Sunday, November 2, 2008
My first 50 miler was the Mountain Masochist 50 mile in 2003. It was my second ultra and I was woefully under prepared, but I loved it and met a good friend as I was coming out of the infamous Loop: Ryan Henry. On that day Ryan was a 29-year-old ultra veteran who ran with me to the finish and put up with my whining and whimpering...and we have been trail buddies ever since.
As much as I love the race, Masochist was NOT in my recovery plan from Grindstone, so yesterday Ryan and I met at the Masochist finish line and ran back to mile 41, hoping to see the front runners and enjoy the beautiful weather on the trail. We were not disappointed: we managed to see the top 30 runners, take some great photos, and get in a hard (for me) 20-mile training run in a beautiful place. Good times, Ryan!
We saw tough performances by the top guys and a gutsy run by David Horton---his first run at Masochist since the first year of the race, 26 years ago, I believe. Many folks were having a tough day on the course due to some warm temperatures, and Horton was not happy when we saw him in Forest Valley, a horrendous leafy climb off an old section of the AT. But he hammered to the finish line strong and happy, surrounded by his family and crew, Jen Pharr Davis, who is fresh off her record-setting AT thru-hike.
Clark Zealand, the new RD of Masochsist, was at the finish to greet each runner, and he did an extra cool thing with the results this year: they included splits from certain aid stations as well as the runner's previous Masochist race times. And I was sorry to miss many folks who came in after 11 hours---my camera's batteries died. But just before that happened, I caught these two tough women, Kerry Owens and Rebekah Trittipoe, on film as they were finishing their fifth Beast Series run,
and I did manage to get these great pics!
(photo on left of Jen Henry, Jen Pharr Davis, Sophie, Bethany Patterson and Rebekah Trittipoe by Jen Henry)