Saturday, April 11, 2009

Finally, a post race post

Yeah, it's about time I posted something new. I've been super busy with my race, the Antelope Island Buffalo Run. This year the park let me have an unlimited number of entrants and I figured I'd get around 300-350. Nope, not even close. When the dust settled and race day arrive, 490 people had signed up for either the 25K, 50K, or 50 mile. Holy cow! Panic time. So on race day about 450 actually showed up to run.

It's always been my policy to send out the runners on time to the second. This year was the first year I failed. When I did the pre race briefing for the 50 mile, there were still a lot of people walking down the road from their cars. I decided to hold off for five minutes to give them a chance to start with everyone else. I ended up sending out the 50 mile runners at 6:05:00am. Two hours later I sent out the 50K runners at 8:00am on the dot, and the 25K runners left at 9:00am on the dot. There were the usual stragglers, but no one who left a little late complained.

Looking over the enrants for the 50 mile and the 50K, I knew that a couple of course records were going down. I finally had a pretty good field for the men's 50 mile. Erik Storheim was going to have to work for his win this year. For the women's 50K, I knew that record didn't stand a chance as Nikki Kimball had sent in her entry. True to form, both of those records fell. Nikki blew the women's 50K record out of the water by over 30 minutes and Nick Pedatella brought the men's 50 mile course record to well under 7 hours with a 6:43. Hot on his heels was Hiroki Ishakawa (from Japan) with a 6:45. Erik posted a third place finish with a 7:09. Meanwhile, on the 25K race, Genevieve Keogh set a new course record for the women with a 2:06. I hadn't thought that record would fall, but down it went.

Weather, I was a little worried about the weather. The Thursday before the race is when I mark the course. There was two inches of snow on the ground even though the trails were clear. Trail conditions were kind of icky, but I figured that if we didn't get any more precip, they would be fine on race day, and indeed they were. There were a few puddles, but by in large, trail conditions were ideal. The weather on race day was ideal as well. As usual, it was around freezing in the morning, but this year there was no wind at all. A far cry from past years when the wind has always been blowing on race day. Skies were partly cloudy and when the sun came up, the air warmed up and eventually reached the low 60's I think. A picture perfect day for the runners.

With as many runners as there were, I was worried about supplies, crowds on the trails, etc. but except for a few minor supply issues, things went very well. Elephant Head aid station was pretty slammed with over 1300 runner visits, but they held up well. Next year I need to get them a couple more people for the middle part of the day.

We were treated to a minor medical issue. At first it didn't seem minor as one of the runners that had just finished was complaining about shortness of breath and tingly arms. He thought he was having heart problems (he's 69). Within seconds, we had a doctor who had run the race, an ER nurse, another doctor, and an EMT at his side. Davis county paramedics were called and Lifeflight was called in. Needless to say, the helicopter landing got everyone's attention. Once the paramedics got an EKG on the guy, they found that his vitals were fine. They put an IV in him and transported him to the hospital for observation. He was released later that day with nothing more than a case of dehydration. Thank goodness!

The other excitement was a marriage proposal. Charlie Vincent proposed to Eve Davies. Naturally she accepted and now I need to find out the date.

All in all, everyone seemed to really enjoy the day. The runners, the volunteers, even my family that I suckered into helping out seemed to have a good time. We had plenty of buffalo stew for everyone and even had more beer this year, but I was still cleaned out by the end of the day.

As usual, this race wouldn't happen without a couple of groups of people, the runners (obviously), and the volunteers. Again as usual, the state park was more than accomodating and even the rangers seemed to have a good time through the day. Race day is one of my favorites through the year. I love seeing all sorts of running friends, seeing happy faces, seeing new trail runners having a good time, seeing ultra newbies finish their first ultra. But, I'm usually glad it's over so I can take a break and get back to my own training.


  1. Well done. Congrats. That was a historic race. Thanks for all your work and dedication pulling it off. -- Davy

  2. Jim-
    It just gets better and better. Great job to you and the volunteers, Looking forward to the the half marathon.