|Me in the tundra. Photo by Tom Rice.|
So, what's a dude to do when his favorite race is cancelled? Bring it back, that's what! In an informal and organic manner, we held the event without Riddle's assistance. My wife even made cream-filled cupcakes. At least Riddle showed up and ran one 4-mile loop with the rest of us. Since this new-old event wasn't really advertised, we had a small group of crazy runners that just couldn't give up on running the local trails in late January. Final count of participants is still to be determined (self-reported distance and times), but only Matt Halfar finished the full seven loops of the 4-mile trail. Masterful accomplishment considering the weather--we had temperatures that started at 30F and fell throughout the day (it was 20F when I left after 20 miles). Winds ranged from 25-40 mph--getting stronger as the day progressed. And the fresh snow was blowing into almost white-out conditions. Snow drifts on the north trail were around 2-3 feet high. It was brutal out there.
I entered the run with an injury from Tuesday's speed session. My quad was hurting from the first few steps on the snowy trail. Figured if I could complete one loop, it would be a success. After one loop, I just kept going. Slow and steady. Well, maybe not steady, but slow. After 12 miles, had visions of finishing the full 28 miles. After 16 miles, I was tired and hurting...but still thought 28 miles might be possible. At 18 miles, I knew I was done. Walked the last 2 miles and called it a day. Matt was waiting at the parking lot to see if I would keep going. Sorry, I'm toast. He pushed through and finished 28 miles in 6 hours and 32 minutes. Congratulations on a fantastic run in those tough conditions! Plan on listing full results, and posting a few pictures, later this week. UPDATE: Google doc with results here.
Hope we can do this again next year...maybe with the official return of the real Riddle Run. Jeff, you out there? The people have spoken and we want the Riddle Run to return in full force next year!
Post Script: My upper leg hurt like hell yesterday, but quickly returned to "normal hurting" after a shower and some food. It hurts today, but not any worse then it did all week. I need to re-think my training--looks like more aerobic running, and less speed workouts, are in my future. Speed is dangerous. Speed kills. Boston Marathon qualifying may be in jeopardy. And my march towards 100 ultra/marathons is also behind schedule. Stuck at 89.