along through the most of the 15 mile loop without incident, watching for rocks and roots and other trip hazards. With your eyes on the ground avoiding a fall, you see everything on the ground. Around mile 25 on this day, it meant I saw a snake! I yelled and turned around and ran backwards! From a safe distance I saw the snake slither into a hole so I worked up the guts to sprint on past the sighting-spot. Then within 10 minutes running along the trail, all the sudden I heard a terrible sound, a horrific rustle in the woods only 10 feet away. It was so much racket that I was sure, absolutely sure that I was about to be attacked by at best a bear (which we do not have in KS I don’t think) or at worst a monster (even less logically valid I think?)! Preparing for the attack I kept running, a lot faster, and turned my head to the right to see and hear a Monster-Turkey (I think the Turkey was about twice as big as me according to my memory!), now gobbling and flapping its wings. Apparently I was just as scared of it as it was of me! Enough drama for one trail run within 10 minutes!
I came into the finish in 6 hours and 5 minutes and 59 seconds, finishing 8th place out of 20 some people. There was this guy from the Topeka area running behind me the whole way, his first ultra, I never got his name, but he was obviously a really good runner and it was fun to share the trail and experiences in finishing ultras with him. All the fuel he had to start off with was 2 Baby Ruth candy bars. I shared some gels with him.
Didn’t make the sub 6 hour goal on this trail 50K but I was close and I’ll get it next time/next year/whenever the opportunity comes up again!