Maybe the problem was the weather. Whatever it was, the ninth Redeye 50k violated every rule of the traditional Slug run.
The first problem was the temperature. It was warm and nice. Most ran in t-shirts and at least one person ran with no shirt. This is unacceptable. It is supposed to be well below freezing and there should be ice everywhere.
The second big problem is that everyone, except for those who had been up with Kerry the night before, seemed to have gone to bed early on New Years Eve. Real Redeye studs party the night before and then drag their butts out of bed to go to the start — assuming they even go to bed.
Finally, everyone had too much fun. Or something. Only 14 people finished the 50km. The last official Redeye was in 2003. At that event, 21 people out of 30 starters went 50km. At the 2005 event, only 14 people finished despite the fact that 57 people participated. That is embarrassing. Is this the Ophrazation of the Redeye?
This is what happens when the Slugs are not in charge. Dan, please come back next year!
[Apology: This reporter mentioned in the pre-run publicity that the Slug Redeye was traditionally put on by “Dan Grayson, Bill Sublett, and James Moore.” This left out the sainted Rebecca Moore. We had thought that wonderful Rebecca would not want her name mentioned in the same sentence as these reprobates. The staff and employees of the VHTRC Web site regret the error.]
Due to construction on Burma Road, we had to change the course. It was one big loop that was to be done three times. Two different GPSs got the distance of the loop at 10.1 miles. By fuzzy Washington math, that’s more or less 50km — “close enough for government work.” Most people liked the new loop, but at least one person missed the additional opportunities to socialize at the aid station that the old course provided. On the old course, you visited the feed/aid station four times. On this course, you only get to stuff your face twice.
In a further break from tradition, we have results with times and listed in finish order. But in keeping with tradition, the results were not put together very carefully and probably contain many errors. If your time is wrong and there is any chance that your handwriting contributed to the error, don’t bother telling me about it. If you think that the error was not your fault, don’t tell me about it either.
The best blood award went to Gloria Allie in a walk away. She won with a solid 8.5 on her knee injury with a backup 7 on her shoulder. She was surprised by the “medical” attention she received at the finish. She shouldn’t have been. If you come into the finish with an injury, we will be all over you with kindness and attention, unless, of course, if you are a guy in which case, unless you have a sucking chest wound, you better be able to drive yourself to the hospital.
As usual, the spread of food was tremendous. Pepperoni, cheese, chips, cake, wieners, etc. No wonder I start the year at the heaviest I have ever been. The mid-way, unattended aid station was a throw back to the old days. No Gu, Succeed, salt, etc. It was just water, Coke, crackers, and cookies. If that was good enough back then, it should be good enough now. But of course, it isn’t. If you had paid $65 for this run and got that aid station, you would have sent a scathing letter to the editor of Ultrarunning. How times change.
Much of the success of the run goes to co-RD, Gary Knipling. Gary marked the trail with politically correct, low impact measures, provided the very important table for the goodies, and saw to it that the participants had post-run sustenance. He made all the runners — ok, all the female runners — feel especially welcome to the event.
Most of the success of this event is attributable to Prince William Forest Park. This is a wonderful place to run. Please don’t tell anyone about it. The only problem with this national park is that, while Yellowstone has buffalo and Shenandoah has bear, Prince William has squirrel. That’s it. Squirrels. Wow. (Ok, there are obvious signs of beaver in the park, but has anyone ever seen one?) The officials in the park were very helpful and supportive to the run. Thank you.
To add to the surreal nature of this strange day, we go home and find Texas in the Rose Bowl. For the first time in his life, this reporter roots for the Big 10 team. Now he knows why it’s good that he doesn’t have to root for Michigan very often.
[Bowl aside: Everyone agrees that the BCS sucks. But most criticize it for the wrong reason. People in college should study, not go to a tournament to “decide the national champion on the field.” Conference champions should go to an appropriate bowl. The Big 10 and Pac 10 champions should meet in the Rose Bowl. In the old days, there were three or four bowls that were big deals. Now, the BCS bowl game has deprecated all other bowls. I understand why the other bowls sold out to this silly system, but what was in it for the Rose Bowl? It is stupid.]
So overall, this Redeye was an embarrassment. This is what happens when the Slugs are not in charge. Please come back Dan, James, and Bill. And let’s all hope for better weather next year.
Note: Some people followed instructions and did not list their lap times, but most ignored the sample and wrote down the time they finished each lap. Absent data actually represents coloring inside the lines.