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Bear Chase 50k – race photos

October 4, 2012

Race pics were included in registration for last Sunday’s 50k (race report).  Here are a few that I think summed up my experience.

Early on, sun starting to shine on the mountains, when I still had something resembling an actual running stride:

Smooth, flat, soft single-track.  This must have been sometime in the first hour or two – later on, there’s no way there would have been five runners in such a tight shot:

I ran with runner #302 for about 8 miles in the final third of the race, leapfrogging each other and running stretches together.  He was a good guy and quality runner (recent 3:05 marathon), learning some of the hard lessons of ultras in his first time racing beyond 26.2.  There were six similar water-crossings (3 that were each done twice on the looped course).  The weather warmed up but the water didn’t.  Cold water and tired legs account for that look on my face:

Moments later, happy to be running and away from the slippery, rocky creek bed:

Most of the course was exposed and warmed up quite a bit a few hours into the race.  But the open course was great for knowing where others were, giving me a constant stream of little goals along the way (“Catch that guy – there’s no good reason he is ahead of me” sort of reasoning/inspiration.)

At the finish line.  Trail races are sort of anti-climactic, at least for anyone looking forward to cheering crowds and impressed fans.  Most folks are out there for their own reasons, myself included.  It may not show but this is what I look like when I’m running happy.  It was great to muster a legit, albeit solo, sprint finish:

Looking at these pictures, especially for friends who knew me 5, 10 years ago, the first thought is “Jesus, didn’t he used to have muscle?”.  I was a solid 195lbs about 8 years ago.  Yeah, that has been one of the downsides of ultra training – once the fat melts off, the muscle is soon to follow.  Currently hovering around 150lbs (at 6’0″), I know that I better focus more on strength work over the winter or next summer you won’t be able to see me if I stand sideways.

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6 Comments
  1. Anonymous permalink

    At the risk of sounding like a creepy old woman, you look awesome! Don’t know what you are saying about no muscle, because I am seeing long, lean musculature. Every guy should take a page from your book and run long distance! Good job. I remain so impressed by your talent and tenacity.

    • Well hi there, Anonymous! “Creepy” and “old” is sort of my blog’s target demographic so I guess I’m doing it right. Thanks for your kind comments about my musculature. I’ll be sure to let other guys know that I have a book from which they would benefit taking a page.

  2. Marianne Vere permalink

    Thanks for the Bear Chase photos, Mike! Some of what I read about trail running sounds so grueling that it’s hard to imagine how it could be *anything *like fun. The pix make it [just a bit] more believable.

    • Marianne, I’d say that at least half of the running is fun for me. However, virtually all of it is satisfying in that it gives me both daily and longer term goals that I can reach for and be proud of. Then there are the physical benefits,, the time with friends, the stories to tell, and the savings on more conventional therapy to consider. Thanks for reading!

  3. Sweet single track! I shall come visit this race. My friend Meredith went 2 years now.

    • Olga, you might find this course too easy, though 50 miles (or even the 50k I did) has a few climbs you’ll like. Not unlike Bandera, with some water to cross, fewer rocks, and not as much to slice you up. Congrats on gutting it out last weekend in Georgetown. See you in 3 weeks!

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