Tuesday, July 13, 2010

DWD Devil's Lake 50 Mile Race Report

Well, I have mixed feelings about this race. The good news is that I finished the 50 miles in 11:07, my leg that was injured did not bother me at all; not during the race or after it, and I never got lost. Woohoo! I made it through with just a handheld water bottle and a smaller water bottle in my Nathan vest.

It was dang hot out all day and the worst part was that there was this beautiful lake two feet away from us at times and we just had to run sweatily by all of the people swimming and splashing and floating and boating. Ahhh, it was torture. My body was soaked from sweat from the start but at least my wet shorts worked as a good wash cloth for my hands when they'd be sticky after eating Fig Newtons... err something like that anyway.

So I wanted to make sure that I capture the course in my blog well so I can make a wise decision next year on whether to run it again. The course was similiar to Gnawbone and Hell in that you run through some woods, go on a few streets, get off the course a little bit, do random climbs...but the main difference in Devil's Lake is that you don't go through any big water crossings (you passed through a couple of tiny creeks but your feet don't get wet...but maybe I shouldn't be complaining since the water ruined my feet at Mohican) or any crazy mud bogs. I was really disappointed because that's what makes the DWD races fun and mixes things up.

It seems like the overall elevation of this race wasn't terrible; it was just all condensed into two big climbs that you repeated twice: one climb up awful rock stairs that lasted forever and one climb up the large bluff that kept going and going. Those sections were not fun. Oh ya, at one point up the climb there was a right turn but I kept going up straight ahead. Thank goodness these two people overlooking the view yelled and told me I had missed my turn. Ahh! I would have been so annoyed to have gotten lost, especially on that ascent.

And although there were a lot of trails in the woods, I was suprised that a lot of those sections were paved. There were also a good bit of rocky sections that kind of hurt your feet and blisters. And then there were a handful of sections where you ran out in open fields without shade, but most of them only lasted .5 miles.

I haven't actually compared the elevation on all of the DWD courses but it seems like Gnawbone was the hardest course because you consisently did a million random hills, and then maybe Hell and Devil's Lake are tied. I probably prefer Hell over them all because of the fun mud bogs.

So another thing that made this race only medium-fun is that I ran the majority of it by myself, surprisingly. I don't know how it ended up that way but I would go to the aid stations and ask where everyone was since I couldn't see anyone in front or behind me for miles.

I was so tired and discouraged at the end from people catching up to me that I was tempted to quit. At around 45 miles, I finished a loop and I could see the finish line with people cheering and I heard the loud music and then someone told me that you have to repeat the same 4.8 mile loop again that you did in the beginning. Ahh! I had no idea how I was going to finish it; I thought it would take me over an hour.

The beginning of this loop entailed going up the Bunny Hill which seemed soo easy in the beginning but by this point I just walked the whole thing, cussing to myself, and I kept looking back to see who was getting closer to me. Thank goodness this guy I met from Ft. Wayne, Jason, caught up with me and didn't feel like running either. We walked the last loop together and the conversation made it go back so quickly. He probably got sick of me yapping off his ear since it was my first human contact in awhile.

So I finished the race and hung around for awhile, talking to Dorn and others. I bought a fat Subway sub, went back to Heather's parents' house, forced myself to shower, and then hit the hay. I have no idea if I'll run this race again next year....most likely I will because there's something about that terrible challenge that's appealing.

I took a few short videos during the run and stuck them all together in the YouTube video below. Dang, I didn't realize how out of breath I was.

Oh ya, why did I find a dead gnat in my ear on Sunday night, after I had showered and slept and all? Trifling.


Brad Poppele said...

Nice Job!!! That was one hard course. Enjoyed your video! The lake was beautiful. I wanted to stop and jump in!

Clara said...

Thanks, Brad!