Monday, July 31, 2006

Coming up 5's in Santa Cruz

I ran the Santa Cruz Mountains 50K this past weekend as my second race at that distance. Everything sorta came together: great course, inspiring trail companions and great weather. I actually went sub-6 hours and had a top-10 finish! OK, so there were only 33 people in the race including a number of first timers, but it still felt good to have a single digit result (7th place). Two of the first timers were a couple named Eric and April Lehman whom I had met earlier in the year at the Muir Woods Marathon. I was training for my first 50K there and they said they were considering doing one some time in the future. I guess they decided the future was upon them. Congrats to them both! Another first timer was Matt Baumgardner who was out there for a full 9+ hours. Congrats Matt! In an ultra, the real warriors are at the back. I wanted to stick around and cheer you in, but family duties and the Sunday night-Hwy17 traffic beckoned me home.

Oh yes, as for the fives. For the 50K my race number was 550 and my finish time was exactly 5:55:00. I wanted to try and finish on my race number, but just couldn't push it much more those last few miles. I swear the downhill came sooner during the first out-and-back section and what's with time moving faster in the final 3-4 miles?!? Oh well, I'm not about to complain. It was a great race and a great day.


angie's pink fuzzy said...

Sweet!! I grew up just down the road in Salinas, and hopefully one day I can do one of the runs on the coast. Way to go on a 7th place finish!

matt said...

thanks so much, steve! i missed out on an opportunity to meet you. I kept trying to guess which 500-runner you were as I passed people. I really fell apart out there and ended up having kind of a downer experience. I came into the 29K loop aid station on pace to finish the race in 7:30, which would have felt like heaven to me. Unfortunately, my knee went horribly wrong on me and I had to walk every bit of the final 21K loop. It took me 5+ hours to walk 13 miles and I am hoping I didn’t make a bad decision because my knee has been killing me every since the finish line. Anyway, it was a great course. You must feel great about your race. What did you think of that course? Did you enjoy the river crossings? Anyway, hopefully next time we will get a chance to meet. You are running Dick Collins, right?

Congrats on a great race, Steve!

miki said...

Congrats Steve! Sounds like a perfect day. Wish I could have joined both you and Matt but darn vacation interfered. :)

Eudemus said...


I loved the course even though I am not a fan of out-and-back or multiple loop courses in general. The water crossing was the best (the unmarked trail the worst). I think I remember seeing you as I was heading towards the finish. You definitely looked to be struggling, but seemed to still smile when I passed. I was wearing my Ohlone 50K shirt, was carrying one handheld water bottle and had a single bottle waste pack on as well.

I may have had a great race, but you really deserve the congrats. You fought a great battle and to me that is what ultra's are about, pushing through your physical limits. I think when all is healed you will find that you did just that and have learned something in the process. I look forward (with trepidation) to the day when I have one of those very tough decisions to make and need to dig deep to see if I can push on or not. So far all I've had to contend with is really sore feet which feel fine in two days leaving me to question whether I pushed hard enough during the race.

I have finally officially signed up for Dick Collins. I am not one to make the big plan far in the future and then train for it. I generally sign up for my next big race only after training has led me to beleive that I am ready. It took me three failed training plans to finally complete my first marathon. When I did, I didn't commit until a month before the race after I was already sure I could do the distance regardless of when it was. This is pretty much how I approach all my races now.

Eudemus said...


Thanks for the congrats. Hmm...vacation getting in the way of your running? Something about that seems wrong, though I'm not sure which part :-). I actually planned to do Santa Cruz just before my vacation since I knew it would give me time for a forced rest/recovery. I am typing this from a beautiful resort near Disneyworld in Orlando.