Vista View 360

Posted on March 13, 2012

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It was a tossup between the Vista View run and the 6th and final race of the Gone Riding Coconut Cup mountain bike series. I pre-rode the course at Halpatiokee in Stuart on Saturday. They had a great course set up which made for a tough debate as to what to do Sunday, especially since I was going to miss out on series prize money and awards if I didn’t race. However, my Odyssey Adventure Racing/ImOnPoint.org teammates, especially Charlie Roberts, have been doing LOTS of running, and me…uh, not so much. I probably ran more in the Pangea Sea to Sea 72 Hr Adventure Race last weekend than I did in the past 2 months. But after winning Sea to Sea, I was on Cloud 9 all week. It was an awesome vacation and we had a great race. Afterwards, I took one rest day, and then I blasted my P90X2 workouts all week. I was feeling like a million bucks, so decided there was no better time than the present to test myself. I skipped the mountain bike race in exchange for 6 hours of trail running up and down and old landfill.

As far as weather goes, I couldn’t have wished for anything better. The race started at 6:00 am in the dark with a light rain and temps in the mid 60’s. I’d never run the course before and most of us used headlamps for the first 2+ laps until it got light. There was a really thick cloud cover and on-off rain for the first few hours. With the rain, fog, cool temps and elevation, it felt like I wasn’t even in Florida. I was loving it! One hour went by, then another, then another. I couldn’t believe how good I felt and I was still holding the same pace I started at. Almost every lap I’d take a quick drink of GU Brew or Endurox (supplied by race) and every 4th or 5th lap I grab some GU Roctane as I passed by the aid station.

I’d normally say that if I were to run an ultra I’d want it to be a point to point or loop course, but I was having soooo much fun running laps. It was great to see friends and runners again and again. Race staff, relay runners hanging out at the tents, and other solo runners were so encouraging. My buddy, Eddie Cremonese, even came out and ran a lap with me about 2/3’s of the way through and again for my last and fastest lap. I’d say the hardest part of the race was about 3:30-5:00 hours in. Around that time some race staff said I was looking good and strong. I must have been fooling them with my focus, determination, jokes and BIG smile. In all honesty, the pain was setting in. I kept reminding myself not to slouch and keep my shoulders back, pelvis forward, and core strong. My hip flexors were getting upset with all the elevation change, but once I hit the 5 hour mark, I knew I was in the home stretch with only 5 laps left. I turned up my jams, talked myself into pain being pleasure, and crushed the last few laps.

In the end, I completed 30 laps in 5:59:14, just before the 6 hour cut-off. I finished 3rd overall, one lap and 48 sec behind the top male Kyle Kruger, an experienced ultra runner, and 1st place female. My total mileage was 37.2 mi at a pace of 9:39/mi. According to an EPA survery I found from 2005, the landfill is 70 ft from base to top. The 1.24 mi Vista View Trail which we were running went up and down about 1.6x per lap, for an approximate elevation gain of 112ft per lap and total gain of 3,360ft. More importantly, I learned that my hard work and multi-sport training are paying off and that anything is possible when your head and heart are in it. Oh yeah, and my risk of missing the $150 series prize money for mountain bike race paid off as the top male and female each won $360!

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Posted in: Racing