- Call it a marathon or a baby ultra-marathon, yesterday's Inaugural Bobcat Trail Marathon felt in every way like an ultra-marathon and at 26.4 miles (0.2 miles longer than the standard marathon), you take your pick! On the surface, my time of 5hrs, 37min, 17sec sounds like an incredibly sluggish pace for a marathon but you must know, this was a brutal, tough, take-no-prisoners kind of course. In fact, my time still puts me in the top half of all finishers if that tells you anything. People were still finishing at 7.5 hours. It was a fantastic event in so many ways but here's just a snapshot of a few of them:
> Sitting up in my bed at the Lodge, looking out the window and seeing the Start/Finish line is so very nice and convenient.
> A course that had us always next the water. With all the leaves down and a course that circumnavigated a multi-directional lake, we could see so much and soak in all the beauty.
> A well-marked and well-maintained trail...in the middle of nowhere. Many don't know about Burr Oak State Park and it's not near any major interstate but wow, it is a really great place. Blue and yellow blazes led the way all day!
> A strong contingent of NE Ohio trail runners: with Hudson's Vertical Runner as a major sponsor and it's owner, Vince, as co-race director, many of us followed his lead and supported his event and we are all so glad we did. Once the others who decided to pass on Bobcat this year will be lickin' their chops when they look at my 171 pictures.
> To make sure I didn't race and didn't further my psoas muscle and to make sure I had nothing but fun yesterday, I took my camera. I thought I could take a ton of pictures to share with everyone and I'd be compelled to stop and shoot all day long which would greatly slow my pace and keep my "throttle" under control. It worked perfectly to plan and would have it no other way. All I cared about was getting back in time to shower before my late check-out! Another perk: cross finish, walk into my room 100 yards later. Can't beat it!
- Around Mile 10 yesterday, I popped 400mg of ibuprofen just to take the edge off of what I was starting to feel in my left leg. It wasn't painful but growing in what I felt so I thought I'd just stay ahead of the game. It worked and honestly, I felt really good for the rest of the day, into the night, and still feel quite good this morning. Could 26.4 miles of trail move me closer in the direction of recovery? Perhaps.
- A great, great week is on tap. Veterans Day is on Wednesday and with a government job, I'll never work that day and have forever committed myself to spend it in uniform in the schools for as long as my kids are of school-age. Lots planned and I'm really excited about it. Can't wait! Friday, I'm going to see if I can gather some other trail runners up for a mid-morning trail run of the Run for Regis course. I'd like to do Loops A and B now that I have the course directions posted. I swear...the Winter Run for Regis 50K is going to feel like child's play after yesterday's marathon! Let me know if you want to join me.
- Like I said, I took lots and lots of pictures and in my humble opinion, they represent the Bobcat Trail Marathon well and really showcase the course and the happiness of the runners. Enjoy them! You do not need a Facebook account to view these. View them here.
- The Oil Creek 100 really has taken its toll. It was my toughest 100 and I absolutely loved it. However, it really beat me down and my recovery has been the longest by far. I certainly felt it yesterday in terms of energy levels. I wouldn't trade it for anything, either!
- I really don't have much else to say about Bobcat right now. I am just so thankful to spend the day on the trails, meet many new runners I hadn't met before, witness some great and emotional finishes, and just soak in a 67F, sunny, God-given day and appreciate every second of it. Words really cannot describe what it was like out there on an emotional level. It was simply off-the-chart bliss. I am extremely thankful.
Have a great week, everyone, and Happy Trails!