Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hinson Lake 24-hour Run

Mary Tillery ran 33 miles and her 'to-date' personal best run ... and first ultra!  Welcome to the dark side Mary!
Susan on the left.

Susan Dummar, though just recovering from an ankle injury, was determined to see what she could do.  She completed 50 miles, having to walk every step.

  • Saw a young girl ... I mean I'm talking young ...  maybe 8 years old!  She was struggling but she finished 9.12 miles.  Her longest by far.
  • Dan Lieb finished his first 50 run.  That after running TWO separate marathons the weekend before!
  • I saw two people at the starting line that were each probably 100 or more pounds overweight.  But they were out there to challenge themselves.  I don't think I could have been more impressed.  And they rocked it!!
That's Paul on the right just before the start.  Also, Jim Plant of the left.

Sharon and Ricky with Tommy Rakes behind.
  • My friend Paul Heckert was there.  Paul is a lot like me ... a slow runner.  But Paul has more drive and determination then anyone I know.  He just doesn't stop.  For anything!  Not sure how far Paul ended up going ... at least 50 miles I'm sure.  When I left, he was still moving forward with a big smile on his face!

    Ricky Scott joined his wife and the rest of the Rocky Mount, VA mafia for the event.  Ricky has been suffering through a serious bone spur in this heel.  Hoping it was better he came to run Hinson.  It wasn't better.  In fact it got worse and worse.  But Ricky had decided he was going to at least finish 20 miles.  Suffering ... he did.  Maybe foolish.  But certainly focused!

    These were just a few of the stories I know about.  Believe me there are plenty more.  The place was the Hinson Lake 24-hour Run.

    No other type event is as perfectly designed as a 24 hour run.  It is my new favorite format.  There are a few people that come out planning to run the full 24 hours.  But most don't.  No ... most folks come to see friends and and see what they can do. Most have a plan and a goal.  Some don't even have that.  They just come out to participate.

    Yesterday, Mike Walsh had a plan.  Run from the 8 am start and finish 20 miles.  Then stop, rest and 'cool it' during the heat of the day.  Then, when things cool off, pick it back up and see what happens.  50 miles happened for him!

    Got to spend some time with Amy Schimmel who I had first met at the Medoc Meltdown.  What a hoot!  So much fun . . . and a killer runner!  And Charles West!  Charles just kept me motivated all day!  I needed his help!

    This is a spectacular event.  You run a 1 1/2 mile trail loop as many times as you can.  The loop is basically pretty flat and few roots.  At about 1 mile in there is a small hill where you run up a VERY sandy stretch of trail . . . like running on the high side of the beach in just deep, soft, loose sand!  Pretty hard running and lots of dust!  Actually about 1/8 of the trail was this 'beach sand.'  Since the temperatures got to the mid 90° levels the duct mixed with sweat to cake on your legs, socks and shoes.  Very strange!

    You cross a cool wooden bridge with a gazebo at about the 1 mile point and then cross the dam when you finish your lap.

    My plan was not a very good one.  Start, run when I can, walk when I must and see how far that takes me.  Was planning on only doing 20 miles or so, but the event brings out the best in everyone.  I struggled through 31 miles and was happy.  But if I had played it a little smarter ... well ... who knows!  31 miles is what I did.

    As I finished my first lap, a guy ran by me just absolutely flying ... certainly a sub-7 pace!  I figured he was just a guy out to MAYBE do a marathon of so.  But all day he kept passing me!  And he didn't slow down.  I found out he was Mike Morton, a past winner of Western States!  He ended up completing ~153 miles over the 24 hour period!

    And my (and everyone else's!) friend  Jonathan Savage was a machine all day and night.  I heard Jonathan finished 132 or so!  The thing about Jonathan is he has something encouraging to say every time he passes you.  He's just a super nice guy with incredible running talent!

    Jonathan downing his 'Go Juice' before he starts his next lap

    And while the headlines belonged to these two super athletes, the other people I mentioned also won my heart!  Thanks for the inspiration my friends!

    More pictures


    1. Great day for you Frank. It is a wonderful event and I hope to return next year and hope for cooler weather. Beyond amazing how fast some of those folks were with those conditions

    2. You had a great run and exceeded what you set out to do. We could always run a bit smarter, but I can tell from your post that you had a great time. Fun and being with friends and making new friends is what this is really all about. What stories you have told of the fast and the slower. Everyone has their challenges and it certainly sounds like many met and exceeded theirs. Great run Frank. Rick

    3. I love it! I want to do this next year....

      Congrats on yet another job WELL DONE!

    4. I was shocked and amazed at Mike Morton's performance. 13 hours to do 100 miles - thats 4 back to back to back to back ~3:20 marathons. 18 hours to do 130 miles. 153 miles overall. That is world record performance considering the course conditions and that the temperature was over 85F with the heat index for about 10 hours (close to 100F for about 4 hours) and the low temperature was still 70F+.

      You nailed it on the event...its a winner and such a great group of folks. There is no wonder attendance is sky rocketing each year.


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    Littleton, North Carolina
    World's Slowest Runner . . . well, at least in contention for the honor. Just your average "below average" runner.