STRAVA Summary

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

North Coast 24 Hour storm

"It was a rainy day" just doesn't quite cover it. The North Coast 24 Hour Endurance Run was a huge success despite the conditions.
Myself and Chris B. Battman travelled down to Cleveland last Friday with Joan VH doing the driving and offering up support for us during the race. We got to the Second Sole Store in Rocky River for the packet pick up and met up with race director John and his girlfriend Hope. Then we were off to Dave's place, who had graciously offered up his home for us to stay in. Getting there was a bit of an adventure though, as the GPS wanted to take us to the wrong side of Cleveland. I used my instincts and got to the right side and then we phoned to get more intricate directions. We were there by just after 6 pm and met up with Dave and his wife Sandra. A couple of beers and some wine and we were then eating our fill of pasta. a few hours of chatting and laughing and it was bed time.
Luckiy the race doesn't start till 9 am so we could almost sleep in. We were up by 7 and on the road by 7:45 for the 45 minute drive to the start. Dave said he would see us later as he planned on coming out to "pace" or run a few laps (20 miles) with me.
Once at Edgewater park, we unpacked and set up our tent near the RWOL's base camp and met most of that group, who Chris knew.
Chris had run this event last year.
I was also ran into Pam R. who I met at Green Jewel earlier in the year. We had kept in touch via FB since.

At 9 am the horn sounded and off we went for the first of many .9 mile paved bike path loops. Sounds rather monotonous and I was a little leery and what to expect. I had no real plan and wasn't sure how I would fit in walk breaks, so I just went with how I felt. After about 4 laps I took my first walk break and thought I would do that every 3 loops there after. I tried, but it didn't quite work out that way. The two front runners were running like fiends and I was getting lapped after 5 or 6 laps. Now I'm not really fast, but I'm not slow either and this took me by surprise. Later someone mentioned that Jay Aldous (one of the two) was going for the Masters record and attempting to run 160 miles. he was looking strong early.

The weather early was overcast and cool but soon warmed up enough to take the outer shell off and eventually the sun would come out for varying degrees of time.
The running was going well and every know and again I would take a full lap walk break,but generally I would walk from the timing mat to the corner where the lake started, about 100 meters. Joan VH had decided to take advantage of some downtime and run while we were and ran about 13 miles of her own. I would pass Chris every now and again, but he was only a few laps behind me.
At Lap 41 the storm clouds started to draw closer and by the second half of lap 42 not only was it raining heavily, but hail started to come down. marble sized hail, enough to sting, but not damage. The wind picked up and RD John runners to take shelter in the pavilion, most did as did I... for a few minutes and then decided I was wet already and the hail had stopped, might as well continue on. The storm seemed to take its toll as the path was a lot less crowded after the storm arrived. John said that reports were that the storm would blow by after about 45 minutes to an hour. The storm might have, but the rain and wind didn't. There was some clearing later in the evening, but that was temporary too. Basically it rained off and off all night. THe wind kept blowing too and as the night drew on the temperature dropped. Keeping moving was a necessity to keep warm. Running worked even better, the problem was talking your aching body into moving faster than a walk wasn't always successful.

The breaks in the weather provided for some nice views, with rainbows and a glorious view of downtown Cleveland at sunset.

As the race progressed I was trying to contemplate how far I would go. I was feeling good for the first 40 odd miles, by the time I hit 50 miles I was only 9 hours into the race and the mind was thinking about the possibilities... 120, 130 miles or more maybe. I struggled a bit after 50 miles, but at 55 miles seemed to get a second wind for the next 10 miles I was flying and feeling great. I kept to my plan for those laps and it seemed to be working well. Some time during these laps Zack showed up to do some pacing for Pam. He walked with us while I did a one lap walk break and caught up on a few things. On my 64th mile Dave showed up and was ready to run for a while. We walked a lap and then he got ready and we ran. But unfortunately he couldn't stay. So we didn't get as much of a run together in as we thought. Probably just as well as it shortly after that that the wheels started to come off and I started to go down hill. I was expecting to at some time and it they fell off with a thud.

I had planned on having extended breaks at 33 miles 50 miles and 66 miles. It gave me a chance to rub the legs out and put some Traumeel on to help with any aches and pains. By the time I got to 65 miles I needed it badly and stopped for a lay down and a leg rub. Getting going form a walk was hard to do at this point, getting from laying down and trying to run was near impossible. I would walk a lap or so and then continue running. When I got to 70 miles I was doing the math in my head; 30 miles to go to make one hundred and 9 1/2 hours to do it. At 74 miles it was a marathon to go and 8 and a half hours to do it. Just a minute I could walk that and still have time to spare. So it began the long walk or death march to the finish. Joan went to go and sleep as she would be needed to drive home in the morning and I continued on. The laps seemed to get longer with every time around. As the night went by I was thinking about how few people were left on the course. from 150+ to start, there only seemed to be about 30 out there now. I didn't see Chris much, or Pam either. Sue Scholl was still going around very strongly and I was thinking that she might even win this the way she was going.
There was a time when I hit 91 laps that I realized that I had 20 laps to go to hit 100 miles, and at 15 minutes per lap (my walking pace) I still had 5 hours to go. That seemed like an eternity. Each lap I would count down the 15 minute intervals, it didn't make it any better.
Joan joined me with about 6 laps to go, and at this point I was in a very dark place mentally and physically. I knew I would finish but it wouldn't be pretty. When the dawn broke it helped with my mood a little, Pam passed us with about two laps to go to 100, and she was her usual cheerful self. she started singing Good morning Sunshine (grrrrr). She was still quite a few laps behind me.
At about 22 hours and 40 minutes I crossed the 100 mile mark and called it a day. I received my buckle from John with a hand shake and looked behind me to see Chris come to the timing matt. He still had quite a few miles to go and not long to do it to get to 100 miles. At this point I went to the car to lay down and nap for the remainder.
Just before the siren went off to signal the end of the race and 24 hours were up, Joan and Chris got back to the car. Chris smiling with his buckle in hand. He had done it with 12 minutes to spare.

We quickly got our stuff together and headed back to Dave and Sandra's who had offered us breakfast, a shower and a hot tub. We readily agreed to accept.
A 45 minute drive and we were back in Novelty, Ohio for some well needed hospitality. We showered jumped in the hot tub for a bit and then had breakfast. It was at about this time when I think it all caught up to me. I wasn't feeling well and thought I better go to the bathroom and then got up and passed out. Luckily Dave was there to catch me and lay me on the floor. A cool damp wash cloth and a drink of water and I was feeling fine. Not long later we were on our way back to Barrie. Chris and I out cold from Cleveland to Buffalo.

Overall a good day etc. a great event, the only downer was the weather, and no one can control that. We met some great people and had a lot of fun, regardless of how grumpy I was at the end.

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