01 May 2011. by Viktor Trukov
Enoree Passage 40 Miles (64 km) Trail Ultra Marathon Run.
May Day! Celebrated by laboring on fresh air longer than 8 hours work day at Enoree 40 Miles (64 km) Ultra Marathon on very warm Sunday among circle of friends on trail in
the woods ! 🙂
Terri Hayes, RD, and me!
The run was organized by Terri Hayes of UltrasOnTrails.com I enlisted for all of them, and this was the first run in 2011 series. On her website Terri said, that events will be low-key, but reality proved that it was much better organized than other big and famous events!!! Aid Stations (AS) were fully stocked all the way, volunteers were super helpful (one helped me to get my shoes off, and even offered to clean my socks, seeing me grimacing thru cramps, thou I did not accept it – he needs clean hands at AS!) and at finish there were enough food for everybody, up to the last finisher! Try to beat that! I feel no sub-standards whatsoever in organization of a run!
Enoree is part of Palmetto Trail, located in Sumter National Forest, near Columbia, SC. The course is out-and-back run, mostly in the woods with about 760 meters (2500 feet) of elevation gain/loss. Temperature of the day rose from about 10 C (50 F) to 27 C (80 F). Aid stations were 8 km (5 miles) apart, well stocked with food, water, electrolytes pills and drinks. This is the longest distance that I ever run in my life – Marathon and a half! I had only two marathons and two ultras (50 km) on my record. So, I’m just a beginner, getting close to completing my first year of regular running. Will celebrate first year anniversary on 25 May 2010! 🙂
I felt well prepared, was running the whole month before this event. My usual routine during it was 10 km 3-4 times a week, and 1-2 long runs of 17 or 21.1 km and one 32 km run, in sum about 60-80 km (35-50 M) a week. Ran less last week and took one day off before this Run. Had no recent injuries (!), except my flat feet, especially the right one, periodically hurt during training runs ever since gruesome Unofficial Bad Creek 50 km run on 26 March 2011. What flat-footed platypus should expect from running long distances? 🙂
The night before run I even managed to get a little more than 5 hours of sleep, as Enoree only about an hour drive from me. Got up on time, packed my gear plus a cooler with ice and folding chairs for Terri, to help with the run, and off we went with mama as a volunteer. Picked up a fellow runner Brian on the way and arrived uneventfully to the park on time. Saw some familiar faces before the run, but did not have time to socialize… Start command came so quickly, mama did not have a chance to take a group photo… I just pulled off my shirt and ran with the crowd. With hollering, yelling and laughs multicolored running tribe with all kinds of different gear funneled into the woods.
That’s a best time of the run, which lasts to about a middle distance for me – when I still have power and not too tired yet! I run with fuel belt and have juice and honey/water (1/3) in fuel bottles. I usually start running on moderately quick pace, trying to get a bit ahead in the pack to avoid being stuck on narrow trail. I’m not a fast runner and don’t want to lose any additional time. So, in the beginning I even run on sides of the trail and sprint when needed, later on it’ll be leveled anyway. Negative splits? – Positive people don’t need negative things! 🙂 Right?
First Aid Station I quickly ran thru, just grubbed a Hummer(R) gel to eat. Did the same on the second AS. After that was running for a while with Dan Hartley, RD of Harbison 50 km and Columbia Marathon here in SC, for which I already registered to run! 😉 This year Harbison 50 km was my first Ultra run ever! I had a few 15 seconds of fame passing him and other fellow runners! Mission accomplished! Dan and other runners – Chad Hallyburton, Brian Guzik and others are good sports – chatting, encouraging, joking and eventually outrunning me. You go guys and girls! But that is expected, I’m not really a runner, I was a free style wrestler in my youth!
I actually never run fast and never liked it… I can never be really good at it, but that’s alright, it’s still a very good, beneficial and rewarding exercise with great sense of accomplishment! What I like about long distances is that endurance is more important than sprint speed, and I have a bit of it in me. 😉 Suffering is tolerable, and I don’t mind it much. All ages are welcome! As recent experience showed – everybody has a chance (when the weather is right)!
Also, the friendly communal atmosphere in these long runs is simply priceless! No ill will, no cut throat competition. Everybody, who finishes – wins! Even those who Did Not Finish (DNF) are not looked down, because the distance they ran that day is longer than most people ever ran, and we understand that on long runs we all susceptible to various problems.
On the way to third AS I and others had a few brief moments of confusion with trail seemingly disappearing in the woods a couple of times, but we quickly found our way. Since a beginning uneven (sideways) trail felt uneasy on feet, and I was getting lots of debris in shoes. I knew I’d get blisters… So, on third AS, I stopped to get juice and honey drink from my drop bag, and sat to clean up the shoes and realized socks were rubbing on toes. I was shocked to have strong cramps in legs for the first time since I started to run Marathons and Ultras! It was difficult to clean shoes… Drank some water and went ahead toward midpoint, but almost immediately got lost… going up the road, missing the turn into woods. Luckily for me Susan Allen was behind me and yelled for me to return! Otherwise, I told her – I’d go to North Carolina… This section I ran almost entirely alone, with Susan passing me later on.
It was getting warmer and warmer and started to get tough going slightly uphill on open roads… I started to wonder – why are we doing this? It’s hard, takes all day, tire some of us to almost sick condition, no tangible reward, such long distances, other people think and tell us that we are crazy… Why?? Concluded that probably a key to understand it is a personal accomplishment, celebration of our own abilities to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles. Activity – the essence of Life! Active participation in Life, training our bodies to withstand pressure, then go thru it in events, AND have fun doing it among friends! No matter how tired we get, the natural high after finish lasts long time! 😉 That’s why!!
Somewhere in the middle of this section, going towards midpoint, I ran into the first runner #18 going back to finish! Then a few more followed. I thought – good, the leaders only about 8 km ahead of me. Here I missed another turn from the dirt road into the woods, and went to red gate. Wondered there for a while, and turned back to discover three runners – two young girls and a man greeting me, thinking I’m going back already. 🙂 We wandered there a bit more and went back to trail eventually. More and more runners were coming back cheering and telling the distance to midpoint, Mark Elson among them. Finally, I got there, replaced my bottles, drank water, joked with volunteers, and realized that I’m 4 hr 8 min into the run, and I was in 38th place of about 80 starters. Not bad, I thought. It was getting close to noon and pretty warm, especially on open stretches of dirt roads.
Well, I thought, when I make it back to AS#5/3 it’ll be about a Marathon! Running back was lonely ordeal after meeting the rest of the runners, going to midpoint. Had fun cheering them and greeting a group of friends – Jason Sullivan (his race report), William Schmitz & Kristin Schmitz, Charles Raffensperger (his Ultra Rap is in UltraRunning Magazine, that we received, May/June 2011 on p.78 ! Now we need to make him sing it!) & Psyche Wimberly, Wayne Downey. Good running guys! I was concerned for William, as he was running after completing a Half-Marathon the previous day. Wished he wouldn’t injure himself!
Before I reached AS#5/3 I passed a man in white shirt, and a woman in blue. Man overpass me back after a few kilometers, thou. Close to the station I almost started to walk uphills… More cold water at the station, and it tasted better than juice! I think I drank too little and was mildly dehydrated… Filled up, and off again towards Second AS, which would make about 50 km. I ran that before, I can run it now! 🙂 The woman in blue was periodically catching up with me, and heard me moaning badly, when I resumed running after cleaning up my shoes yet again on the log. Cramps were very strong, but subsided after some running. Right foot was hurting on and off the entire time, thankfully not too bad. I stumbled once, kicked the branch once and almost turn my ankle also only once. No trauma – very good!
When I ran into AS#6/2, I saw a man just leaving – #24 Joey Salkowski. I drank a lots of cold water here, filled up and started on the last 14 km over already completed 50. First time in my life trying to run longer than 50 km! To my joy, discovered that I still able to run on leveled and downhill sections. “It’s all downhill from now” – I told myself. 🙂 Saw Joey later on the railroad crossing and came to AS#7/1 right behind him. Here drank some electrolytes and water, had a chat with volunteer/runner and went to final stretch awhile after Joey. That was a tactical mistake, should go right after him, because I got lost for a third time on the road with a long steep hill…
Finally came to a turn into park, and run all the way to the finish!!!
Result: 09:24:11, 38th place of 61 finishers, at the end of a second third on the list, as usual. As it turned out, I am #3 in my age group (45-49 y.o.)!!! and #9 in 40-49 y.o. group. Completed my fifth Marathon/Ultra-Marathon run in accordance with my plan to do it once a month this year!!!!! 😉
Nobody passed me on the way back, and I passed one. If I’d stay on course, my time would be close to 9 hours. The course was harder than I expected, and being the first really “warm” run in the year made it harder on everybody not yet adapted to heat in this season. Was happy to get pepperoni pizza, bananas and snacks at the finish! Chatted with friends and made some pictures.
Must say that I’m happy that I was able to run it, huge THANK YOU to Terri and all volunteers for help and support and to all runners for creating a warm family atmosphere!!! Will see you on the next run – Long Cane 50 km/55 miles!!! You don’t know what I’ll run there, because I don’t know it yet either! 😉 Hint – will try to push it, but…?
All pictures of this Enoree 40 miles (64 km) Trail Ultra Marathon Run you can see at my Picasa Web Album! It’s open to public, so you welcome to download, add, upload your photos, tag and comment! Also, the same album is on FaceBook. 🙂
Damage report: 6 blisters on feet (three on each), biggest I ever had! Two toe nails (both II digits, as they are protruding and are longer than big toe) shed off two weeks later. Small chafing spot on thigh. Minor scratches on legs. Cramps after run, headache (water and pH dis-balance?). Mild soreness in right biceps.
Recovery: Now four days later only blisters still bother a little. Went for 10 km regular run on fifth day, and on sixth made a PR – 00:57:58! Hooray! Now you can start laughing! 🙂
Resolutions: 1) run more, 2) get better socks, 3) consider gators for shoes, 4) reevaluate hydration, 5) do more cross and strength training, 6) lose more weight, 7) BE MUCH MORE CAREFUL ON THE TRAIL – DO NOT GET LOST!!!
Good exercises for good health everyone!!! Do not overdo, do no harm to yourself!!!
P.s. Please, tell me if you want your name to be partially omitted from post (e.g. last name removed), or on opposite, you realize, I’m describing you (e.g. man in white shirt) and you want me to put your name in post instead.
Also, please, let me know of any mistakes I made, English is not my native tongue. And feel free to talk in Russian with me any time! 😉