Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bandit 50k Race report.

Juan Carlo/The Star
Trey Barnes runs up a hill during the 50K Bandit Ultra Trail Run, which started at Corriganville Park in Simi Valley on Sunday.

60 or so of us 50k'ers raced today.  Started out with Trey Barnes (pictured above) and I hanging out together for the first mile loop in the park.  Hung right behind him until the tunnel under 118 where I passed him. He was a minute or so behind me at the 118 turn around, then I heard he had hip issues and finished fourth, super nice guy, works or owns the fleet feet in Encino - the one that used to be Phidippides.  He was fast on the downhills, but a little slower than me on the uphills, so I was worried about us leap frogging all run, but that didn't play out.

Beautiful Day!  Mountains to the east and north blanketed with fresh snow, clean views of the ocean and Channel Islands... lush green mountains and meadows. Snow level was only 700' higher than where we were running. Nice cool temperatures, 40s at the start and 50s at the end.
Running with one bottle and having two ready for me at the drop bag location: miles 10 and 19, worked perfectly, took a gel every 30 minutes, took 2 salt stick pills.

On the first loop, at the top of Rocky Peak (mile 15) I looked back and saw Michael Becker about 7 minutes behind me... seemed like he was gaining on me... scared me a little, but at the same spot on the next loop (mile 25) I didn't see him so I knew I had the race at that point, as long as I didn't fall hard and hurt something. Michael finished in 2nd, 4:38.

Going into the race I was hoping to run sub 4 hours, but around mile 10 I realized it probably wouldn't happen today.  I thought about picking up the pace a bit to try and do it, but my pace felt like a good pace to run without blowing up before the end... and I was having a hard time justifying pushing it harder.  I also wanted to keep just a little in the tank in case someone did catch me.  I’m sure the mud slowed us all down by a couple minutes, but even without the mud I doubt I would have snuck in under 4 hours.

Juan Carlo/The Star
Sean O'Brien participates in the 50k Bandit Ultra Trail Run, which started at Corriganville Park in Simi Valley.

I was worried about Sean O'brien (pictured above) after Brian Krogman told me before the race started, that Sean lurks at first, is a great climber and picks a lot people off at the end.  He finished in 5th place.  Talking with him afterward he said this was a training run for him and that he wasn't really racing, lucky for me.

It was nice having Keira there cheering for me at the start and finish, she reminded me about the cash prize at Leona Divide this year and asked me if I was going to try and get it.  I laughed out loud because it is such a stacked race this year, but I can’t wait to run it again.

Also looking forward to the Bandit 50k again next year with a bull’s eye on my back =)  The 805 boot camp sure knows how to put on a great event, there were so many volunteers cheering and helping out at each aid station, loved it!

I was stoked to see the Ventura County Star do an article on the event, here's the on-line version:  http://www.vcstar.com/photos/galleries/2011/feb/20/thousand-oaks-man-wins-50k-bandit-ultra-trail-run/19211/#section_header

Mile splits:
1- 7:07
2- 9:50
3- 10:28
4- 10:34
5- 9:01
6- 9:54
7- 7:00
8- 7:27
9- 6:36
10- 7:31
11- 7:19
12- 8:04
13- 8:23
14- 10:35
15- 10:54
16- 7:13
17- 7:24
18- 6:56
19- 6:48
20- 7:18
21- 8:18
22- 8:47
23- 10:22
24- 10:51
25- 8:20
26- 9:08
27- 8:16
28- 7:34
29- 8:28
30- 6:19