Saturday, November 21, 2009

#43 and More

Last Sunday I ran the RI 6 hour Ultra in Warwick, Rhode Island. This race completes my 43rd state. The photo was me reaching the finish line near the end of 6 hours. Of course in a 6 hour event the finish line is relative to the number of loops one makes in the race.
The course was a 2.7 mile asphalt loop in Warwick City Park. The park was beautiful not counting the cloudiness of the day. So the goal was to make as many 2.7 mile loops before resorting to the 0.9 mile short loop when time is a factor and one can no longer make the long loop.
At 8:00 AM the gun goes off and the runners charge forward. There were 67 ultra runners and 29 relay teams. My concern was not the relays, but how do you know whose who. Who cares, my goal was to get to 50 km mark. Well actually my goal was to go 33-35 miles, but was modified after the first loop. It seems that the course was hilly after 1.25 miles. Not major hills but enough to add about 50 feet of climb per mile. So around and around I go, getting to talk with several 50 staters and then listening to my MP3 player. Time actually slipped by quickly and then I hit the marathon point with a time of 4:50:24, so at that point it was official, state #43. However I did pay for a full 6 hours of running so I wanted my monies worth, so onward I went. Upon finishing loop #11, I did not have enough time to do another big loop, so opted for two of the 0.9 mile small loops. Officially I finished with 31.495 (5:57:45) in 45th place.
The race was well run and the race organization is to be applauded.
The trip went pretty uneventful, other than all the rain on Saturday. If that rain would have been on race day, runners would have been slowed. As it was the winner completed 51.323 miles. That is amazing.
My next state will not be until June of 2010. My plan is to go west and knock off 5 states.
If I am able to pull this off I will run the following schedule: 6/11 - Bear Lake Marathon, ID; 6/12 - Bear Lake Marathon, UT; 6/13 - Estes Park Marathon, CO; 6/19 - Bighorn Mountain 50KM, WY; 6/26 - Pacific Crest Trail Marathon, OR. So that would be #44, 45, 46, 47, & 48. That would leave North Dakota and Washington. On On!