Thursday, December 11, 2014

Masters of all Terrain - 50 mile Ultra Marathon

Masters Of All Terrain
December 6, 2014
Ultra Marathon 50 miles (actually 52+ miles) 

 Let me start off by saying this, this race humbled me. It was a great event. The location of the race was held at an abandoned airfield in Mt. Dora, Florida. The weather was perfect, it did wind up raining for a bit but I didn't mind it too much because it cooled me off and didn't last very long. There were several events that went on that day. A 5 miler race, a half marathon 13.1 miles, marathon 26.2 miles, a 50k equaling 32+ miles, and the ultra marathon 52+ miles.  Initially i signed up to participate in this event because I plan on competing in the T3 - Tough Training Trials on December 13th. (Click here for T3Training Blog) As an affiliate event, one of the bonuses offered for participants of the T3 is the opportunity to do the T3 "ruckless" upon completion of rucking the 50 mile Masters of all Terrain Ultra Marathon. I figured i would take my chances. I mean, why not right? The T3 is sure to be a difficult event, very physically demanding, and anything I can do to make it somewhat easier I'd take that chance. So i signed up. Not really paying any attention to the fact that an ultra is 50 miles long. I am gonna be honest, to say I was nervous is a huge understatement. I have never ran that distance before, nor have I trained for a distance that long. 

Nicholas Johnson along with the rest of the staff at Masters Of All Terrain are awesome. They put on a very impressive event. Usually with these OCR's there's always something that's off. Some events more so than others. This specific day I couldn't find anything to complain about.   The course was marked out perfectly. There was no confusion, signs were all clear and course markings were noticeable enough not to be turned in the wrong direction. The water stations were perfectly placed and fully stocked with not only water, but electrolytes, saltine crackers, animal crackers, pretzels, bananas and a bunch more. The volunteers all kicked ass too. they were supportive encouraging, and knowledgeable about the event, the course and everything else. Kickass a+ double marthon if i ever seen one.

Masters of All Terrain Race DirectorNicholas Johnson
      We intended on starting off lap 1 at around midnight. We didn't actually go off until 1am. Neil Liz and I strapped on our gear, and stepped out onto the course with a light jog for about the first 2 - 2 1/2 miles until we caught up with Randolph. Then led a pretty steady marching pace of 11min miles after that. We setup all the water stations along the way to help out on the course and we bombarded by the sounds of baboons gators owls panthers and whatever the heck else was out there that we just couldn't see. So that was probably motivation enough to keep a good pep on our steps along the way. The terrain was pretty good at most parts until we reached a sign saying- "Your going the wrong way. Turn around." It was a street sign not a course marking but you could clearly see the course marking leading us down this horribly dark path that will forever be remembered to some of us as Hell Miles. Miles 7.5 - 10. Being the first set of people to actually set foot on this terrain for this event, it was difficult to say the least. The grass was still raised, and thick I fell into a huge pothole that my headlamp failed to illuminate almost impaling myself with my regiment flag. It didn't make it any better that we were surrounded by this high brush that clouded any moonlight helping us see and swallowing the light from our headlamps. Every step was work because the grass seemed to be holding your feet back trying to prevent you from going any further. And the distance, wow. It seemed like it took forever to get thru that. After we broke thru it was smooth snailing after that between mile 10-12. We reach mile marker 12 & we confidently tell eachother we did it just another couple minutes and we finished the first lap! Huh. Thats what we thought.. no way in HELL that after mile marker 12, it was only 1.1 miles to the finish line! I call bullcrap on that for real! It must have took us a good 20 minutes of saying "the landing strip should be around this corner", only to be severely disappointed. Either way lap 1 was done in 3:48. Lap 2 and 3 were smooth enough the sun started coming out about the middle of lap 2 and the racers had already started on the course. We were flooded by love and words of encouragement by just about everyone that passed by which was awesome. You gotta love the OCR community. By the end of lap 3 I struggled over to my tent, went to change my sneakers to my Reebok All Terrain Supers which I left out to dry after lap 2. As soon as i took my Vibrams off to change my sneakers, I noticed how swollen my feet were, and how many blisters i had on my legs from rucking thru so many ant hills. they tore my legs up and i had a pretty bad allergic reaction. My knees were swollen mainly because they weren't used to those types of distances and carrying that much weight for so long. Also I noticed what WASN'T in the tent. Neil Murphy. Thinking to myself man he is still out there doing his thing, I can't let my group down. I have traveled all this way, and no matter what happens I will still be in pain tomorrow, so why not have something to talk about. I'm not going to stop until I get what I came for. My sponsor gave me words of encouragement before I left

and also upped the anty by telling me that IF I complete this event, then he will not only pay for my registration, but he will also donate for every mile completed to the charity he knows i am a supporter of. Aids Awareness. #OneStepForRED That was definitely my biggest motivation to look beyond my pain and STFU and getter done.  I sucked it up and got back out on the course. I knew i would more than likely be one of the last ones out there but i didn't care. I wasnt gonna stop. There's no quit in me. I swallowed all my pain and worries and relied solely on will power and determination to get me thru the last lap. I drowned out all the sounds around me and fully engulfed myself in my music. I can go on and on about how a million things went thru my head on this last lap, even the questioning of life itself, but I'll spare you guys the details HAHA I traversed thru terrain that has became all too familiar for me by that time, and by every ounce of heart I pulled thru it to the end.  It was an amazing feeling coming around that last turn and still seeing lights out on the course and seeing that no one left me.. Yea that went thru my head as well.  I was greeted by Neil right before the finish line and he notified me that we were the only 2 in the ruck division to finish, I was like WHAT??!! that was cool. Like I said tho all in all a great event, a great cause i ran for, and happy to have completed it.

Would i receomend it to anyone? Hellz yea. and i have.

Would i do it again? ...It kicked my butt in all the best ways. But yes definitely 

PS for those asking me about #onestep4red as far as i know december 7th was the last day to donate to that specific charity. also nike plus has also stopped matching 4cents per mile for donations. but there are tons of other ones out there! #spreadtheword #gettested #aidsawareness #turnyourmilesred 

1 comment:

  1. That third lap, though...
    Not an easy one to tackle. Good work man :)