Usually the fastest runner in a race gets the victory. This was not so for the 2010 Antelope Island Buffalo Run. As we saw two weeks ago, Geoff Roes missed a turn at Way Too Cool and Leor Pantilat took advantage of the blunder and received the "win."
This past Saturday I played the role of Leor while Scott Jaime played the role of Geoff.
Going into the race my goals were to set a new 50M PR and go after Pedatella's 6:43 course record. The race started leisurely as Scott, Erik, and a few others caught up with each other. I was waiting for a rabbit to take off to start the racing but it didn't happen so I steadily increased the pace to get a little separation. Scott followed and I figured we'd be dueling it out all day with Storheim not far back. Scott and I were within seconds through the first 18M. Around mile 10 my right shoe lace came untied; I chose not to stop and tie because the way we were racing those seconds could have proved crucial late in the race. A few miles later I could feel the inevitable crap on deck. I absolutely hate having bowel movements during a race and it was not subsiding. Luckily, a few miles later there was a port o john on the course. Scott ran through while I heartily downloaded the remaining 6" of my footlong sub from the previous evenings feed. I exited the throne and began chasing down Scott when I saw him looking back at me with hands in the air. There was no signage but we were apparently supposed to turn around once we got to the toilet. We both lost around 5 minutes with Scott running an extra mile or so looking for clues.
Once the mistake was corrected we got back on the trail and had to focus once again at the task at hand. Scott opened up a 30-60 second lead for the remainding 99% of the race. At the 44M AS I felt nauseous and thought I would be dealing with yet another type of bodily fluid voiding. Thankfully Mr. Upchuck said,"I just wanna chill!" I then drank two cups of Coke, walked about 20 steps and prepared for the final 6M. At 47 I got a visual of Scott after losing it during my time at the AS. At this point the trail became technical and I was having a blast dancing through the rocky trail. During the dance party I noticed that the gap was shrinking between Scott and I. I gave it my all and knew I was running out of real estate. With less than .5 mile to go Scott ran past the flour arrows that led to the finish and headed towards the coned arrows which directed the mornings parking. He then looked back as I pointed and turned down the correct path. From here I ran like a 5th grade boy who just stole some candy from the supermarket. It was fun to find the extra gear at the very end of the race. I then crossed the finish line like Leor with Scott about 1 min. back. It was amazing that we ran within a minute of each other for the whole race!
It is not the way I want to win a race and this is the second time it has happened to me. Overall I accomplished both of my goals: 6:31 New 50M PR and a new course record. I honestly felt bad for Scott- it had to be heartbreaking! It was great to chat with him after the race and he graciously gave me a "coke." I feel indebted to him because of my thievery and will present him with some "cokes from Gunnison" when we see each other at Lake City- it should be epic!
After the awards ceremony I made it a full day ultra: Run 6.5 hours, drive 7.5 hours home- arriving to my wife, friends, a shower, and my own bed, PRICELESS! I kept the trend going the next morning and cooked up the Famous Burch Waffle Breakfast for the four of us. Needless to say the recovery was rather quick because of the flatter course. Jim Skaggs puts on a great event: the race was well organized and the Buffalo Stew is a tasty postrace feed. Now I have 3 weeks until I do it all over again at Fruita! Running is fun!