|Always in my Harbison 50k shirt and visor)|
Anyway - I ran just behind some runners until the first aid station at mile 4.5. The grassy and gravel trail up to that point had taken us out of the park and soon looked to be more for mountain bikes. I call the short ups-and-downs "bunny-hops", and they were constant for a while. Used my momentum as best I could. There was one runner just ahead that I could barely make out, and another close behind me (Esteban) - he passed me at that first aid station (46:35).
Started running by the lake soon afterward, and we continuously wound our way beside every inlet along the lake. Still a few bunny hops, but felt ok as it wasn't that hot out. (The previous day was horribly hot, 110° heat index and they trimmed the 100k bike race down to 50 miles. Sunday only saw the temps get to the mid-80s). Snacked a good bit at the next aid station (mile 9.8 in 1:39)
Didn't see the girl (Devon) ahead of me after that, which is odd because she was in the marathon and should have come back toward me later on.
The Bartram Trail does have mileage markers, so I tried to keep an eye on them as I ran. The single track trail was not very technical at all (maybe a few places), was rarely straight, and generally not much elevation change either. Total on someone's Garmin read 988 feet gain and 988 feet loss.
So I left one handheld at the AS as I ran the loop. I walked for the first time thru here as I was starting to feel a bit tired and my right calf became tight (and would continue to be for the rest of the event).
The trails were nice, and had some different areas throughout. Pine straw, dirt, some small fields, and of course the lake.
I made my way back to the next aid station and after some pringles and m&ms, had a treat - a popsicle! (Mile 21.1 in 3:40).
The next section was the longest without aid coming back (5.3 miles), and it got a bit disheartening when I could see across the lake, the finish area of Wildwood Park.
I still had 7-8 miles left, but I just had to keep moving. Did come upon two female runners and passed them (after a little chuckle - private joke). My middle/lower back got sore next as I got into the last aid station - Mile 26.4 in 4:45 and up to 12 minute miles (but still moving!).
Back thru the bunny hops and away from the lake told me I was getting closer. I hoped I wasn't going to get passed near the end, but I wouldn't have really been able to do much about it.
Few notes: I would've been close to winning (or at least the Male winner) of the 10-runner marathon. (Devon) The girl just ahead of me at the beginning won in 4:45. 2nd place was 5:30. My 50k time was 4th in the marathon results. 50k winner was 4:45 out of 18 finishers. I was 6th.