2014-03-22 - HAT Run 50k 2014

~30 miles @ ~15.5 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/HAT_2014_stone_wall_z.jpgTen years after my first ultra — HAT Run 2004 — it's time to return once more, this time with Barry Smith and Gayatri Datta. The course has changed a bit over the years, but the fun factor, including scary stream crossings, remains high. By chance this year bib number equals age.
The legendary gnarly tree (an American Beech, Fagus grandifolia) remains as dominating as it did during the HAT Run 2008 when Caren Jew and I paused there to take photos of each other. It's somehow prettier at mile 22 during the second lap than it was at mile 9 the first time around.http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/HAT_2014_gnarly_tree_z.jpg
http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/HAT_2014_Shawn_Bowman_z.jpgPhotographer Shawn Bowman catches me mid-course apparently running, an unusual moment in a race with über-steep "Capital-H Hills" along with plenty of rocks and roots, plus occasional bogs. It's my sixth HAT — I took a break after the first five to avoid "streaker syndrome" addiction.
Diane Behm snaps a shot of typical HAT terrain this year, muddy paths through brown woods. Friends Stephanie Fonda and Marshall Porterfield set a steady pace and finish half an hour ahead of me.http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/HAT_2014_woods_behm_z.jpg
http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/HAT_2014_approaching_finish_line_by_shelly_cable_z.jpgAs the finish line comes into view Shelly Cable catches a joyful moment: 324th out of 383 finishers (plus 50 DNFs) — first lap 3:59:30, total time 7:37:37. At the finish line Phil Anderson, a founder of the race (he's the "A" in "HAT"), shakes hands and poses for photos.
Post-race there's veggie jambalaya and fresh hot French fries. Finisher's swag this year includes a big glass and towel, plus of course another HAT hat. Barry comes in a few minutes behind me. Gayatri chases the cutoffs, runs with the sweepers, and pushes to finish with five minutes to spare. Yay!http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/HAT_2014_post_race_feast_z.jpg

The HAT Run Garmin GPS trackfile reckons 29.7 miles, at an average ~15.5 min/mi pace — fastest mile split 10:18 (!) at mile 24 (!!), downhill along a long road segment — slowest 21:20 at mile 22, pausing during the second lap to take more photos of the gnarly tree and fellow runners.


(cf. HAT Run 2004 (2004-04-02), HAT Run 2005 (2005-03-20), HAT Run 2006 (2006-03-31), HAT Run 2007 (2007-03-25), HAT Run 2008 (2008-04-01), ...) - ^z - 2014-05-04