Monday, January 23, 2012

Week 1 of the Pilgrimage

                   Plan 55 miles; actual 60 miles.
     Started the week with some relaxed runs averaging 9 minute miles; focusing on building base miles and time on my feet. Ran Maybury, CDR, Northville, and some local routes to make up the week.

    Saturday, I joined a group for a small race. The Witchy Wolf Winter Run is held in Omer, MI; the smallest city in Michigan. Basically, it is a 25k race on dirt roads, trail sections, and short black top section. The race was interesting to say the least. I was looking for someone at the start to run with, so that it would take my mind off being a race and just a long run. Well I hoped to run with Matt aka "The President," but he settled with a group of 11 and left me a few miles into the race. They ran so fast, they missed the first turn by a mile. This put me with two others in the lead with no one around. As we pushed on, my new running friends Jeff & Bob chatted with me.
    Coming into the relay exchange at 7.5 miles, we were just under an hour. From that point, there was a chase vehicle leading us on the black top road. After a while, it was just Bob and I taking in the diesel fumes as we progressed on the road. Out of nowhere, a relay runner blew by us and the chase vehicle led him on until they stopped at a crossroad. Meantime, Bob said "This feels longer than last year." Turning onto the dirt road, I asked which way and the passenger pointed down the road. A few miles later we are at a dead end with a farm.
    The 3 of us confused, turn back and start running to where we left the chase vehicle. Picking up a few other runners at this point who are now baffled as to why we are running towards them. Suddenly, a fireman shows up explaining we are way off course and sends us down more back roads. In total 3.5/4.0 miles later we join the course and other runners.
   Scrambling to move up the race, I stick with a runner named Shane that I met on the last reroute. Holding a nice even pace, we worked our way pass dozens of other racers. 2 miles from the finish, I see the glow from the President's jacket. I holler as I try to catch up. Siding up I say "Hey Matt!" and he responds "Lets run it in together." not noticing he was with the Green Hornet and Rick Leedy, I thought he meant the 2 of us run it in. So I continued to keep running then noticing that the President stayed behind with them.
  Pushing the last mile, I finished in 2:28:40. Beautiful night of stars, low wind, and just a tiny amount of snow crystals capturing the night. The last few miles, the corners of my eyes start to freeze shut from the snow.
    Post race, we all laughed about getting lost at different spots in the race. Although I got lost around the 9 miles mark, it was fun to be the leader of the race. Surprisingly, when I registered that day, I listed my name as Hellion, The. As they were announcing the winners, low and behold the men's 35-43, 3rd place winner was announced as The Hellion. A brief round of applause and laughter accompanied my acceptance of my award. At that time I had to give them my real name so they could update the results.
  35-43 Male

400 Betzold Brent 36 M Bay City MI 2:20:18
382 Maneke Neil 35 M Stanwood MI 2:27:09
423 Hellion The 39 M Dearborn HghtsMI 2:28:25
420 Antoniou Matthew 38 M Lake Orion MI 2:28:57
    Week 2 is now underway as the pilgrimage to Massanuten continues...........

No comments:

Post a Comment