It was a huge weekend for the Posse across the country! Staci, Quincy, Ema, Ramón, Ben, Sierra, and Dave raced the Mac 50k in Corvallis. Kevin raced Ironman 70.3 in St. George, Utah. Here is everyone's mini race reports! Congrats to all the Posse who raced last weekend!!
Staci: Mac 50K
I am thrilled that I was finally able to do the Mac50k. It’s my home course, but every year it is on the same weekend as one of our own events. This year, the organizers moved the date one week earlier in May, which worked out perfectly! I knew the course like the back of my hand so I knew just how hard it would be. Coming off a marathon 6-days prior was definitely not helping me out. That being said, I was treating this as a catered training run. It was probably the hardest running event (IM Triathlons included) I have ever done. Part of that was nutrition, part tired legs and part extremely hard course. That being said, it was a well run event, great course markings, a special commemorative beer and TONS of friends and local runners. The volunteers were spot on and remarkably knowledgeable about the course. It was clear that they knew the Mac well. I’m so glad to have participated, but next time I’ll need to get nutrition dialed (bonking for 16 miles is never fun - there was no catching up on fuel) and have a bit more rest in between long runs (5-day marathon recovery isn’t enough). Thank you to all involved! I will see you soon, McDonald Forest, but not for a few days.
Quincy: Mac 50K
Before the start, some ultra-ultra-experienced friends were postulating about when a 50k race really starts - the last 10k? The last 10 miles? While it wasn’t my intention to race the Mac, I think I did figure out when the dueling really begins. In my case, it was a duel with my gut and with my brain.
Miles 1-20 were, comparatively, a breeze. I’m prone to exercise induced excitement (to go fast), so Staci’s reminder to “take it easy!” at the starting line was a good reminder that I felt I heeded. This was to be a big training day for an upcoming 50 miler, so 50 mile effort was my goal. I cruised along comfortably for 3.5 hours - perfect execution of the plan.
Then, Mile 20 reared its ugly head. It’s hard to know why exactly my wheels fell off here. Ultra-running is a tricky beast - sh*t happens when you exercise for ridiculously long periods of time and half the battle is mitigating that sh•t. Maybe I got excited and neglected my nutrition plan. Maybe I tried to eat too much. Maybe I wasn’t trained up like I thought. Whatever happened, waves of gastrointestinal discomfort slowly eroded my mental fortitude and I slogged my way to the finish...
At this point, my report sounds a little like a sob story, but it’s not. I learned a lot in what I’m considering my first “real” ultra. Most importantly, even through the roughest moments, I had a complete and utter blast. This is a great race put on by great people. I had friends new and old strewn all over the course while I ran some of my favorite trails in the entire world.
It was a tough day, but an insanely good day. I left inspired and completely psyched for the next big race coming up in July. On to the next one!
Ema: Mac 50K
Today was my day for a race. I felt strong, tapered, and ready to run. The first ten miles, my legs felt really good and I was holding a great pace. I was a little worried it might be the beginning of the end since I ran so hard, but I think I think I ended up pushing myself just the right amount. The second ten miles were harder, but I still felt strong. Once I summited the steepest hill on the course at around mile 23, I knew most of the climbing was done, and I was on my way to finishing the race! I ended up finishing 1st in the 20-29 age group and 10th overall for the women! There is nothing I would really change about the race. My nutrition was on point (although I wish I had remembered to eat savory foods at the aid stations in stead of sweet stuff), my pack was comfortable when I didn’t fill the front bladders all of the way, and my legs felt good. In the future, I think I will practice more uphill speed hiking, and also trying to jog up hills, because that is where people were passing me. Im really glad I knew the course well, and had a blast the whole time. I can’t wait for the next race, but right now I’m ready for lots of yoga and maybe some very easy slow jogs when I can manage to stop waddling around like a pregnant woman. Running is awesome, and as I like to say, when you feel it, you feel it.
Ramón: Mac 50K
Ohh the Mac..an almost guarantee tail kicker run in almost every direction you go. I decided to get out there for the race to log a big distance. And doing so in a fun environment that will reconnect me with Corvallis friends. Although there wasn't too much pep come raceday, I was able to find a decent gear to keep me trucking along the tough course and eventually reach that finish line!
I'll recover from this one and get ready for the next one. I'll be helping pace the 3hr group during the Newport Marathon on June 1st. Vámonos.
Ben: Mac 50K
Sometimes breaks are nice and needed. I got burnt out mentally after the Angeles Crest 100 and running today I just mentally had no desire to keep going. Thus, I DNFd. I'll get 'em next time!
Dave: Mac 50K
This was Dave's 9th year racing the Mac 50K!!
Kevin: Ironman 70.3 St. George
At many Best in the West races, you would’ve found me cooking dinner for the crew, prepping burritos for volunteers, providing post-race concertos on stage at Best in the West, taking care of administrative business for the OSU tri club—and throwing in a half-ironman or four in between. St. George 70.3 was the first race my entire family came along to support me, and it was the first race where I had nothing to focus on other than swimming, biking, and running. They drove to Utah with me, they woke up at 4am, they shuttled me around, they drove to three different spots on the bike course to cheer me on. I will remember and appreciate this weekend forever. Here’s how the week went down:
-April 28: pack up all my belongings in Corvallis and drive home to Portland.
-April 29: repack the essentials and leave the rest at home.
-April 30: drive 12 hours from Portland to Salt Lake City and unload the cars in pouring rain and wintry mix.
-May 1: drive all around Salt Lake City—Costco and twice to Ikea. Organize the apartment.
-May 2: drive 4 hours to St. George.
-May 3: check in, drive the course, set up transitions.
-May 4: race. Drive back to Salt Lake.
-May 5: say farewell to my family, and I’m on my own!
Yeah. Bittersweet. I left Oregon to start physical therapy school one week after St. George at the University of Utah. Though a few tears were shed, my friends—family—back at OSU and BITW gave me purpose to race. That last climb on the run, slogging back up Red Hills Parkway, I thought about how much love and support I received from friends as I left Oregon.
St. George was a special thing for me—it marked the end of a year almost 100% dedicated to triathlon and was my only race before starting graduate school. I’m no pro, nor do I intend to be, but I live to be passionate, to experience the feeling of being dedicated to the process, the ups and downs, of whatever I am doing.
How did the race go?
Swimming is hard. This was my fastest swim to date, but I was hoping to break 30 minutes after a winter of massive yardage (for me) and large improvements in the pool. It wasn’t bad swim though!
St. George is beautiful, and it was hard not to be distracted by towering red rocks while climbing snow canyon. The course was surprisingly fast for how hilly it is. I enjoy climbing, and there was never a moment I wasn’t enjoying the ride. I paced conservatively in anticipation of a hard run and to minimize any fade in the last miles of the race. I went from 128th to top 30 between the end of the swim and the end of the bike.
The hills are long and steep, the air hot and dry. I envisioned Patrick Lange moving through the aid stations at Kona: two hands for two cups of water—over the head, onto my kit; two hands for Gatorade—drink as much as I can; two hands for ice—dump some into my kit and hold onto a few cubes in each hand. I held a steady effort and ran well until I couldn’t—the legs started falling off at mile 11. Fortunately, it’s hard to run extremely slow down the 8% grade of mile 12. Unfortunately, the 2-3% downgrade of mile 13 was not steep enough to keep my legs going, and it was a slow march home.
4:32:08 was good enough for a one-minute PR, which I am happy with considering St. George is one of the hardest courses around. However, the puzzle of the last three miles, the fade, fuels a slight dissatisfaction with my races, and I’m hungry for more!
Hope to see you in Victoria!