2012 Harbison 50 km Run

07 January 2012.  by Viktor Trukov

   Harbison 50 km Trail Ultra Marathon Birthday Celebration Run!

This year – 2012, is only a second time for Harbison 50 km Ultra Marathon Run organized by Dan Hartley, RD of www.columbiascmarathon.com and http://harbison50k.carolinaultras.com, and it’s already very popular with runners, as it brought 154 people to run it!

Harbison 50 km map

Harbison 50 km map

Harbison 50 km Elevation profile

Harbison 50 km Elevation profile: Elevation Gain: 1,939 ft Elevation Loss: 1,937 ft

Last year it was my very first Ultra Marathon and a first Trail run! I picked it as my Birthday run because it’s very close to it and distance is close to my age. 🙂 At that time I had only one Marathon completed. Since then I ran consistently thru-out a year, with two months exception in the summer due to ankle injury, and accumulated 12 Marathons and Ultras in 2011 – one for each month (!), and 13 up to date total! 🙂
I was trained and ready to run good, hoping to get close to 6 hours finish, but… unfortunately circumstances did not let me fulfill this desire. It was very close to beginning of semester in College and I had to prepare course documents for students and myself. So, I was very busy with this and did not sleep much during two nights preceding the run… and paid for it during the run.
It took less than two hours to get to Harbison Forest driving from Greenville and fortunately get a very good parking spot right at the start. On arrival saw many running friends, got ready quickly,  mama took photos, then Dan talked about the run briefly and we all went to starting position.

Pre-run briefing by Dan Hartley.

Pre-run briefing by Dan Hartley.

Pre-run briefing

Pre-run briefing

Start was at 07:30 to make sure everybody can finish before the dark.

On start! 154 runners.

On start! 154 runners.

   Start command was given and we all went up the road, towards the trail. As usual, I run fast in the beginning and got my 15 seconds of fame being ahead of everybody! 🙂 My only chance to be a leader. 😉 After that reality quickly put me in my place and people started passing me in groups. But that did not matter anymore, I immediately felt not well enough to run good. Two previous nights without sleep claimed a great toll on me. Starting first has benefits of seeing and talking to many running friends passing by! 🙂 Doug Robinson went ahead first, pretty soon Joe Parker, RD of 24 hr One Epic Run followed, then many more trickle down ahead.
Trail condition was very good, recent rains softened it but it was  still firm enough with just a few muddy spots around creeks. Markings of the turns were excellent, not one time I was in doubt that I’m on the right track! Forest looked spectacular, air clean, and the weather perfect! Aid Stations were stacked very well, and volunteers were very encouraging and helpful – greeting runners by names, who they recognize!
To me this social aspect is as much important and pleasant as exercise, if not more! It was very nice to see many familiar faces of fellow runners volunteering at AS – Doug Failla, Drew Walker, Kristin Schmitz, Teo Gamishev, Greta Dobe, Sharen Robinson, SportsPlus Usc group and others! Thank you all for help and support!

Volunteers - Kristin Schmitz, Doug Failla and Drew Walker taking a photo.

Volunteers - Kristin Schmitz, Doug Failla and Drew Walker taking a photo.

Sharen Robinson and Brianna at AS #1.

Sharen Robinson and Brianna volunteering at AS #1.

First half of the 25 km loop was the hardest, to the point that I even thought of running just one loop and not finishing… My condition felt very strange – legs were running easy, but the body was not holding up, feeling tired and powerless, and the head was not clear… So, on the first four Aid Stations (AS) I took 2 tablets of Ibuprofen (400 mg) for a total of 1600 mg, which is more than a daily dose for unsupervised use. Also took two electrolyte pills on each AS. Of course, also took some time at each AS to drink fluids, get some snacks and talk to volunteers and runners, and saw many runners coming and quickly disappearing on the trail. Oh, well…
Ibuprofen worked very good, prevented headache and made me feel better. So, I realized, that I will complete the run!
At about a half of the first loop (~ 10 km) my condition stabilized and I started to run at consistent pace, with most of my running friends already way ahead of me. Because this run brought together so many people – 154 finishers, I never was alone for a long time on the trail. And with my improved condition I even passed about eight people on the second half of the first loop, with six passing me, including William Schmitz. I finished first loop (25 km) in 2:55 – quite a decent time considering my situation. Legs were perfectly alright, but the body was not cooperating… One night without a sleep before the race is okay in most cases, but two is just too much…

AS3 First loop, ~ 20 km into the run.

AS3 First loop, ~ 20 km into the run. Photo courtesy of Drew Walker.

Started a second loop thinking that every meter will bring me closer to the finish, and I already ran more than what’s left to run! By that time the sun rose and it became much warmer, sweat started to glisten on the body, but periodic cool breeze kept us from overheating. I started to walk all uphills on the second loop. Normally I’d run up to a Marathon without walking, and sometimes the whole 50 km, but not today… Early on the second loop I ran into a young man with camel bag walking uphill. He told me that he ran the first loop in 2:30 and now walking the rest. Eh you, young people I wanted to tell him, should balance your power! Pretty soon about six women passed me one by one, and with one man we ran yo-yo for almost entire loop. My running friends tried to encourage me to chase after some runners ahead, to which my answer was – unable, not today. Althou I was able to pass a few runners on the second loop, many more passed me. On the last ten kilometers I was passed by Quincy just to see her fall down flat ten meters ahead of me… After getting up, she told me it’s the second time she fell today. She scratched an elbow and a knee and it did hurt… We talked for a while and she decided to walk a bit, so I went ahead. Last year I fell once and tripped ten times on each loop. This year I tripped about five times on each loop and almost fall once. More experience on the trails pays off! 🙂
In a few kilometers I ran up to the girl in white shirt with headphones on, she could not hear me yelling a greeting until I tapped on her shoulder. “Oh, I’m in my La-La land”, –  she told me. 🙂 Pretty soon last AS appeared, and only about five km was left to finish! While I was drinking and snaking, Quincy and “La-La land” girl came to station. I was glad to see that fighting spirit kept Quincy on track and she kept going strong! She went on trail first and I followed in a few minutes. It’s always surprising to realize how far a runner will go in just a few minutes! It took me a couple of kilometers to get back to Quincy, and we ran the rest of the course pretty close. I must say that her presence pushed me to run faster, and she told me after the run that I pulled her to run faster too!

Finish appeared ahead and greeted with friends hollering I crossed the line at 6:38, as a #101, right at the end of the second third of runners. Althou it’s not the time I was hoping for, it’s still a PR for hilly 50 km, and 35 minutes less than my début here last year. My birthday just a few days ahead, and my celebration run completed – 50 km, one km for one year and one extra! My bib #49 – showed my age!

Birthday Celebration Run!

Birthday Celebration Run finished!

After the finish! With Quincy Martel and Teo Gamishev.

After the finish! With Quincy Martel and Teo Gamishev - medal presenter..

With William Schmitz and Scott Hodukavich after finish!

With William Schmitz and Scott Hodukavich after finish!

 Bill Berdon, I and Michael Fournier in full glory with medals!

Bill Berdon, I and Michael Fournier in full glory with medals!

  We stayed at the finish till everybody came in, because we had to wait for Daniel Lieb, who brought a special prize for me missed from previous runs! 😉 It was good to see Terry Hayes, Rd of www.ultrasontrails.com finishing, and soon the last runner and Jason Sullivan, a sweep, came in.

Terry Hayes, going strong!

Terry Hayes, going strong! Photo courtesy of Drew Walker.

Jason Sullivan, The Sweep!

Jason Sullivan, The Sweep! Photo courtesy of Drew Walker.

 Unfortunately both of our camera cards were full, and we couldn’t take any more photos…

Despite my condition I really enjoyed the run and companionship. Meeting with friends and running in beautiful forest on the worm sunny day really gave a mood boost and left many pleasant memories. Post-race hot hamburger and a hot dogs were very tasty and really appreciated!
Even in the Carolina Ale House after the run, where we had our free beer in the prize glasses, runners still approach and greeted each other! It was a delightful end of the long and pleasant day!
On the way back home I had a very hard time to stay awake at the wheel, and had to stop at the gas station to sleep for two hours, before continue driving home. Next day was a sleep in and rest day. 🙂 Prize glasses are now used to drink fresh squeezed orange juice! 😉

Orange juice in Harbison glass from last year.

Fresh squeezed orange juice in Harbison glass from last year.

 Next run on schedule is HeadStrong 50 km at Lake Conestee Park in Greenville, SC, on 18 February 2012

-> http://go-greenevents.com/event/id/541

Congratulations to all runners for persevering in this event and Thanks to Dan Hartley for perfectly organizing it!!! 

Congratulations to first three 50 km finishers:
1. Ryan Thompson,  30, SC 4:10:20 New Course Record!
2. David Worth, 26, TN 4:14:48
3. Brian Kistner, 41, SC 4:20:10 

Congratulations to first three 50 km female finishers:
13. Carol Brunson, 39F, SC 4:56:53 New Female Course Record!
15. Marie-Ange Smith, 25F, NC 5:03:37
25. Sandra Murphy 44F, GA 5:14:57 

Congratulations to Terry Hayes, 68F, SC 9:40:02 as a most senior runner, and able to outrun 33F y.o. in this event! 

All photos of this run you can view on my Picasa Web album.  No FaceBook account required. Althou, the same album is on FaceBook. It’s open to public, so you welcome to download, upload your photos, tag and comment!

2012 Harbison 50 km Ultra Marathon Run.

Flickr Photos -> http://www.flickr.com/photos/columbiasc/sets/72157628795645587/
FaceBook page -> https://www.facebook.com/Harbison50K?sk=wall

Fellow runner’s reports:

Damage report:
 1. Chafing around arm pits. No blisters on feet! Terri’s advice to lube toes with body glide (I modified for massage oil) – works perfect! 2. Subungual hematoma of I digit on left foot. Drained it by driving a scissors blade under it. 🙂 It was very close to edge of nail, not much pain at all. Four days later – no pain during run!
Recovery: Mild pain in quadriceps for about two days.

Resolutions: 1) BE VERY CAREFUL ON THE TRAIL – LIFT LEGS HIGHER TO AVOID KICKING ROCKS AND ROOTS!!! 2) Do more cross and strength training, 3) Keep losing weight.

Good exercises for good health everyone!!! Do not overdo, do no harm to yourself!!! Exercise safely!!!

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. girl 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! 😉


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