2011-03-05 - Seneca Creek Greenway Trail 50k

30+ miles @ ~ 14 min/mi

The 2011 SCGT is a rough race: plantar fasciitis in the left heel since December, mysterious weakness in the right leg, tight left hamstring, and a bad head cold that moves through the family during previous weeks and settles on me. Plenty of excuses, eh?! But it turns out OK, with an official result of 155th place (111th out of 120 males), a total time of 7:01:51. Comrade Kate Abbott does even better, coming in 20 minutes ahead of me and setting a PR by an hour. Dear friend Caren Jew is a volunteer, gives us both a ride to the starting line, and cheers us with her great enthusiasm. It's also a fine day for Ken Swab, Emaad Burki, Barry Smith, Rebecca Rosenberg, and a flock of other trail buddies. Jennifer Weiland has a tough day, ill and undertrained like me, but finishes well.

From the start I try to follow Kate, but she sets an aggressive pace and I lose her at Clopper Lake. Before that, about a dozen miles into the race, I stumble on a root and hurt my left foot. Thoughts of dropping out dance through my head. But I trudge along and within a couple of miles the ache settles down enough that I figure I can continue. The Lake Loop that turns the trail marathon into a 50k may be a mistake, but I tackle it anyway.

Buddy CM Manlandro cheerfully checks me in at the mile ~24 aid station. Don Libes as always is high-energy and supportive, but as his photo shows I'm most interested in getting some water, sugar, and if possible caffeine into my carcass. No, I don't drink the whole bottle of Coke!

(photo by Don Libes) | http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/SCGT_50k_2011_z_coke_by_don_libes.jpg |

http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/SCGT_50k_2011_z_mary_crann_by_ken_trombatore.jpgBest of all the things that happen this year: I meet yet another nice person on the trail! She's Mary Crann, whose fluorescent-orange blazer pulls me along for many miles in the second half of the race. Mary is an oncology nurse from Rockville, experienced marathoner but relatively new to ultrarunning; she ran the Stone Mill 50 Miler last year but missed a late cutoff.

Today Mary and I spend many miles together, chatting and encouraging one another. Near mile 28, however, she has to stop to stretch out some bad cramps in her hamstring. I commiserate and give her a Succeed! electrolyte capsule, which seems to help. I expect we'll be running more together in the near future. Thanks, Mary!

(photo by Ken Trombatore) |

This is my 7th year in a row on for the SCGT. I'm tied with half a dozen others for third place in the longest-streak list, behind Cathy Blessing and Mike Bur, both of whom have done all 8 years that the race has been in existence. Maybe I can outlast them and move up some day!

(see the GPS track file and the official all-years finisher list; for reports of past years at the SCGT race see Seneca Creek Greenway Trail Marathon 2005, SenecaCreekGreenwayTrailMarathon2006, Seneca Creek Greenway Trail Marathon 2007, Seneca Creek Greenway Trail 50k 2008, 2009-03-07 - Seneca Creek Greenway Trail 50k, 2010-03-06 - Seneca Creek Greenway Trail 50k, ...) - ^z - 2011-03-13