Ray K called me around 6 am to say he was on the way to pick me up. There was a light snow falling and the temperature was between 30 and 32 F, it would stay like that all day. It was about a 25 minute drive to Caumsett Park, it was not snowing when we got there. After picking up up our race numbers and chips, we had a chance to talk with some old friends. I got to say hello to a new runner friend from Ohio who I have been corresponding with for a little while. Her name is Amanda Stickel, that's her with her father/coach in the photo. This was her first 50k race. This race was also the US National 50k Championships. It's a tough course in that it is 13 + loops and has 2 hills on each loop. As I said before the temperature never got above freezing, there was strong wind that made it feel like 19F. Figured I could run 6 1/2 hours, but hoped for better. A couple of laps in I was being passed by the leaders and got to see that Amanda was in second place and cheer her on. I did quite well for the first 25 K and was on 5hr 20 minute pace, I knew I would slow down. The main aid station had a good selection of stuff and I was gratefull to get a cup of potato soup late in the race. Most of the time I seemed to be running on my own
with the occasional boost from Amanda as she passed me 4 times and and the odd other runner that came by. I noticed that near the end of her race Amanda was struggling a little and slipped back into 3rd place. I got to see her a little after she had finished and recovered a bit and she was really happy having run 3:46:30 in her first 50k and finished 3rd in the Nationals. She will only improve.
My own race was down to 4 laps and I hooked up with an old friend, Andy Cable for 3 of them. My last lap I once again ran alone and crossed the finish line in a time of 6:14:45. which I am very happy with. Ray had finished just less than an hour before me and was ready with the car to drive me home. We were both satisfied with our days work I think.