Friday, January 15, 2021

2021 URE Marathon



Yep...  I pulled the trigger on this one after the Uwharrie 40 miler I was going to sign up on November 1st was put on hold...  That race will likely still happen in February but this is scheduled for Saturday March 13th 2021.  As with most life events for me, I need things in my schedule to at least stay focused.  Okay,  this has not been true either.  I have really fallen short of needed training several times in the last 5 years and have been lucky most of those times to cross those finish lines.  I wanted to check this race out because part of it had the 20.5ish mile Figure 8 loop that was one of 5 loops of the Hundo or one of 2 loops of the 40.  It was a great way to see if I could eventually have the desire for such madness by simply trying this shorter "warm up" sort of speak.  Either way, my time clock is sort of ticking so it's time for me to get more serious again.  Let's do this!

I decided to sign up for this virtual challenge.  It had various challenges of different distances to complete in the month of January.  I may have chose more than I can handle when I decided on the 150 mile challenge which you can easily do the math to realize that's a 5 mile a day average.  I knew January was a terrible month for me to stay motivated so this would definitely help as I hate to throw money out the door and I'm a sucker for challenges.  But first, I need to get in shape in December so I can.  Oh my...

Just an update... I'm struggling and way behind pace but hoping to double up mileage without injuries...  hopefully I won't need an ultra my last few days to survive this challenge!

In January I basically did a half marathon every Saturday...

The moment I broke 150 for the challenge...

When your partner in crime jumps in the race too...

So... Feb 2021 was a wash...literally.  It rained a lot and it was cold!  So consequently I wimped out!

The last run before the race...

The Next to the last weight lifting session before the big dance...

Here is my last weight lifting session before the Uwharrie Marathon.  I did not do any "direct" shoulder work because I typically get sore upper traps from trail runs of this distance or greater.


Dress and Equipment Supply Rehearsal

Friday morning weigh in

Near Perfect Weather awaits... I actually like a bit cooler for these difficult trail courses!

High Tech Professional Planning on a Certified Napkin

I have found that setting alarms on my phone has been helpful.  It's really nice when you are ahead of the alarm but definitely a good pacer when you are close or behind.

Pace Planning on the way to the camp ground with my partner in crime Rich.  Rich volunteered to drive so I could help with the pace planning etc.  We decided on an 18:19 pace to finish around 8 hours.  We had not trained and figured based on the last Pilot Mt 50k we'd shoot for this time.

Rich brought his still good old school tent complete with metal poles!

Rich took this creepy shot as we joked about the cheap rate for the Arrowhead Campground and that it may have been cheap because it was haunted etc.  It was lots of fun and it's always good to save some money.

After we got to the campground we found out that we passed the only food sources about 40 minutes ago...oooops.  I had eaten 3 Burger King Bacon Cheeseburgers etc and Rich had eaten 2 with 1 left.  We decided to "Wing" it so he ate his last burger and I ate some poptarts and we both got some beers.  So yeah, we are professionals indeed! haha!   Fortunately, I had my head lamp and he had a lantern so setting up the tent in the dark wasn't bad at all and then we hung out with a little campfire before going to the bathhouse before sleeping.  Rich said I was sleeping within 10 minutes and snoring haha before he eventually fell asleep.  We both rotated tossing and turning and around 3am I had to go to the bathroom as I could not go back to sleep without going first.  We would get up about 5am to pack up and go.  Note: We didn't see until later that a sign on the picnic table said no drinking.  Ooooops.

Breakfast of Champions!  ok ok... I ate some tangerines and drank Gatorade too.  My wife Gina got me hooked on these.  She discovered it through Beachbody.

Likely suspect David in the mix.  He was with me and Jeff Dufour at my very first 50k at Falls Lake.  Check out that blog too!  
Ultras and trail races usually are more like a reunion of friends vs simply a race.

Rich, Tim & David

2nd time to the bathroom... everyone socially distancing...

Tim, Rich, and Joseph

Rich and I moments before the start!

Daniel Paige giving final race instructions which no one could hear because everyone couldn't keep their mouth shut.  I didn't make a big deal about it since I was definitely not going to be near the front and simply would follow the ones near me.

Photo creds to all extra pics to the UWE Photographer... here is an opposite angle from the start...

Nathan and many others start the race!

The first stop after the 10k initial loop before we entered the Dutchman Loop... this was also the check in to get our bibs etc.

Joseph putting in work!
He would end the day in a killer 4:09 time for 2nd place overall!  It's hard to have those times on a flat road marathon much less one of the hardest trails known.  I have seen this man go from a good runner and weight lifter to an amazing runner proving that if you are focused and dedicated you can do anything! NO LIMITS!!

Our new running friends from Wilmington


The 1st 10k before entering the 20 milish loop...
This group of ladies would be seen often throughout the course of the day but eventually Courtney took off.  The others would fall behind Rich and I as they would take longer times with the many cool dogs and aide stations on the course.

Friend from Hinson24
Rosemary 109 would have a great finish in 8:36

Hinson 24 is one of my favorite all time events.  It doesn't matter what level you are when you are doing laps for an entire day.  You will see everyone!  I love the social part as well as the challenge.
Check out some Hinson blogs

Grabbed these at the 10k stop!  I already had to use the bathroom and Rich needed to take some meds so we probably blew 10 minutes here...

I was a bit concerned about my heart rate.  The terrain was tough but even when relaxed my heart rate seemed high which indicated my lack of conditioning and a reality check of my need to train better if I were to do better especially with this year's goal to beat my Hinson24 85ish record in September.

Not the start of a messenger thread you want to get while you are running a race...

It's a Wonderful Life is probably my all time favorite movie...  I thought about how my friend Tony has impacted so many people and thank God we can continue to make more memories!
Read the article above that he wrote in our local paper.

Indeed for all the race I was concerned but couldn't really relax until we knew our friend was stable.
Make each moment... each day count!  We are not promised tomorrow!

I had to share a collage pic of my friend Tony.  After I co-founded the running group GORUN (Greenville Organization of Runners) Tony became a strong promoter within our group and our community for health and wellness.  We have always connected well and share a cool fact of having the same ENFP Myers Brigg personality profile.  To new adventures Tony!  You sir have greater ones ahead!  

His wife Delia giving immediate CPR saved his life.  I have have a BLS certification through work at Vidant Medical Center and first started knowing CPR through the Boy Scouts.  I encourage everyone to learn it.  You could save someone one day!

You could really tell that we were lucky that the area had dried up from the rain etc because so many places showed evidence of messy trails from when the water normally flowed.

Hey when you reach a mountain top, sit back and enjoy it!  For me it's about the challenge and journey.  I'm not sure if I was in better shape if I would stop taking pictures and videos.  I really like looking back and soaking in the memories.

I really lost count of how many creek crossings there were.  Relentless creeks, roots, and rocks were part of this Uwharrie Marathon!!

Pictures of many of  these inclines did not give justice.  It did help if I took a pic with someone going up so you could see the difference of height from where I was standing compared to where they were.

Forward Relentless Progress!!  Yep, David reminded me of that importance.  In the time it took me to take a pic or eat something at an aide station he would be gone and out of sight as we ran back and forth with each other intermittently during the day.

Here comes the Sasquatch!!!

My friend David must be deaf... didn't you all hear me breathing! bless...


In the background are the 2 Wilmington ladies that took our picture!  Thanks!

The downhills started wearing on my left knee so I started making a conscious effort to lead with my right leg going down.  It really helped!

Got to get those electrolytes in!  A cramp will end your day quickly!  I actually love this stuff on the runs!  This was the first time I had ever seen any packaged like this.

All the volunteers and aide stations were awesome!  Despite everyone sharing supplies and goodies, I was actually surprised how good the food was!  Thanks so much to the race director and volunteer family!!

Tangerines for eyes

There were several massive trees down with roots exposed.  Pretty cool...

After another crossing near a Boy Scout Camp

And yet another of many creek crossings... thank goodness the water levels were low!

Milk Quartz!

Throughout the course there were many places that would of been quite a challenge if it had been rainy.  Many areas were still muddy even without the rain.  I would have to say we were pretty lucky with the weather and the conditions!

The obligatory finish shot with my martial arts and running partner in crime!

Proud of enduring this one with little training.  We even beat our predicted 8 hour finish by almost 40 minutes.  I told Rich we would tell everyone we were slow because I was always taking pictures and videos etc. haha 

Super stoked to see my buddy David Soloman come in with a personal record for this course.  As mentioned before, he was with me during my very first ultra that Jeff Dufour talked me into as we endured the Falls Lake 50k on the Mountain Sea Trail.

I developed some hand swelling during the last 10k or so.  It was gone pretty quickly but it's always a concern about my body's response to taking in nutrition, electrolytes etc.  There's a fine line between cramps and too much salt etc.

Lots of sand, mud and fun during the run!  Special thanks to 361 Meraki style shoe for another race with NO BLISTERS! yay!  Thanks many times over to my buddy and pro runner Blake Roberson for selling me my very 1st 361 shoes about 3 pairs ago.

Mexican food is always a winner afterwards!  Fortunately, my friend Rich and I typically agree on where to go and where to eat on our adventures!

As we drove through Carthage and other towns we really enjoyed the architecture and were surprised with all the massive homes with no real indication of employment.  We figured many must commute or retire in these areas.

The Relive of the 2021 Uwharrie Marathon

Weight Sunday the day after...

I thought the fabric style numbers were great!  In fact I decided not to use my bib holder I normally put around my waist because it was so soft etc.


via trail/ultra signups etc

To new adventures!