Monday, November 21, 2011

Ultracentric at Lake Grapevine

I have been running in organized races for over 3 years now, so my volunteering at a race was LONG overdue.  I had absolutely no desire to run in the Ultracentric run, so I figured I'd spend a few hours there volunteering.  Lorrie, who hosts the NTTR trail runs, rounded up the volunteers and planned all the food.  I showed up for a few hours Saturday morning to help with food and registration.

The Ultracentric Experience is a timed run, with 48-, 24-, 12-, and 6-hour races.  Competitors run on a 2-mile loop as long as they can, as fast as they can.  The winner is the runner or walker who, at the end of the specified time period, has covered the most ground.  I didn't want to run because: 1. I ran in a timed race last year (Run from the Ducks, 8 hours) and decided that sort of race, running the same short course over and over all day, is not for me; 2. Ultracentric was run on pavement, with no shade; and 3. I ran the Rockledge Rumble the previous weekend and will run White Rock in 2 weeks.

When I got there, around 5 a.m., several of the 48-hour runners were plugging away, and some were sleeping, including one at the back of the food tent.  Shortly before 6, eventual winner Volodymyr Balatskyy hit 100 miles, less than 21 hours from Friday's 9 a.m. start.  He ended up with 208 miles, 68 more than the next competitor.  In the 24 hour race, Andy Thompson hit 90 miles, 6 miles better than the next runner.  The great part about is that at 61, he was older than all the others in the 24-hour race!

Special recognition goes to 11-year-old Isabella, who won the 6-hour race.  Apparently she and her dad travel all over the place running in races.  A fun bonding time for them.

I'm glad I was able to help out Saturday, and glad I wasn't running.  It was already getting warm and muggy when I left the event, shortly after the 9 a.m. start.  It must have been a long, hot day for the runners.  But I congratulate all those dedicated souls, thank Lorrie for her hard work, and commend Robert for putting on a unique event.

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