Sunday, August 9, 2009

Stormy 50 Miles, Saturday Aug 8th, 2009

Thank you Vollies
Big Thank you to all the volunteers, you are amazing. Your make every race a success, make us forget and endure the pain easier. You put smile on our face, thank you for your tremendous generosity. There were some of you on the course for more than 24 sleepless hours. Word can't describe how appreciative we are as runners "Thank you so much, we Love YOU".

Congrats to all the runners raced the Stormy 100 Miles, 50Miles and relay team.Congrats to Ellie Greenwood for breaking the women course record and my 2 years record of 7:17Congrats to Chris Downie for winning the 100 Miles race under 18 hrs after going off the course for while. Congrats to Andy Bachmann for finishing second.Congrats to Brooke Spence for finishing her first Stormy 50 Miles race, 3rd overall female with time of 8:25Congrats also to my Tuesday relay running buddies from NSA (Stefan, Darin, Peter, and Nelson) finishing 2nd overall after going off the course for 20 min.***************************************

Result OF Race posted at:

My Story!
Leading up to the race was one of the calmest races I ever run in my life. I just wanted to make sure that I had the nutrition to get me through race and was also strategizing it how I could manage without a crew.Thursday I went to NSA and got my electrolyte Cliff Shot Blocks (chewy), then I realize I was out of SportsSheild something that I learned to use in my previous race to prevent blister and I must have it. Unfortunately store was out of the stock and had no idea what to do. Lucky enough our very own Jurgen Watts who recently ran the Miwok in California, one of the most pleasant and fun guys you want to meet in your life was at the store and he heard what I was looking for. He had a spare SportsSheild at home and he offered me to use it, man that was a reliever. Thanks Jurgen you are a great friend. NSA also told me the shipment was on the way but no guarantee it would arrive before the race but if it did they would call me. Friday after Lunch Daniel from NSA called the shipment had arrived, now that’s what I call service, they do care”Thank you Daniel and NSA”. Later that day I thanked Jurgen and let him know store had it and I was going to pick it up. Now for sure I was relieved and believed that my race was going without blister and that’s what exactly happened.Leading up to the race also Brooke and I discussed the Car pool to squamish, knowing that I was heading there on my own, I accept Brooks offer gracious that her dad, Keith was going to drive us up there. Woke up at 3:20 AM Saturday morning, took my thyroid pill 20 before breakfast and coffee. While waiting for the pill to kick in I went to washroom and man I started sneezing. Something that it has started recently and I think to do with the vegetation, trees around the house. As I am getting older I am developing more allergies and becoming more sensitive to stuff, something I never hoped for but is way of living. Right on time 4:20 AM Keith and Brooke Picked me up at my house and off went.

The Journey Begin, Brooke’s first and my third stormy 50 miler
We arrived at the Brennan Park about 5:00 and like everyone else we were wondering where the start was? We knew it was campground but had no clue which direction, once we found out which direction then had no clue how to get there. The sign was there but because of the darkness and our excitement we couldn’t locate the sign, LOL.Once we arrived at the campground quickly checked in and prepared the stuff for run and also for the drop bag at the powerhouse station before 30 miles.About 20 min to go, I had to go for pit stop, join the line up but was moving slow so for small job I went to bushes closed by and relieved myself, in that process I started to sneeze again. Shortly after bowl movement started to kick in, no I am not done yet, so I quickly went over to Brennan Park and relieve myself in the washroom and quickly back to the start line. I wore my RS300X Polar heart rate monitor, about 90 beat, understandable rate but couple of minutes later it was 154 and as we started the race it continued climbing up and on the rolling hills with regular beat of 150 I was already at 175 beat. I was praying for it to come down but wasn’t and that got me really worried how long I could go on at the pace; I am almost running at my MAX rate. A day later at 5:00 AM sneeze leading me to think that the sneezing/allergy sign could have caused the higher heart beat something that will be watching closely for next little while.

Tracy Garneau one the most decorated female Canadian ultra runner leading the 50 Mile pack:
Mike Palichuk and I started the race together and slowly made our way through the slow pack to the front behind the leaders, all I could see Myke Labelle and Adam Lint. As we came into a wider section noticed a female runner and I am thinking wow the relay folks are fast. As we continued closing the gap, noticed Tina (relay runner) but there still another female it took us about 10 min before closing the gap and found out yes indeed was Tracy Garneau.

Then Adam took the lead and I tried to stay with him and Mike P and Myke behind and I thought that ended the other solo or relay lead. Then into a section of single track. Once we got into a wider area I run alongside Adam and we started our conversation. Talked about ourselves, our lives, and running experience. I told him I read about him from one of Gary Robbins Blog and he started laughing. I knew Adam run for USA 100K team with qualifying 7:19 and my best ever 7:50, he is definitely higher than my league but I was very interested to hear about his experience competing in the international level.Shortly after we reached the exchange 1 for relay at 36:30.
Adam stopped for aid station and I waited for him then off we go again. About 5K into Leg 2 Adam was slowing down and we got to a section with long stretches/twisting runnable downhill, before that he was running just behind me but after that section I looked back and couldn’t see him anymore. Later on I heard from Mike P that Adam had to stop for big pit stop. I consider myself one of the lucky people to not stopping often during long races, I really feel for those people who have to but I also think they give their legs a good break too.About 7K into leg 2 in a short distance I could see the battle of relay teams, Darin and another gentleman from Squamish (how rude of me not asking his name) but I never stopped cheering them on. So running on my own wasn’t much fun and I felt they were slowing down. Eventually I took the lead but stayed very close since I am well known for getting lost in the trail. I was certain if I stayed closer to the squamish runner chances of getting lost was very slim. As we were coming close to the finish of leg 2 relay there is a slight down hill section dry dirt with not much footing ground so my calf started cramping. I say to myself, “oh not again”, dealing with heart rate is not enough now I have to endure calf pain for another 65K. I Reminded myself to stay positive, relax my shoulder and enjoy the race that’s what I was there for and anything else was secondary. Before the Exchange Darin was in the lead as result their leg 3 runner Nelson was a head of me and I was trying to just have him in my sight. As the hills got steeper the gap got smaller and eventually we were running alongside then I took the lead.

Longer stop at exchange 4, chat with Vollies and posing for camera.

I was feeling very hot, my heart rate wasn’t coming down but it was fluctuating so I was happy about that. I decided to stop a bit longer, cool myself down a bit, poor cold water on my head a couple of time, chat with Vollies and posing for camera, never done it before but it was great I really enjoyed it. My heart rate went down nicely but still a bit higher than normal. At the Start of the Leg 4 not only I a lost the lead to Darin but also he left about 2 min before me. I thanked all the Vollies and off I went. Now my most concern was easing up the calf pain and cautious running down hill, this leg at the beginning has a bit of ups but then down hills and undulating for fair distance. Surely I was moving gingerly on the down hills till I hit the aid station half way.

I packed a few olives in my camelback before the race once I got to aid station I asked Reg Hornsby to unzip the bag and hand me the olives, ummmm, Yummy, my savior. Thanks Reg. Purred more water again on my head and off I went and little bit relieved since I was going to climb for another 40 min or so. But after every up hill there is down hill to follow and this was concerning me especially for steep downhill. I kept repeating to myself, walk down hills who really cares they catch you, finish the race and have fun, there is still 9 mile hill that you could catch up. Climbed the hills with a very good pace and walked downhill back at the stage 4 aid station loop. I purred more water on my head and after all the walking down the steep hill I was still cramping. A technique I learned years of playing soccer and running “ tap toes a few times and off you go and sometimes tap and completely lift the leg off the ground if continue, repeat until it lets go, and eventually it did. Now I am facing more down hill but on the road not like dirt, almost no footing steep ones. Coming down the hill I see more runners on the other side of the University road on the way to tackle the hill that I just came down, cheer them on and wish them good luck and joking with them. As I got to the bottom of hill I ran into Sukhi Pawa who had my cooler in his car and I wanted to make sure it gets to Powerhouse station before I got there but that wasn’t going to happen since there wasn’t enough time. So I took enough stuff that I needed to run the 9 mile leg from the cooler. As I was about to leave I could hear a very loud footing, turned around and I saw Mike P is blitzing down the hill. So I decided to wait for Mike to come down and he stopped to grab a bite, never found out what was he eating or chewing, then we posed for camera.

Off went Mike for a few yards ahead that I had to catch up. At that point Mike assured me that I needed get going and shouldn’t wait for him so I went. I had no clue the other runners were closing down but one thing I was sure of with 9 mile hill ahead none of them were going to catch me other than fresh relay hill runners. So no stop at the powerhouse aid station and I continued until about 2 miles in the hill when I bumped into a 100Mile runner, wished him good luck and a bit of encouragement and off I went. it didn’t take long before I met a relay person who kicked my butt on the hills and I wasn’t going to risk my race to beat him, shortly after another relay runner went ahead, he told me he was going to do Penticton Ironman and this was a good training for him. I knew further up was a flatter section and down hill, so I was closing the gap but not within a mile steeper hill start so again I decided to pace myself. I kept saying people before the race that they need to pace themselves with Stormy and if I was the preacher I better did it myself first, so stuck to the plan.
Half way into the 9 mile hill Peter Wijtkamp my NSA buddies relay team caught up to me and we continue the adventure of finishing the hill together. Thanks to Peter I ran most of the down hills on the section with good pace but I made sure I lengthen my stride to avoid further cramping. About 6:07 I got to the Powerhouse aid station to start my last leg of the journey. I dropped the camelback, purred a bit of water on my head and grabbed a cold carbo pro with accelerate and off I went. By then I knew beating my own time from 2 years ago was at my reach and that’s what I was going to do. This section was the hardest mentally; too much undulating and nasty downhill’s. Cramping started again and once again I had to pace myself for a healthy finish. After 7:11:59 I crossed the finish line and I was glad the race was over. Another win to my running adventure, Three Peat for stormy. Funny thing I don’t remember my calves cramping again for the next 6 1/2 hr at the campground :)

One might consider this or other ultra running experiences whining but that’s the truth and facts. I learn from people experiences by talking to them, reading their blogs. I thank them for sharing their wealth of knowledge and I enjoy going along on their journey. Stormy is done, now I shall prepare myself for Commonwealth Championship 100K in Keswick, UK. I am truly honored to represent my country Canada and I hope to do well!

I like to thank my family to put up with me for all the hours of training being away from home and their continued support, I love you!Thank you to my sponsors, Saucony and Polar for their continued support. Thank you to my NSA family for all their help and support.
Thank you to Keith Spence, Brooke's dad for driving us to Squamish and his encouagement during the course.
Thank you to Wendy Montgomery for put on a great Stormy race.
Thank you to all my running partners for your tremendous encouragement.
Thank you to all people who inspire me, leading me the way to endless possibilities.

Happy running you smiley :)

Award with Wendy Montgomery Stormy Race Director

winner of 100Mile and 50 Miles

Speedy girls and the older guy

My buddies from NSA

1 comment:

Stephen P said...

Great write up. Thanks for sharing your experiences Sammy, it is really cool to get some insight into your race.