Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ridgecrest OTHTC 50k 2011

I'll get to this Eventually 

I was supposed to run In Luis Escobar's  Red Rock 50 miler the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  My body was still banged up a bit from the Santa Monica 50k the prior weekend.  Wednesday before Thanksgiving I could barely run 50 yards.  I was feeling a little stronger each day but heading out to Red rock looked might be a bad decision. I had a nice holiday with the family and friends.  The next thing I knew it was Friday night .  I had no clue where my body was at. If I decided to run Red rock I would have to leave my house at 2 a.m. at the latest.  I set my alarm  for 1:30  and went to bed at 10p.m. still not knowing if I was gonna go or not?

The alarm went off in what seemed like seconds after I shut my eyes.  I turned  it off rolled over and went back to bed.
(Sorry Luis for not showing up I owe you a beer.)

That Saturday it turned out to be around 80 degrees at the beach.  I hadn't ran all week and I couldn't resist the sand.   The beach was packed with beautiful women I ended up running around 20 miles and spent the whole day their with a smile on my face.  I then repeated my actions the next day except the weather was even nicer!

Did I regret not running Red Rock?  I did feel a little guilty but regrets?
Not a one!

(just little more ramblings before the race report)
My thanksgiving dinner consisted of 2 pieces of corn and an iceberg lettuce sald with a small slice of tomato.
(no other vegan options)

However My cousin brought me about 50 Large reed avocado's. Although my belly was left grumbling on thanksgiving I new the Next week was gonna be gonna be very satisfying. 

All week long I had been gorging myself on Avocado's eating between 5 and 10 a day.  If I had gotten pulled over driving my blood Avocado percentage would have been around 5%.  The legs felts good and little avocado belly of Ultra-running fuel began to develop.  

 Time to race again.

It turns out the The Ridgecrest 50k was the coming weekend and it was also the United States Track and Field  Association Southern California 50k Championships.  Which means their would be prize money for it's members
Cha Ching!
( dollar signs went off in my brain,  although if I won it probably would barely cover the cost of entry and travel expenses) It's fun to get paid doing what you love.

I ran the race back in 2008 finishing in 3rd with a  50k trail PR 3:52.  
I remember it being cold.
I had really enjoyed the race had taken home some prize money.  It's a very fast course consisting of mostly dirt bike tracks through the high desert and it would be ideal for running in Luna Sandals.

Ridgecrest is about 3 hours from my home in southern Ca and I was hoping to find someone to carpool with
 Shacky and Vanessa were both entered but they were heading up from San Diego.  My friend Dr. Dan  was also going up to crew his lady but he didn't need my dumbass there to spoil  the romance.  I decided to call my Buddy Dan Westergarrd as my last hope.  It turned he had just send his entry in on Monday and he offered to drive. (Luck was on my side
Only problem was we would have to drive up the morning of the event.  Vanessa and Shacky offered to pick up our race numbers. The cogs were put in motion and I was pretty stoked.

This time I would not sleeping through my alarm would not be an option

 Cado-loading the night before the race.

Asleep by 9:30  and up by 2:00 a.m.  my alarm was set for 2:30 but I was a little anxious. When I got up I hung out with my roommates who were still sitting around drinking beer. I decided to forgo any libations for the time being, made myself a smoothie (with avocado)  and was ready to go.

My Best friend  picked me up at  3a.m.  The poof on Dan's head was looking good thanks to his sponsor
Vidal Sassoon

Along the way the temperature dropped dramatically.  In the South Bay it was 51.  At one point I saw one of those signs on the side of freeway claiming is was 11 degrees.  As we approached Ridgecrest it warmed up a bit to 15 degrees. We still had a little over an hour till the race began the temps should reach the 20's by then

Hace Frio Amigo
Upon arrival I I ran into some familiar faces, Wilson and Ted.
Even dressed in full ski gear I was still a little chilly.

Dan and I were kind of lollygagging around thinking we had a lot of time till the race started, but the next thing we new we had less than 15 minutes and we still had to find Shacky and Vanessa to get our #'s.
A face only a mother could love.

We found them in the nick of time and made it to the starting line with a minute or 2 to spare.
 I really hate running in shirts! although I have been labeled as barefoot runner from time to time.  Shirtless runner would be a more appropriate moniker.
The expression on Vanessa's face says "Look at me I'm posing next to an idiot."

Not only was I the only one running without a shirt I was the only one in sandals.  What's wrong with these people? The sun would be out soon time to work on my tan.   I may have started the race withe biggest huevos but after a few minutes I think I earned to opposite title.
I Lined up next to my Buddy Ultra Super Stud Eric Clifton  whom I hadn't seen since the Bare Burro 5k (there I saw a little too much of him)
He likes to go out fast and I was hoping to enjoy a few miles with him.
Off and running.

 It was the coldest weather I had ever ran in.  It seemed pretty obvious what I had to do to get warm. Time to generate my own heat and that would meant running fast.  I took an early lead by about 20 feet (whoop dee do).  I finished my first mile mile in  around 6 minutes and my second mile was about 30 seconds faster.

I left my camera with Shacky during the race and this what ended up on it.
(I want one of these)

Shortly after the 2nd mile 3 Mexican dudes jumped in front of me and one of them was wearing the #1 bib.  I was already running a little faster than I should for this early in the race. It wasn't wise to try and keep up.  There was a possibility that they were running the 30k that started at the same time.  I kept going at my own pace

The sun was blocked by the surrounding mountains but my body was starting to warm.  My decision to not wear a shirt was the right one one.  My core felt great my fingers and toes were still numb but that was to be expected even if I had worn shoes.  ( I have pretty crappy circulation).

Shacky's dog Ginger
(I don't have pictures of the race so this is what you get until then)

By the time I reached the first aid station at mile 4 the sun was shining.  The weather was around 30 degrees but  it felt pretty nice out.  Of the 3 racers in front of me only one ended up veering off the 50k course for the shorter race.  The other 2 began to distance themselves and by the time I reached the 10k mark around 40mins they were out of site.
During the first few miles I saw Dr. Dan cruising along on his Bike.  I wanted to ridicule him for being lazy and not running but unlike me he didn't wimp out of  Red Rock 50 miler the week before and finished 5th.  Good job Dan.

I had high hopes of winning this stupid race but on this day the dudes in front were in a whole nother league.  I tried not to worry about what they were doing ahead of me.  Perhaps they would fall apart but that was not likely.  I could gauge their speed by looking at their footprints on the ground.  Both of them had longer strides than I was currently taking and they both had shorter legs than I did.  From what I could deduct being the expert tracker (yeah right) that I am, their lead was growing
Photo by one of my heroes Badwater Ben Jones

I was jamming threw the aid stations without stopping, carrying one handheld and through the 1/2 marathon mark which  in under 90 minutes I had only drank 1/2 a bottles worth of water.  I topped off with Gatorade an the next aid station.

I was cruising at a pace that felt good I wasn't overly taxing my body when I came through the 1/2 way point.  At the aid station I asked how far I was behind I was hoping it would be about 5 minutes the first person said 10 minutes and the 2nd said 6 minutes.

The second half of the race has a bit more climbing than the first half but was still very runnable.  The Original Luna's on my feet were preforming perfectly my spirits were high and the Gogol Bordello was blasting out on the speaker of my MP3 player. I filled my water bottle one more time at about mile 20 before the final big climb.

My pace continued to be pretty good.  I was running a solid race I wasn't gonna win but I had a chance of setting a new 50k trail PR. if I could break 3:52.  The last few miles of the race were mostly downhill.  I was hoping to I could spin my legs at sub 7 minute pace but the best I could muster up was just a little bit slower
I came around the home stretch legging it out the best I could. I was hoping some triumphant heavy metal would start playing on my mp3 player to help spur my legs.  Instead The final song playing was Nouvelle Vagues cover of the Road to Nowhere.
Frolicking my way to the finish line and new PR. in Lunas

3:48 3rd place overall.
1st place USTAF

By now the weather was at least in the 40's.  When I finished the my fingers were still numb.
It was time for a Stone ale!
Eric Cliffton 
I poured Shacky and I each an Arrogant Bastard as we sat and watched our friends finish the race while chatting with Eric's beautiful wife.
I'm not sure what were doing but at least we have some clothes on this time.
Eric finished 7th overall in a time of 4:07

Somehow I missed Dan at the finish line (somehow meaning I was paying more attention to my beer).  Dan finished in 13th place in a time of 4:30 and kept shuffling his way through the finish line all the way to his truck.
Well done buddy.
Next up came Dr. Dan's Lady Diana finishing with a new PR and 1st place among female USTAF members.
Nice job Stud muffin!

 Next up was Vanessa
Shacky and Ginger joined her seconds after crossing the finish line
Vanessa also finished with a new PR just under 6 hours in a faster time than even Shacky's best.
I was proud surrogate uncle!

(I told you this course was fast)
You got some change you could spare?
Time to sit around and wait for the awards.

Winner of the race posing with the race director.

This dude smoked the competition with a 3:32 finishing time.  He wore the #1 bib for a reason not only was he prior winner he also owns the course record with a 3:16 (wow).  More importantly he seemed to be a very humble and gracious human being.  (I love it when nice guys finish first!)

Clifton got 2 awards?
Were they giving  one away for best sweater perhaps?

1st place dude in his 30's and 2nd place Chica in her 20's

It turns out I also won a pair of Sole Sandals, lol
I went from being the most underdressed during the race to the most overdressed afterwards.
The Quail trophy were pretty sweet.

In case your wondering what the hell OTHTC stands for?
"Over The Hill Track Club"
They do a top notch job running this event.  Never have I ran a race that was better marked or had more aid stations.  All the volunteers were real nice and the race director did a great job.  They also held a raffle in which almost everyone one of the over 500 competitors got a prize. (I won socks).

I had great day.
Thank you to all the volunteers that made this race possible .  And thank you to my friends who helped put a smile on my face.
Thank you to Luna Sandals for giving me just what I needed to get the finshline and thank you to Stone Ale for giving me what I needed once I got there.

Next Up
The running Event
Tomorrow I'm heading off to Austin with Barefoot Ted and some other Lunatics's.  If your in the neighborhood stop by and say hi.  I think there is 5k  over the weekend and I'm looking forward showing what It is possible in pair of the Worlds Greatest Huarache Sandals.


  1. it was great seeing you there. nice report. keep running!!!


  2. WOW. I can't effing believe how friggin fast you are. I mean, I know you're really really fast. But Christ, man. Great job.

  3. Your the man Pat, congrats on the killer race and PR!

    Enjoy Austin! Im sure youll love it!

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