Wednesday, November 21, 2007

JFK -- finish #12

The JFK 50 miler was my first ultra in 1992. This was back in the day of Buzz Sawyer's RD'ship, no aid stations, & an entry fee of $15 which got you a 50/50 T shirt emblazoned with the profile of JFK himself. I was 26 years old and a total ultra greenhorn having completed only one marathon -- that being my longest run -- prior to the event. My plan was to go as far as I was able, thinking about 30 miles, but ultra vet friends Richard, Dennis, and Mary showed me how to incorporate walk breaks, how it was possible to eat and continue running, and how to -- I hate this term, but -- dig deep to make it to the finish line. The four of us ran most of the race together, with Richard and I crossing the finish line in 10 hours & 10 minutes. I cried (in fact, it's been the only finish line where I've cried!) and was on Cloud 9 for weeks afterward.

Over the years I completed a bunch of ultras but none as many times as JFK. Looking through old training journals, I recorded JFK finishes in 1993 (9:21), 1995 (9:15), 1997 (8:23), 1998 (7:39), 1999 (7:48), 2000 (7:22), 2001 (7:19), 2002 (8:07), 2004 (7:40), and 2005 (7:24). I won the event in 1999 and, thus, received free entry for life, one of the perks of JFK.

Chris and I decided to return this year only because friend Anstr (#1134) was running his 25th consecutive JFK 50! (Wow, he must be nuts.)

All things considered my race went well. I started off pretty conservatively on the initial road and Appalachian Trail sections, hitting the Towpath around 2:45-2:50. From that point on, I don't believe more than a couple of people passed me -- I ran negative splits. :) Chris did a super job of crewing. I ran the Towpath in a rather leisurely ~4 hours and upon hitting the asphalt at mile 41.5, had about 1:15 to make it to the finish in under 8 hours. I made it with 3 minutes to spare. It wasn't my fastest JFK, but for whatever reason I've never felt better running it. Results. I was 77th out of 1,079 (!) finishers -- Hey, this is "AMERICA'S ULTRAMARATHON" (in RD Mike Spinnler's mind at least).


Hart said...

sue congrats on #12.. well done.

Jamie said...

Great job Sue! Didn't know you got free entry for life if you win. Pretty cool!

Loomdog said...

Wow, you must have been right behind me coming off the towpath! Nice run once again, sorry I missed you afterword. I went off with my folks. Coming back East in the spring for some running??

olga said...

Holly, cow, that's some history, and fast at it! Awesome run, Sue!!!