Doonst drags at Limberlost 28

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Abby Hoffman
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Doonst drags at Limberlost 28

Postby Doonst » Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:51 pm

Saturday I ran the first annual Limberlost Challenge in the 28 K division (there was also 14 and 56). We had been up in the area for a week, at a wedding, family visits, and lots of swimming and cycling training for our impending triathlon. I was slightly concerned about overexerting myself before the race, but this was my big chance especially for open water swimming. It was warm all week and I was keeping an eye on Saturday's forecast. And its the year of spreading myself thin.
Heading up in the morning from Bracebridge, it clouded over a bit just as we got to Huntsville. At the event site it actually felt slightly cool, a good sign I thought. Nice place, like a park in the woods. Well laid out, with some booths and lots of portolets. Talked some with some regulars like West Grey Runner, UltraQueenga, Nature Girl, and the Viking. A treat was chatting with Bruce Trail record setter Charlotte as she came over to see West Grey. Tuzo was a big hit with people as usual, he had Heather on a leash.
After a few speeches we were off, The first couple minutes were on a dirt road, then into the woods. Beautiful soft luscious trail, pine needles and natural mulch. On the double track it was a bit crowded, slowing especially at every incline. Even in the partial shade, the humidity once we were running made for instant sweat. It really seemed to heat up quickly, and soon the sun came out. Very soon I was drenched. The course was nice, no huge hills but constantly climbing over ridges etc. Also going around trees, through mucky low sections, and lots of boardwalks, new and old. There were roots and some rocks, but not crazy hard technical terrain. Still you had to pay attention if you wanted to stay upright.
The pace was all over the place, starting out slow and getting slower. The funny thing was it didn't feel slow, or terribly hard, it just took time to cover ground. It stayed pretty busy for the first 14 K loop, as all 3 distance runners were on the course. In the second quarter I did start passing a few 14 K people who had gone out optimistically and were now struggling. I tried to not let the pace drive me crazy, and passed the first loop in 1:32.
Less crowded for sure the second loop. There were 94 pre-registered in the 14, 93 in the 28, and 70 in the 56, and I think they had race day signup as well. I knew it would only get slower, and that it did. Walked quite a lot more of the hills; if it went up I was likely hiking. I got passed by a couple of 56-ers but then by about 18 K it got very quiet. As the numbers on my Garmin started to get really ugly, I had some moments of self doubt I admit. Overheating, drenched, walking up hills, I thought I was some sorry excuse for a runner. Then after about a half an hour, I realized that no-one had passed me! How could that be, considering my total inadequacy? I had drained my water bottle by the last aid station and got it half refilled. I was worried about how long and much I had been sweating. My calfs, especially the right were threatening to cramp, with little spasms when I would jump over logs etc, and start up running from a walk. Still I felt a little better with the cold water in my bottle and the impending finish. Eventually I saw someone in front of me, I was catching someone! It turns out it was the leader in the trail series over 50 age group points standings. Boy that put a spring in my step for the last 1.5 K, as well as a few looks over my shoulder. Big finish down the road section, for only my second sub 6 minute split. Very glad to be done, in 3:29:21. Yes almost my marathon time. 7:30 pace, by far my slowest ever. Eventually I found out I placed 8 out of 22 in my age group, about average for me. I guess it was a long rough hot day for other runners too.
Then came a swim and a great lunch. My feet were sore, but not much else. It was hard to get up from sitting etc without something cramping but that passes. No harm done.
It is a beautiful course but one that takes a toll. That could be partly the weather; radio in Huntsville said after it was 27/33 humidex. But hey its July. My impression and one that I heard repeated or paraphrase frequently, is that it didn't feel as slow as it was. You couldn't point to any single element that made it tough, it just had something going on at most all times. Fun day on the trails. Ugh. I'd go back.
next up:

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Re: Doonst drags at Limberlost 28

Postby DougG » Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:57 pm

It is beautiful country and sounds like you had a challenging, but good race. Well done. :D
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Re: Doonst drags at Limberlost 28

Postby AirForceRunner » Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:20 pm

Hmmm...perhaps I should not be so disappointed that I couldn't make this one.
Tough day, wiley one. But as always, you got it done. ... orceRunner

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Re: Doonst drags at Limberlost 28

Postby Marg » Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:39 am

Sounds exhausting.. you're tough Sheldon. Congrats!
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Re: Doonst drags at Limberlost 28

Postby trixiee » Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:37 am

You're tough! That course was likely tougher than you made it out to be!
Well done, Sheldon!
I loved the remark about Tuzo having Heather on a leash! Too funny!

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Re: Doonst drags at Limberlost 28

Postby orleansrunner1962 » Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:53 am

Sounds lilke a fun day, albeit a tough one -- good job on getting 'er done!!
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Re: Doonst drags at Limberlost 28

Postby militarybrat » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:12 am

Love the race report, very descriptive, my favourite part:
ugh. I'd go back.
Congratulations on yet another adventure!
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Re: Doonst drags at Limberlost 28

Postby HCcD » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:46 am

Another friggin' race, Doonst ?? :shock: :wink:

Congrats on another one in the books ... :P
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Re: Doonst drags at Limberlost 28

Postby Sir Crashalot » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:51 am

Wow! A tough one for certain!
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Re: Doonst drags at Limberlost 28

Postby Robinandamelia » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:52 am

Congrats on what sounds like a very challenging race/day!!

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Re: Doonst drags at Limberlost 28

Postby Robbie-T » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:56 am

thanks for the report Doonst, sounds like a great race for the first annual.

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Re: Doonst drags at Limberlost 28

Postby West Grey Runner » Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:03 am

Great report , thanks for the JPG too! Wasn't that some kind of a run ? A real teaser of a course ... set all expectations aside and do what it takes to get it done, we were all rethinking the race plan.

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Re: Doonst drags at Limberlost 28

Postby ultraslacker » Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:56 pm

militarybrat wrote:Love the race report, very descriptive, my favourite part:
ugh. I'd go back.

lol I love that too!

Great race, Sheldon! You are going to be in awesome shape for the 50k! :)
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Re: Doonst drags at Limberlost 28

Postby richie-rich » Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:16 pm

you sure do like punishing yourself, especially in this heat and humidity. when you going to run a "normal" race again? 8)

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Re: Doonst drags at Limberlost 28

Postby UltraQueenga » Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:28 pm

Great description of the course and nice report, doonst! Yes, that course didn't feel as slow as it was. :)
Congrats on a good race!

It was great to see you and finally meet Tuzo.
Ultrarunner again

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Re: Doonst drags at Limberlost 28

Postby b_squared » Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:46 am

Another run through the woods, tough but fun.

How were the flies?

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