29 May 2011. by Viktor Trukov
Long Cane 50 km/55 Miles (88.5 km) Trail Ultra Marathon Run.
Memorial Day weekend! Celebrated by running with friends at Parson’s Mountain Recreation Area in Sumter National Forest near Abbeville, SC. This run almost coincides with my first year anniversary of running! I started to run regularly on 25 May 2010! Since that completed two Marathons and four Ultra-marathons (including this), six total, longest being 40 miles (64 km). Very first Marathon was on road, the rest on trails. From the beginning of 2011 aiming at completing one Marathon or Ultra a month. 🙂
Long Cane run is a second in 2011 series, organized by Terri Hayes of UltrasOnTrails.com As usual, event was very well-organized with many wonderful volunteers, enough refreshments and food for everyone! And this time even Amateur Ham Radio Club members were helping with communications! Aid Stations (AS) were about 8 km (5 miles) apart and were all fully stocked with everything needed – electrolytes pills, water, drinks and food. Volunteers actively helped to fill water bottles and get us what we need!
This run has two options – first, runners complete 50 km in two loops, shaped in figure eight, then the hardiest bodies have an option to continue running on outer perimeter additional 24 miles (38.5 km ) for a total distance of 55 miles (88.5 km). Most of the course is in the shade of woods on wide single track lightly technical trail.
In the briefing before the run we were warned by Terri, that recent rains and horse riding made the trail muddy and possibly difficult at places, and that with creek crossings, we will get our shoes wet.
The day turned out hot and humid with temperature about 33 C (91 F). Humidity actually makes runners to lose less water, especially thru lungs, but makes it harder to lose body heat. Summer in the South is hot and it’s easy to get overheated in any kind of weather.
My recent training runs during a heat of the day helped me great deal to start being acclimatized for hot season. I felt much better during Long Cane 50 km, then I did at Enoree 40 miles (64 km)! Shade of the trees and mild cool breeze, especially in the morning hours, helped a lot too! It did not feel hot up to about 2/3 of the race for me.
My usual training was 10 km 4 times a week, and 1 long run 21.1 km (HM). Also did one 32 km run a couple of weeks before this race. My new job demanded lots of attention and heat made it harder to run more… So, I came for a run moderately prepared and well rested! 😉 Recovery after Enoree went well – feet didn’t hurt any more, and left hamstrings, that started to hurt soon after Enoree, just had slight residual discomfort. Not bad at all! I wish I’d be able to have more kilometrage covered in May. Althou I did not run as much this month, I felt ready!
Packing for the event did not take long (experience counts:), and I slept about 5 hours. Mama went with me, but she couldn’t be much of a volunteer, because she was on her first week of fasting (water only) for health reasons. So, she felt weak and was slow, reserving her activities just for picture-taking.
I misjudge the distance and time for travel, because a lot of driving was thru small towns with low-speed limits… So I was hurrying to get to park on time, and came just 10 minutes before 7 o’clock! In a hurry went thru the bump, without even seeing pay booth…
I asked mama to pay the park fee, after we start running. And mama tried to find out where is the booth, asking women at the park. She was told that it’s kind of far. Unable to drive in her condition, she decided we pay it after a run…
After arriving to park, I got ready for a run quickly, but the start was postponed for about 30 minutes. It’s always very pleasant to see running friends, and the more I participate, the more friends I get!
This event we managed to get a group start photos!
As usual, on start command, I took off my shirt and went on the trail with the crowd.
Elated and excited we all started to run!
First 10 km were the most unpleasant, with muscles slowly adjusting to run… so, I started conservatively in the beginning. Then they warmed up and I continued much more comfortably. Most people, who passed me did it on the first 10 km, including Drew Walker, Brian Guzik, Chad Hallyburton and others. After that my pace stabilized, and I was mostly alone. I ran with fuel belt, holding four bottles x 400 ml = 1.6 L total of Cranberry/Pomegranate juice and dispatched one drop bag with more juice bottles to AS#3. Remembering how bad were cramps, that I had at Enoree, I reevaluated my strategy before the run, and decided to use Aid Stations much better! It took me five long races to realize their significance and fully appreciate the aid they provide!.. This time, instead of skipping some of them completely, I stopped at each one and took 4 electrolyte pills (two of each), drank two cups of HEED, a few cups of water and grab a couple of Hummer gels. Later started to eat some food also – watermelon was so-o good! Splashing the face and neck with cold water also felt very cool! These short stops are really refreshing and give much-needed boost of energy! Between the Aid Stations, on the run, I drank my juice, water and when started to feel tired, ate a hammer gel. This routine worked out great! Thru the whole run I never feel dehydrated, exhausted or super tired and did not have any cramps, only felt a bit thirsty at some points, where I did not load enough water with me!
First AS came rather quickly, I drank and refilled with water some of my empty juice bottles, and went off feeling a bit better, as my legs started to adjust.
On the way to second AS more people passed me, and William Schmitz with a group of four guys was running with me for a while. William looked strong, and appeared to run quickly and effortlessly. There I had my first 15 seconds of fame passing them all on downhills. We joked and ran together a bit, then they all passed me, disappearing into the woods.
When I came to AS#2 (10 miles = 16 km), I sure was glad to see them all there. By the time I drank, refilled, reloaded, they were about 400 meters ahead on gravel road, which soon turned downhill, where I increased my speed with a little effort and when we went on the trail, I reached them and soon passed. That’s my second 15 second of fame, and I usually do it three times – I told them. Soon after that I passed a young blond girl in black outfit on the creek crossing.
By the way, despite a warning, I managed to get thru metal bridge and all creeks (4?) with dry feet! 🙂
It took most of the guys in the group some time, but eventually they passed me, except William. On about 20 km point I had a brief episode of pain in gall bladder area, which dissipated quickly. That’s my usual “mysterious 20th kilometer syndrome” 🙂
AS#3 (15 miles = 24 km), about a mid-point in the run, came in due time and I felt quite good! legs did not hurt, no cramps, no discomfort! The volunteers there were the most funniest! One man and the rest were all young beautiful women, extremely helpful, encouraging, joking with runners, and in the same time picking on each other! 🙂 I’d marry you all, girls! Too bad it’s not allowed in this country… :-(…
With half a distance already covered, I could tell that trail condition was very good! Rains softened it and horses did not do much damage. Trail was clean, very smooth on most parts, very few rocks and roots. I was running it very relaxed and kicked a few roots, despite clearly seeing them, just did not lift legs high enough… The directions were generally adequate, with only confusing parts at the asphalt roads, but somehow I made all the correct turns and never got lost!
On the way to AS#4, I reached a girl and a guy with whom we ran earlier, and had my third 15 seconds of fame with them. See, I said – I told you, three times! 🙂 Shortly after that also reached and passed young man with Heart Rate Monitor on his chest. He would later pass me on the last kilometers of the run.
Running started to feel tiring, and shortly before AS, I started to walk some uphills… At AS#4 I made a mistake of filling only two of my 4 bottles with water, reasoning that it would be enough till next AS…
The run to AS#5 felt most difficult for me. It started to get hotter, more open spaces to run under sun, little water, getting tired… By the time I got to water drop spot, I was surprised to see many bottles gone or empty. And I made a second mistake of only filling my two bottles, then using one of them to splash my face, thinking that one would be enough till next stop… That water was gone quickly, good thing that I drank a lot at the station, it kept me going. Right at the water drop I was passed by a woman in yellow Marathon Maniacs shirt – you go girl! Marathon Maniacs – pass me any time! 🙂 Going after her from gravel road to trail, I saw a mid-sized grey/brownish snake (~ 1 meter) on the left side of the trail. Was wondering if MM woman saw it? That snake made me look at every branch and root on the trail very carefully! 🙂 Also saw one cute little frog in other place.
Going alone on this section, which turned out the longest one, made me wonder if I am on the right track… One time saw a big branch, about my height, arm-thick fell down from the tree just 50 meters ahead of me and landed on the right border of the trail! Somewhere in the middle of this section, two horsemen came up, and I asked them if they saw an AS, to which they replied, that I must go for a while to it… I started to think that I might be going in the wrong direction… Every turn I thought – that’s it, AS, but no… On and on with empty bottles… I drank all the water from them, even unscrewed tops and drank all leftovers, that normally don’t go thru pop up tops! At this time I started to walk ALL uphills. Eventually came to a service road and saw a young runner looking at Info Stand, trying to figure out where to go. He was talking about AS#6, and I told him that we need to get to #5 first! I sat down at the bench, took one shoe off, where small rock was bothering me for some time, and got ready to run again. At this moment lone horseman came to us and said that AS#5 is very close ahead! We ran to it and drank, refilled, reloaded. It’s only 5 miles left (read 8 km), to the finish – we were told! So, we already completed a Marathon distance! I again made a same mistake of filling only two bottles… After a Marathon distance running, it’s hard to think clearly. 🙂
Soon after us the whole bunch of people came to the station, and on the way out I had to catch up and pass three of them. Running the final stretch felt tiresome, but with bunch of people right behind me, I was just trying to go along with my pace, reasoning, that if I don’t slow down much, they wouldn’t catch up with me. I could finish the last 8 km anyhow, I thought.
The final stretch was difficult, but I kept going okay, and somewhere in the middle of it reached Lanier Greenhaw in white shirt at the final creek crossing, who was walking, and told me he was a toast. I said, just walk till you get better, than run some downhills. About five minutes after that, I came upon a short but steep downhill, and while running down, my right foot suddenly twisted inwards, I felt strong sharp pain, and seems that I even heard a crack… It made me scream out loud. Limping and trying not to fall, I came to a stop, and immediately realized that my good running for today is over… And even thou I was not considering running 55 miles (not trained enough), now it was crossed over for legitimate reason – not my fault! Moaning and slowly limping forward I started to wonder if I would be able to get to the finish myself. Walking was very painful first, but started to subside slowly. I stopped moaning, and just kept limping ahead. Long Cane could really help me then! 🙂 Lanier caught up with me quickly, then four more men after him. All of them passed me on the uphill asphalt road, and went back to trail, I followed. They told me it’s “only” 2 miles (3 km) to finish. I kept walking/limping, gladly realizing, that I’m still able to move ahead. The pain was concentrated on the lateral aspect of the ankle, and if I just put my foot on the ground flat, it was tolerable. I think I walked like that for about half an hour. After some more walking, I decided to try to run, but was able to go only on slow trot. It did not feel any more painful than walk, so, I started to trot ahead. Faster than walking – good. One more runner came from behind – a woman with big water pack. She looked at my bottles, and said – all of them are empty! No, I said, still have one half filled. She quickly disappeared ahead. After a while I again reached and slowly passed Lanier, and just kept trotting ahead, thinking how much more pain I’ll get tomorrow for doing this on injured foot…
At this time runners, who went for 55 miles started to come head on, Chad Hallyburton among them, and some of them, one young woman including, were even running uphills!!!
You go guys!!!
AS#6 finally appeared, I drank some water, ate some candies, and think that I spent too much time at it, with finish just around a corner… A few people passed me then, including Lanier, but I did not pay attention. Got going to the finish and again met and passed the Lanier just about 100 meters before the finish line. Finish came very quickly, with volunteers and company cheering and yelling. Mama was sitting under a tree, took a picture of me, and I went to shelter to eat some real food and drink some more liquids.
My time was 07:19. Meaning that if not for my trauma, I’d probably finish close to 7:00, or (lets dream for a second;) less than 7:00. 🙂 Could certainly be a 50 km PR, with my other 50 km times being: Harbison 07:13:21 and Bad Creek 07:18. But… not this time…
Wait till my foot heals! 😉
With my first year of running just over, I usually place at the end of the second third on the list, and I’m trying to move up. I know that I will never be a fast runner, and it really isn’t that important, but my sport background in free style wrestling adds a competitive aspect to this recreational activity and provides motivation to keep going, when it becomes tough. This time I was able to finish at the middle of the pack!!!
Result: 07:19 Overall place: #28 of 59 finishers, Eighth in 45-49 age group and Ninth in 40-49 a.g. Also, only two people of exactly my age and two older, ran faster than me. So, in “Age and Older” a.g. I’m on the fifth place!!! 🙂
We’ll see if my plan to run a Marathon/Ultra-Marathon once a month this year will still be achievable..? Now it will depend on healing of injured ankle.
Swimming in the lake felt so-o chilling after a run, I really enjoyed it! Soon after it was approached by a park rangers about parking fee, and all attempts to explain situation and offering to go pay immediately fell on death ears… Was issued a ticket for $60. I told them, that I wish they’ll be treated with the same attitude, they treat us. Paid a park fee on the way out anyway. Lesson learned – better be late for a race, than pay fine!
After a finish it was good to talk with fellow runners, steadily coming in! Got acquainted with Steffen, from Germany, Andy from Greer, Naresh from Tennessee and others. Talked a bit with Charles and Psyche, and later with Dan Hartley, RD of Harbison 50 km and Columbia Marathon here in SC, which I will run later! 😉
I’m happy that I was able to finish it, despite injury. THANK YOU VERY MUCH to Terri Hayes of UltrasOnTrails and ALL volunteers for help and support and to ALL runners for companionship!!! Will see you on the next run, when I’ll be able to do it.
Congratulations to first 50 km finishers:
1. Garth Peterson 48 GA 5:26
2. Tyler Dawkins 28 TN 5:43
3. Robert Lewellen 39 GA 5:44
First three 50 km female finishers:
6.Terri Marshall 48F SC 6:10 First Female
10. Heidi Dawson 28F GA 6:27
20. Margaret Curcio 45F GA 6:55
Congratulations to all 55 miles finishers!!!
1. Austin Brown 23 SC 10:29
2. Gregg Ellis 40 GA 11:42
3. Wayne McDaniel 48 NC 12:40
4. Patrick Bene 49 FL 12:55
5. Larissa Yook 30F SC 13:25 First Female
6. Zach Dicus 18 SC 13:55
7. Jeffrey Leckey 18 SC 13:55
8. Chad Hallyburton 42 NC 13:55
9. Ken Osburn 49 GA 14:39
10. Angie Comer 43F GA 15:20
11. Bjorg Edberg 28F TN 16:13
12. Anne Jeffcoat 32F GA 16:18
13. Don Gibson 66 GA 16:36
Congratulations to #49 finisher, Marv Bradley 72 y.o. of Colorado, finished at 8:57! He started to run at 50, now has 22 years of running! Most senior runner of this event! You go man!!!
All pictures of this Trail Ultra Marathon Run you can see at my Long Cane 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: 1. Traumatic right ankle injury – torn ligaments, possibly partial fracture of fibula (?) – Done X-ray, need to consult radiologist.
2. Subungual hematoma of Hallux on the left foot – used a hacksaw blade to make an opening thru toenail, drained the blood completely. Hoping toenail will stay.
3. Only one blister on right II digit under the toe nail bed (nail is shed after Enoree) – discovered it on the second day, made a cut, drained all blood.
4. Small chafing spots around armpits.
5. Minor scratches on legs, but seems that I hit some poisonous plants (poison ivy, or poison oak, etc.). Itchy and oozing…
Recovery: Pronounced edema of right foot, pain. Able to walk when needed with some pain, but tolerable. Treated with cold and immobilizing bandage. Now is ready to use heating creams. Quads and leg muscles are pain-free on the fourth day.
Resolutions: 1) BE MUCH MORE CAREFUL ON THE TRAIL – DO NOT GET HURT!!!, Lift legs higher on the trail, do not kick roots!
2) Carry more water in the second half of the run! 3)Recover smoothly, 4) Do more cross and strength training , 5) Consider gators for shoes, 6) Keep losing extra weight, 7) Pay park fee even if late!
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. 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! 😉