Friday, October 21, 2011

FAC 50k Report

It has almost been a full week since the running of this phenomenal race and I am just now getting around to writing a report.  Kinda tells you how busy I have been lately.  Anyway, I can not say enough about how awesome the course is and the organization as well.  Mad A does a great job organizing this beast with perfectly laid out aid drops along the way.  I never ran out of water or gels for this run and I might have come the closest to eating and hydrating correctly in a run of this magnitude.  Although, I definitely did not run this race at "race" pace and very well could have bonked if I did.  Well, onto the detailed report...

...Damian, Isaiah, El Guapo, and myself headed off from the Folk Art Center around 7:20 right as the sun was rising.  The colors were amazing as the mornings light began to strike the golds, oranges, and reds of the autumn's leaves.  There isn't a better time to run than when the leaves start to change.  Usually, temperatures are going to be perfect, the skies are going to be clear, and the air will feel crisp.  It sure did today.  We all decided to stay together as long as we all felt good during the run and did just that for a whole marathon before splitting up as we headed over Blackstock Knob.  I tried to stay on Damian's heels, but he was obviously feeling really good and I was just feeling good.  Surprising considering we were 7+ hours into the run.  Running with Damian and Isaiah was great for keeping the pace easy and enjoying the run instead of fighting it for a fast time.  I had left my inhibition to set the FKT at the door that morning after feeling a cold coming on the night before.  What a great idea.  I haven't enjoyed a run this much since Rattle My Heart 50k back in February, although I have had some great runs during that time.  I never really felt tired until I got to the flat Buncombe Horse Trail and realized that I would have to actually "run" for the first time the whole day.  The running I had been doing before this was mostly aided by gravity.  So after "running" 29 miles and 8 hours I was actually running and I could only muster out 3.5 miles of maybe 10 minute pace shuffling before I knew I was walking the rest of the way up to Mitchell.  I really didn't care and was just glad to be climbing up Camp Alice trail less than a mile from the summit.  As soon as I hit the paved walkway to to viewing tower though, I picked the pace back up and ran all the way to the top (maybe 100m).  I asked a fellow observer of the beauty that lay before us atop Mt Mitchell the time and realized that I just finished my first FAC 50k in 9:10.  This is about an hour off the time I was wanting to do going into the run, but it was exactly the time I wanted to run that day.  You couldn't have asked for a better day to be running though the mountains!

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