Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Stroke of Bad Luck! ~ Escarpment Trail Run Entry Accpted

Received my accepted entry notification this week for The Escarpment Trail Run. It reads, "Due to a stroke of bad luck, your entry has been accepted...." This will be my 5th Escarpment Trail Run, a 30K wilderness run with 10,000 feet of climbing in New York's Catskill mountains.

On July 27, 2008 I ran my 4th Escarpment Trail Run. It was my slowest at 4:48. My previous times in 2005-2007 were 4:15, 4:09, 4:41. This race has no awards, just bragging rights. But they do give out 100 miles shirts. I am not sure if this coming 5th race is considered 100 miles, or if it is going to take two more races until I earn the 100 mile shirt.

I never wrote a race report after the last time I ran Escarpment. For my legs the race was the least painful of the four. One of the reasons is it was the slowest - because I knew I had to go slow since I was running with a broken little toe on my left foot. I had broken it a few weeks before and most of the pain was gone, except when I hit it or moved it in a certain way. This course has endless rocks, so I had to run gently to protect it. The broken toe also curtailed my training, so I factored that in as I walked a lot more than I had during past races. This slower pace became both a blessing and a curse, however. Because about half way through the intense thunderstorms started. In the mountains this meant lightening strikes that were frighteningly close, and also some hale hitting my bald head. The storms continued and flooded the trails, which cooled my body and my sore little toe - that was the blessing that made this race easier on my body. But it also risked every runner's life. It is amazing how one suddenly re-discovers religion in such a situation. But with no road crossings, no shorter routes, and no buildings, there was no choice but "on-on". The severety of the storm was unprecidented. I am not exaggerating that I feared for my life - read Tony Fletcher's report for verification. Here is winner Ben Nephew's account. Until I read Ben Nephew's account, I had forgotten how dark it got as the storm brewed. It was a very scary race and I can't wait for the next one this coming July! With some luck and hopefully no broken toes as in '08, and no Achilles tendonitis, as in '07, I think I can go at least as fast as I did in '06.

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