After three solid days of driving rain, the skies began to lighten a little for the start of the PH50k. The day began with a light rain, but within a few hours became a beautiful seasonal day. Despite the record rains, the trail conditions were decent and the course markings hung onto the trees. However, the creeks swelled and rushed to a level that made crossing prohibitive. Quick action from aid station volunteers and Ed Demoney resulted in clever re-routing that enabled forty eight runners to complete the entire distance. Twenty four others completed lesser distances.
As has become tradition at the PH50K, bonus points were awarded for completion of various tasks. These tasks included apple bobbing, consumption of “black magic,” and ring tossing. Since quite a few women were spotted wearing mardi-gras beads, it is apparent that some other bonus points were disguised as ring-tossing points.
Mike Bur scored a record number of bonus points—28. However, in order to obtain 28 minutes off his time, Mike Bur spent 90 minutes in the aid stations obtaining these points. Mark Crisman was more efficient, managing to accumulate 25 bonus points and still finish the course in 5:54. His bonus points gave him the net time of 5:29.
CJ Blagg is this year’s victor, with a fine time of 4:48, which is the men’s course record. Congratulations CJ! (The overall course record is Justine Morrison’s 4:33 achieved with no bonus points). The women’s winner this year was Michele Harmon, with a time of 5:03. The early leader, Mike Schuster, proved to be a rabbit, who never had any intention of completing the full distance. After building up a lead, he stopped to bob for apples to allow others to catch up and continue the chase.
With the weather taking a turn for the worse in the days before the run, we expected a poor turnout. However, of the 88 people who were signed up, 73 showed up in some capacity. We give them credit for the ½ mile trek from their cars to the party. Various excuses, such as injury, pregnancy, laziness, and fear of rain were mentioned. You know who you are! Caroline and Walker Williams were particularly late to the start and used this as an excuse. Walker was in such a hurry to get to the PH50k, that he “accidentally” left Caroline at a rest stop in South Carolina on the way to the run. Since she left her cell phone in the car, there was quite a delay before she was able to convince Walker to come back and get her.
Big huge thanks to these folks who really made the day great for everyone and also make it possible for me to contemplate doing this again!
Grill masters/food preparers: Todd Burns, Joe Calhoun, Mary Campbell
Course markers: Karen Krieg, Diana Widdowson (10 extra bonus points for course marking with me in the dark and pouring rain!) Amy Sproston, Tim Foley
Aid Station captains: Amy Platt, Mike Priddy, Wendy Fite, and Jaret Seiberg—(All pros who keep on coming back and make this easy for me)
Cleanup: Michele Harmon
Course re-direction: Ed Demoney
Aid station workers: Tim Foley, Rich Priddy, Alexis Wistermayer, Wendy Marszalek, Marissa Melton, Ted Lapkoff, Ron Fite, Joyce Fendley, Mike Andreski, Ed Cappucino, Betty Miracle, Gary Knipling, Bob Phillips, Rayna Matsuno
Beer Procurement: Joe Clapper—everyone who was in attendance surely noticed that I forgot to give Joe a “budget” for buying beer.
Shirt crew: Linda Wack, Carolyn Gernand, Keith Knipling, Quatro Hubbard