Saturday, August 13, 2016

SOB 50 Mile Race Report 2016

The last time I ran 50 miles was in 2013. At this race. And I did not have a fantastic day. In fact, I swore off 50 Milers all together and decided to stick to the "short stuff" after that.
But here I was. 5:44 AM sitting in the car in one of my favorite places in the word with my beautiful wife and daughter in law, watching the morning sun cascade over the mountain range with snow capped Mt. Shasta in the distance, waiting patiently for 16 minutes to creep by.
This year I felt very comfortable with the starting pace (mid 7's). My breathing wasn't labored like in 2013 and my legs finally felt fresh. I yo yo-ed a bit with Brett Hornig, Rod Bien and a couple other guys who's names have escaped me (sorry dudes!). Coming into the mile 9 aid station, my favorite aid station; captained by one of my best friends, Joseph Chick, I was leading and feeling strong.

Leading in to mile 9 A/S

Best aid ever

Captain Chick
If you haven't had the pleasure of running in Southern Oregon, do yourself a favor and GO! It is absolutely amazing. This particular race has over 8,000 feet of gain and descent over the course of 50 miles, and meanders mostly along the buttery smooth PCT between 5,000 and 7,000 feet. Joe describes the gain and loss as "rollers" but after mile 40 when you have to climb 1,000 feet over 3 miles, it doesn't feel like a roller. But I train on flat roads 90% of the time, so I'm probably just soft.
I tried to hang on with Brett for a while, but he slowly pulled out his RVR legs and I was soon left in the dust. Rod and another gentlemen pulled away from me around mile 30 during a 1,000 foot climb and I didn't try to keep up. If I could change one thing about my training leading up to this race, I would have done more hills, but I didn't. I was here and alive and happy to be, so I just kept clicking along the best I could and tried to think about what my wife said which was "Remember to have fun out there!"
The course is beautiful. It runs through blooming meadows, warm pine groves and a few fast fire roads with views for days. It's easy to get lost in the beauty of it all and catch your toe on a root, so be careful when you go. 

Mile 33 or so

It's hard for me to remember the events of the day by now, but it was amazing. I had a moment around mile 39 where almost every emotion I felt when I had to move away from Ashland flooded back into me. How I didn't want to go, how my shitty race in '13 felt like a direct reflection of the mediocrity I felt in life at the time. I couldn't stop from feeling the sadness while simultaneously feeling fortunate to be alive and to be here. How after all of the darkness, the nights I can't remember and the mornings I woke up hating myself, I changed. How I came home and found the woman that made me want to be better. How I have a healthy body and a good job and more than any man could ask for and how I could die happy today if it came down to it, but that I didn't want to because there's too much life left to live. I felt immense pain. And immense joy. I was proud of myself. And then I said to myself "You can't run well like this, Korey. Knock it off." So I stopped. I was happy I would get to see Joe and eat watermelon at mile 41 and tried to get there as fast as I could.

Mile 39 or so

The rest of the race was a real grind. My climbing legs were gone, but I still had to climb. I dropped a couple 14+ minute miles and felt ok with that. I just put one foot in front of the other; sometimes that's all you can do. I arrived at mile 45 feeling a little woozy and I must have looked like shit because the volunteer said "Here. You need a sponge." And doused me in freezing water. I had some grapes and continued on.

Coming out of the pain cave

I came through the finish line in 07:13 which is a PR for me and was good enough for 4th place.
Alicia and Jordin were there looking proud as ever and I was a happy man.

Gear Used:

Pearl Izumi Trail N2 v3
Pearl Izumi Custom Tee
Pearl Izumi Ultra Split Short
Clifshot Gels and Blocks
Feetures! Elite Crew Socks


1 comment:

  1. Amazing run brother! So impressive, always so impressive!

    I'm excited to hear how your 100 is and read that race report! Keep it up brother!