Thursday, May 5, 2011

Quicksilver 50M Race Report: Apr 30, 2011

A Shitty Day (Literally)

Running sucks.

Or, maybe I just suck at running.

Or maybe I just had a sucky day.

But however you look at it, things did not go well for me last Saturday, April 30 at the Quicksilver 50 Mile race. In short, I dropped out at the 50k (31 mile) mark after five hours of shitting in the woods, intermixed with a bit of running here and there. Here's my Garmin stats of the run.

But let's take a step back and set the scene. Our protagonist, young (ish) Johnny boy had been training like never before, logging 70 miles a week over the past month (with about 10,000 ft of elevation gain per week). He was quite possibly in the best shape of his life. He was setting new PRs for his regular training runs. He was effortlessly flying up even the steepest, nastiest hills. He was....

Ok, enough of this referring to myself in the third person crap. Let's switch back to first person narrative. Basically, I'd been diligently putting in the work and my training was going great. I was feeling great and poised for a breakout performance at Quicksilver 50, which I hoped would build my confidence and set the tone for my run-up to my 100 miler at the BlackHills 100 in the end of June.

But, as the 18th Century novelist Robert Burns once proclaimed, "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." Or perhaps as the American boxer Mike Tyson better explained, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face." Or, in my case, everyone has a plan until their gastro-intestinal tract decides to declare war on the rest of the body by shutting down all normal stomach functions.

I'm not really sure where it all went wrong. Maybe I took too many salt tablets too early on in the race. Maybe I didn't take enough salt tablets (which is inconceivable, considering that I took 13 over the course of 5 hours). Maybe I pushed a bit too hard in the hot weather. Maybe I consumed too much sugar (energy gels and sports drink). Maybe it was that fried chicken I had for dinner the night before (note: it sounded like a good idea at the time). Who knows.

At any rate, I guess we can look at this epic fail as a "teachable moment". While I am a master of the DNF and have dropped out of races for almost every possible reason (dehydration, cramps, fatigue, hypothermia, blisters, boredom, sudden urge to have a cold beer, etc.) this may have been the first time ever that I decided to quit because I had inadvertently lost control of my bowels and shit my pants while running. So, lesson learned. Make sure to pack Imodium AD and a spare pair of clean running shorts on my 100 miler.

Quicksilver Running Club Triumphs. Leor Pantilat Sets New 50 Mile Course Record.

OK, enough about me and my incontinence. Let's switch topics and talk about some of the great performances from the Quicksilver Running Club - Ultra Racing Team in both the 50 Mile and 50K race, as well as the new course record laid down by Leor Pantilat in the 50 Mile race.
The Quicksilver Ultra Racing Team had a great day -- perhaps due in part to the home course advantage. On the men's side, Gary Gelin finished in 2nd place in the 50 mile with a blazing fast time of 6:29:41, beaten only by the phenomenal Leor who crushed the course record with a 6:01:45. Erik Toschi and Dan Decker both placed in the top 10.  On the women's side, Bree Lambert ran away with the race, winning the 50 mile in 8:13:07. 
And in the shorter, "sprint distance" 50K, Quicksilver also put on a strong showing with John Pommier in 2nd with 3:56:19 and Toshi Hosaka taking fourth in 4:00:03 for the men. While on the women's side, Adona Ramos won the 50K race with a 4:56:26, with Miki Yannoni taking third in 5:02:23.
Leor Pantilat setting new course record!

Old Friends and New Friends Finish Their First Ultras
Special congratulations to my buddy and regular training partner Joe Bistrain who ran his first ultra-marathon, finishing the 50K in 10th place with a great debut time of 4:44:36 (only 2 minutes slower than my own debut at Quicksilver back in 2005). Congrats also to Jorge Medina (who I first met a few months ago at Pacifica where he won the marathon while I won the 50K) who finished his ultra-marathon with a very respectable 5:14:19. Nice work Jorge. Looking forward to seeing you at Ohlone 50K or whatever ultra you decide to tackle next!
Joe Bistrain running his first ultra

Jorge Medina running his first ultra


Anonymous said...

Well done cousin - nothing like crapping yourself! Maybe next time you should substitute the fried chicken with schnitzels! I hope all is well.


John Burton said...

Hmm, a reference to schnitzels. That can only mean one of two things: a Burton or a Shagen. I'm guessing cousin Paul :)

slowrunner77 said...

SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR...ER..."STRUGGLES JOHN. hopefully next time out'll be better. You know your training has been working. The bad day was just an anomoly. Keep it up, bro.

Greg said...

Only positive thoughts this weekend at Ohlone. Climb those 8,000 plus feet with a smile for the camera. Greg