The Capon Valley 50K on Saturday is history, and I clocked a 6:49 or so. Official results are not yet up on the website. That put me about 95th among some 150 finishers, I think, but I need to see the final results.
My buddy, Jody, came in 10th place with a stunning 5:10 or 5:15 race. He is FAST and on this day it all must have come together for him. The course is quite hilly, but the footing is very runnable, and great combination of single track, jeep trails, and gravel roads. The course is reputed to be a fast one, and with 2 finishes under my belt (2009 and this year), I agree.
I was undertrained so my race strategy was just to run comfortably and not push it (my longest training run in the past 6 months was only a 21 miler some 3 weeks ago). I was very fortunate to be able to hook up with a couple of runners and spent much of the race with them, sharing stories and just helping each other maintain the pace.
I was so fortunate to run with one young lady. She was always athletic and healthy, but she shared with me the ordeal of being thru the ringer with a variety of health issues arising suddenly the past couple years. Plus she had triplets 2 years ago, and is trying valiantly to balance family, health, and running….and succeeding! With the past year and a half she went from being overweight and largely sedentary, to running a couple marathons, to this, her first ultra, at the Capon Valley 50K.
I shared with her my grandchildren stories, and I confess I cried at telling her the story of the bride and I seeing a boy severely handicapped with cerebral palsy at Hershey Park, and how lucky the we felt then that our granddaughter’s cerebral palsy was mild in comparison.
We talked of spouses and kids and ultrarunning and gardens and blisters and health care and bin Laden’s death and neighbors and running clothes and…...you get the idea. If you’ve ever been on a trail run or race with someone, you know. You just know. I’m not Catholic but I imagine it’s analogous to the confessional. You spill your guts to a perfect stranger and it’s normal and OK.
She kept thanking me profusely for hanging with her, when I could have gone on. I have nothing to prove on the course or with PRs, so I was quite content to stay with her and BS. Truth is, she kinda pulled me along.