Yesterday was the 13th running of the DRB50K trail race in Milton, Ma. This trail race is one of the gnarliest, rooty and rocky trail I have run. It is a mini Massanutten. The climbs are relentless and because of the rocks, running fast downhill is a challenge. The origin of DRB is that is was run that first year as an obvious alternative to the Boston Marathon. The Don't Run Boston 50K is a really good run that has become a reunion of friends.
In this 13th running were myself and my wife, Deb, both Wasatch Speedgoats. I have run 12 of them, having lived in NM for one of the running. No one has run as many. I also "was" the course record holder with a 5:38 time run back in 2000, this year two younger and faster bucks learned the course and blew away the CR by 22 minutes, running 5:16! It was a great day to run with temps in the upper 40's and full sunshine with a nice breeze on the hilltops to cool you off after a long climb.
I ran the race, finishing 5th overall in 6:16, only 38 minutes slower than my old CR and at 57 years old, without a doubt the first senior finisher. The next oldest guy up front was one of the CR breakers at 49 years old. Deb at 54 was the only woman finisher, so therefore was the first woman finisher. Both of us ran times much faster than we had been averaging over the years, so it was a great day!
Now about my race....being a true Goat, I wore my LaSportiva Fireblades and other than a small stone bruise on my forefoot, these shoes performed magically. Many places you run straight down what some would call a cliff face and these shoes stuck like glue, never did I worry about slipping. I had absolutely no blisters and feet looked great after the finish.
I also wore my Nathan Pack, the Elite2V Plus 2 bottle waist pack, which worked great. I liked and wore Nathan packs before I was ever on the Speedgoat team, so need to gloat over the product here. Without a doubt, Nathan makes the best packs for running, as is evident with the amount of Nathan packs at the race.
But what I really want to scream about is one particular product that made my day. Let me first explain that I am prone to stomach issues and absolutely cannot eat anything solid, I need liquid fuels and just the right amount. Too many calories? I'm sick....too sweet? I'm sick. I am known as Steve the barfer because I am always getting sick during and after my ultras. It has become par for the course with me and I expect it, it's just a matter of when, not if I get sick.
Yesterday was magical and I owe it all to First Endurance Liquid Shot. I very skeptically decided to give it a try and was expecting to be tossing the gel flask into the woods after the first sip.
After an easy start, following my HR and keeping it under 80% of max, I started at mile 9 to push and try to move away from those behind me and gain on those ahead of me. This always causes stomach issues, but I had to try....this was, after all a race and i was the course record holder. After coming into the first aid station at mile 13, we do a small 3 mile, but tough loop, climb straight up for 1.5 miles and then run back down on some of those tough and rocky trails.
On this loop, I decided to drop my pack and just hand carry one of my Nathan bottles. I also grabbed the 1st Endurance liquid shot in the other hand and put a regular gel in my pocket because I expected that the shot would be too sweet and I'd need some calories. As I walked out of the aid station, I opened the flask and took a sip. Hmmmm, that's pretty good! Within 5 minutes I was cranking up the hill and caught a runner at the top, then blasted down the other side, running this section (3 miles) in 36 minutes, catching 2 other runners in the aid station. The aid station volunteer said to me "You're back already? That was fast!" I mentioned to him it must be this rocket fuel I was using. From that point on, all I could think of was the Rocket Fuel! Every hour, I pulled out the flask and took a good sip and within minutes felt like I was buzzing, flying along. I want to mention that there is no caffeine in this, so it wasn't that.
To wrap this up I just want to say that this is "the" best I have ever felt during an ultra race. I never bonked, never felt tired, never cramped and most importantly never had the slightest nausea at all. I ran this race like I ran it the CR year in 2000, running just about all the hills, never even thinking of wanting to walk. I wanted to catch more runners and almost did! The difference between 2000 and 2009 is then I barfed after I finished and was walking in a cloud during, just on the verge of bonking. This year I felt energized all day long....and never got sick.
First Endurance, thanks for a great product, I feel like I have gotten a lease on life in my Ultrarunning. A new start...