So, this is what 50 miles looks like ~ a very squinty eyed, salt stained expression of semi-agony. It took about 3 hours for the blood to come back to my arms and hands, as it had become fairly settled in my legs over the past 7 hours and 43 minutes.
The time was off my goal, but still kept me in first place overall at my distance. I wanted to keep to a nice even 9 minute pace, but the record snowfall from the previous few days left the course about 1/3 covered. And, of course, that meant that when the sun came out to play (as it did that morning) ~ the snow would turn the ground into mud.
This picture and the one just below it are from just after the finish line ~ you can see the mud that’s developed. So I had to come off my pace in the second half. My first half was rock solid, 3 hours, 40 minutes ~ right on my goal.
The second half, however, was a lot slower due to the mud and slick conditions. As the day progressed I eased up to run about a 4 hour, 3 minute second half (9:30s and 9:40s per mile). Although I wished I could have run a nice 7:20 overall, I’m glad that I ran as well as I did considering the conditions. Life is lived in the real world, which is full of friction and distractions; races are run that way too, and mud is a natural potential obstacle.
You can see my nice green shoes got coated ~ I had to chuck them; casualty of the day!
Also, I love this photo because you get to see my gorgeous wife smiling at my finishing in first place (or is it that she’s excited that after a day of shirking my parental responsibilities, I’m finally able to take care of Grace and give her a break?).
Below are a couple more photos from the event: me passing a guy in the afternoon and Rach and a sleepy Grace at the Queenstown Airport, with the Remarkables mountain range behind them (from the Coors beer ads!).