Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dick Collins Firetrails 50-mile Update (short version)

My failed attempt at the Rio Del Lago 100-miler 4 weeks ago made me hungry for a little redemption. It also made me a little cocky. It was so tough, that any 50-mile attempt in cool weather must be a done deal, right? Wrong! I only made it to the aid station at mile 44.28 (my Garmin showed 43.7) at the 100-miler, but my mind blamed it on the heat. There wasn't going to be any real heat in this 50-miler unless you count the heat created by 7800 feet of elevation gain! Boy was I in for a rude awakening!

So much happened at this 50-mile race. I hit some intense lows. I met some amazing people. We had some great weather. I puked my guts out at one point. The hills were brutal. I had flashbacks of repressed memories of traumatic experiences in my failed 100-mile attempt. I ran scared a lot. I was scared of another failure. It was like I got back on a horse too soon after it threw me off into a ditch. "Beware the chair", a volunteer told me when I was longingly staring at a really inviting chair at mile 34. I ran a lot in the final 13 miles, and that felt awesome. And it wasn't a shuffle either. I did a run-walk sequence that involved some really fast running! The uphill portions still made me sick, but my muscles never openly rebeled like they did in the 100-mile attempt. I ended up finishing in 11 hours and 54 minutes, my unofficial Garmin time, which is a bit off because I forgot to stop it in time. It felt great to finish! I felt so humbled. It was the 2nd hardest race of my life, and this time there's a happy ending!


  1. Congratulations on finishing your 50 miler! Love your race reports!

  2. WOW! Amazing, John. 7800ft? Are you crazy?!?! I'd be puking my guts out too!

    I hope there will be some photos to follow. I knew you'd do another soon. :) Rest up, relax, and enjoy the satisfaction of completion.

  3. CONGRATULATIONS on an awesome 50 miler! It sounds like it was really brutal, but you pushed through it. What an inspiration!
    I love "Beware the chair" =)
    +1 ERG Hope there are some pics..and rest and relax and give yourself massive kudos for a fabulous achievement.