Saturday, January 7, 2017

2017 Harbison 50k Race Report

This was to be my 7th running of the Harbison 50k (January 7. 2017), and as I am the only one to run the previous 6 – there is some pressure to continue it (but it’s a good thing). After staying in Columbia the night before the race the last two years, I had planned to do that again. The weather made it more interesting as a rain/sleet/snow storm was heading for us. Through my friends in Greenville, I got hooked up to ride down Friday with 2 people (Shannon and Angela) I ‘knew’ by their running I’d seen online. It all worked out great and we had a good drive down and a nice dinner. Picked up a free buff at packet pickup too!
It was a little cool to start, around 34° at 7:30am, but would get colder throughout the day, down to 28°. Not the coldest it had been…I had texted with the RD a few weeks prior to race day, and he commented that we had had every type of weather – rain, sun, cold, hot, mud, everything But snow on race day. I told him I’d see what I could do as I had moved up to St. Paul, MN back in 2015 and although our winter wasn’t bad at all, we did have snow at the time.
So – race started off fine with just a light rain. I settled into my own pace. The course was a bit different from 2016, but running the Stewardship Trail so early in the race still throws me off from those first few years. After 4 miles or so – I started to feel some soreness in my top/front right hip. Not bad, but enough to make me think about it. It also wasn’t long before the rain turned to sleet and then to a light snow! Enough to cover the ground…it was kind of cool and went on for a good 90 minutes of the first loop.

At about 13 miles, my right IT band started to bother me. It seems my IT band acts up more at this race than it should…anyway. Just before the turn toward the start/finish area, I saw Sergio and Shannon and they were looking good! At the gazebo at the halfway point (15.5mi in 2:52), I rolled my legs some, but that helped for maybe half a mile. Kept trudging along, but it was mostly walking. Left IT band started to get sore, and the front/top of my left foot. Once something starts, more things just add to it!
Most of the snow was gone for the 2nd loop, but it was quite a bit muddier.  
Last AS food/mud
The 2 creek crossings were deeper than I’d ever seen (about shin-deep). My Speedgoat socks and my Montrail Mountain Masochist Outdry shoes made it seem like my feet were not wet at all – that was nice!
I didn’t really run with anyone after the first 10 miles or so – but I never mind that. A good 10+ people passed me the last section or two, but I was always confident I’d finish.
I came into the finish, running, for my 7th finish in 6:39 (3:47 for the 2nd half). The RD is always awesome (Thanks David – hope you continue to recover from your car accident)

Was good seeing some of the SC crew again!

After a full day flying back home, in which all the sore spots during the run were still sore, the day after that, I was pretty much fine. I took it easy and just used a rowing machine that week before going out the following Saturday for an easy loop around the lake (mostly clear of snow). Had no issues, and training could continue for the Chippewa 50k in April (I had registered for it in 2016, but had to cancel with injury and lack of training).

Here are my past Harbison Times:

2 ‘good’ years, 3 ‘average’ years, and 2 ‘bad’ years. Hopefully 2018 will be another ‘Good’ one!