Well, I did it again. Second year of the race, second finish for me. Here's a brief report for the Marquette 50k
Miles 1-10 - Great start in the dark, took off through town nice and slow in the lead pack of 8-12 runners. Hit the Noquemanon trail out of town over the railroad tracks and onto the single track at about mile 5-6. The single track climbs up and up and up and up (although you don't really realize it) over rocks and roots and more rocks and roots. Finally a bit of two track running through the dump and sand pit. Here I was in about 10-11th place and feeling ok, knowing i was running very conservatively and easy. Hit some more single track, through a river (overflowing culvert that is usually not there), and onto the North Country trail. Steep ups and downs with some slippery boardwalk. stopped in the brush for a bit to drop about 1.5 pounds of extra weight (will spare the details) and got caught by one runner. Hit the road and the aid station at Sugarloaf. The following pic is the view from the top of Sugarloaf, misty - half rain and kinda dark.
Miles 10-20 Going up Sugarloaf i caught two runners even though i was really being conservative which was a nice mental boost. On the downside i took it very easy and when the trail flattened out on the other side near Wetmore landing I saw another runner, so i picked it up a bit and caught him. While slowing to hang with him a bit I took a Gu and a drink and coughed a bit on the water. The guy heard me behind him and immediately sped up. I slowly reeled him in over the next mile and when he heard me he sped up again. Same thing, slowly reeled him in and past him and never saw him again. Hit the 15 mile aid station feeling good and picking up the pace a bit hoping to catch another runner, but didnt see anyone for 4 miles. coming off the RR grade the trail goes onto a nice wide path so i pulled out anothe Gu and water with the good footing not needing my focus. Hammered it down and picked up the pace a bit... until i realized i saw NO course markers any more.... ran another minute or so before turning around and backtracking (lost a total of FOUR + minutes due to wrong turn). Stayed calm and patient and lost only one place that i regained in the next two miles. hit he 18 mile aid station feeling good.
Top of the world - Hit this nice hilly 3+ mile loop and walked some of the steeper sections. I dont really remember this portion of the trail last year but definitely enjoyed the downhill sections after the climbs. Nice memorial for someone at the top. Anyone know the story?
20-27 miles - gotta say i hate this portion of the race. Long 2 mile climb to forestville, then boring ski trails and a sandy road. The only good section is the 1.5 miles of the north country trail leading to the aid station at Forestville. Did catch one guy here too though.
27-32 - Brutal downhills with rocks and then back onto the same trail you came in on. It looks NOTHING like running it from the other direction and it seems very very difficult because you just ran 27 miles!!! Easier going up than coming back. The flat sections in the last two miles are hard too because you're outta gas.
Overall this year i felt much better than last year, probably due to running slower, bu it was also tougher conditions this year (warmer and more humid). My overall 5th place in 5:38 would have been a 4th place without the wrong turn, but hey that's what you get in ultra's when you don't pay attention. Also got a nice award as first master. Good stuff, gotta love marquette.
and to top it off my FAVORITE ALL TIME AWARD I EVER WON. SWEET AWARD JOE JAMESON!! THANKS.