Saturday, November 18, 2006

Ultra Encounter

Ah, weekends, I can sleep in a little bit.

At 8:15 am, I stepped outside for my 5-mile pace run. It was crisp, cool, sunny, and just a touch windy. 42:30 later, I was back home. Ran 8:39/mile for the first 4 miles, and 7:53 for the last mile, all under my 9:09/mile goal pace (as per Coach's orders).

At 9:00 am, about 75 runners lined up across town for the start of the
Ultracentric National 24 Hour Championship. While they ran, I had a leisurely breakfast of easy over eggs, wheat toast, and OJ (passing on the box of Dunkin' Donuts illegally parked on the kitchen counter). I had heard about this race from GandaMan, and the family units surprisingly decided it wouldn't be too bad (read "boring") to see some crazy people run around in circles. Our girls had a friend over for a sleepover last night, so after her mom came to pick her up, we took off.

The race was in Grapevine, TX on the other side of DFW from us. It took at least 40 minutes to get there. They had set up a 2.4 mile loop on the shores of Lake Grapevine.

There were hardly any spectators, mostly just support crews and family members. Cars were parked and tents pitched along the course, with trunks open and tables set up and loaded with all manner of endurance drinks, gels, fruits, bandages, and assorted munchies.

Easy to miss were two giants in the ultra world, Dean Karnazes and Pam Reed, running nonchalantly among the other runners. Here's Dean getting some food and catching up with his support crew, which I think is his dad.

Me: "Way to go Dean!"
DK (fist clenched in the universal "more power" sign): Mmmpf!
Me (after taking picture): "Thank you sir!"

OK, not very imaginative, I know, but at least I got the pic. As I write this tonight, I can't believe they're still out there running.


Bex said...

That is soooo cool that you and the fam went to see the race and support the runners! And that you got to see DK, too. Looks very fit. I could see his veins popping out on his legs from here :-)

Also, great pace on that five-miler! Smokin'.

Anonymous said...

We went out there last night, and I actually ran a lap with Dean. He was on mile 70 or something at the time -- and he kept a good 9 minute per mile pace. Amazing.

David said...

Good run and pace, brother.

So you have succumbed to the tirades of Jeanne's coach? Not a bad idea since she can't come right over and bark in your ear.

Rae said...

That is so cool!! I saw on Dean's blog where he left his "run home" to do this race and will be headed back right after. He's the nicest guy! I hope he runs through TN.

Anne said...

Those guys (and gals) are so inspirational, and they kinda put our little long runs in a new light, don't they?

jeanne said...

So, I see my coach is moonlighting! Well, I guess she needed another challenge!

Nice work talking to Dean.