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2017-06-10 - OSS-CIA 50 Miler DNF with Stephanie

~13.3 miles @ ~15.2 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/OSS_CIA_50_miler_PWFP-Hord_Stephanie_z_2017-06-10.jpg"Banana!" says John Hord at mile 8, running a few steps behind me.

"Is that the safeword?" I ask. "Will it stop the suffering? Banana! Banana!"

We're doing the OSS/CIA 50 miler, a night race that begins on a warm and humid Saturday evening in Prince William Forest Park. Dr Stephanie sets a fast pace over rocks and roots, 13-15 min/mi, a bit too brisk for me to sustain given temperature and terrain. This is a free run for me, since I won (if "won" is the right word!) an entry in the DC Capital Striders lottery a few months ago.

Charlie Poffenberger introduces himself; we chat and share running and family stories. Dipak Bhattacharyya, who played leapfrog with me along the C&O Canal towpath six weeks ago, greets us. With a few dozen others we take the 6pm early start, so headlamps aren't needed until mile 9. Ever-cheerful Gary Knipling gives us fist-bump encouragement.

"Bad news!" Stephanie reports at the 2 hour point. Her ankle injury from a Maryland Heights fall a couple of months ago has healed, but the other foot now is hurting, and getting worse, possibly with plantar fasciitis. With a big race next month, now is not the time for further injury. We tread cautiously for a few more miles, witness a copperhead snake slithering off the path (I wanted to take a selfie with it, but it got away!), and at the next aid station withdraw from the race. Toni Aurelio accepts our bibs, and Bernard Pesjak gives us a ride back to the starting line.

A beautiful moon rises in front of us as we drive home, and reminds us what's more important than finishing a race.

(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-07-01