Monday, March 30, 2009

Buffalo Run 25k 2009- 2:45

Whew! What a day. Taking advice from a good friend and more than experienced ultra runner- I decided not to be a slave to the watch. What a crazy yet rewarding experience. Having not run more than 10 miles this year I knew it would be an adventure but hey that's why I do this anyway right. Got to the island about 40 minutes early to make sure I knew what to wear. All I really took was my Pearl Izumi sleeves with the standard shorts, shirt, socks, shoes and of course Smith sunglasses (great plug there). It was a beautiful morning. I headed over to the start and ran into Anthony and Mike wandering around with the crowd. Jim (RD) announced to get to the start. As we listened to the count down I made a quick adjustment to the iPod when all the sudden... GO! Oh crap- I got off to a slow start and knew I blew my chance of winning this race so I settled into a comfortable pace. The course was changed from the last few years, from the start we headed up a hill. I wasn't ready for any climbing yet even if it wasn't a typical mountain climb. I knew this would test the Achilles out of the gate. Mentally I was feeling great, I came to lone tree with out breaking my pace but this had a steeper section and I had to walk it a bit. I hit the aide station just in time to see my buddy Phil undressing down to his underwear- man was I outta there! After the aid station there is a nice little decent and every year I get after it all the way down. Its a fun section before you start the switchbacks. Not knowing exactly how my legs would respond to the climb at the start I figured I should power hike the switchbacks as well as run. I took a camera with me this year knowing I wasn't going to have the legs to just go for 3 hours but I also decided I didn't want to get out of my groove in any way so the camera stayed tucked away.

At the top of the switchbacks I settled in with a group of about 5 runners and just tried to keep pace. We made it back around to the aide station and I knew this was new territory for the year mileage wise. Not knowing how long I had been on the course was strange and although I knew about what mile I was I figured my legs would really slow down here. I kept on moving and just hoped for the best. As the finish got closer my legs were heavy but I was in a little rhythm so I didn't want to slow. From the top of the mountain I could see the finish and the runners in front of me. This is where my competitive juices kicked in. When the person in front of me would turn to see where they were, I took it as a challenge. From the top of the mountain to the finish I probably passed close to 8 people. Not that I was blazing but having my winter weight still and gravity- I flew down the mountain. I came to the finish and finally saw the time- 2:45. The goal was sub 3 so for that I felt good. The Achilles held up and overall I was pretty happy. I finished 61 out of 201 and 17th in my age group. Being my first race of the year and my longest run of the year, I felt good. Sometimes its tough to sit at the finish knowing I finished 61st when there are so many runners there but in the end I am there for challenge and the experience. I have some goals but none are to win. Maybe some day I will put on my own race and not open registration so I can win it.

A great big THANK YOU to everyone that made the race possible. Jim Skaggs just raises the bar every year. I have run all 4 years of the race and let me tell you, they have all been fantastic! I saw a lot of familiar faces and met many others. All in all it was a beautiful day! My family and I hung out after my race for about 3 hours and just took it all in. Maybe that's why I run these things......


FastED said...

Nice report! Proud of ya brutha! Mentally the confidence is there so now it's time to get down to business - next stepping stone Pokey50! AND THEN weeee finish hand in hand, together at SP50! Special!

Brad Mitchell said...

Great job Aric. Glad to hear everything held together for you. A great confidence boost!
I'm anxious to hear of the new course layout. See ya at P50.

Duane and Jennifer Ralphs said...


Great job my fellow training pal.
Glad to see you get out there and make it happen. Missed you this morning at the pool but you have worked harder than me this week so hats of to you.

Laters, D

Justin Ricks said...

It is nice to see that you are healthy enough to finally get out and race. Nice job.

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