I guess there's something to be said for fresh legs...or maybe it's positive thinking...or maybe no thinking...or maybe just dumb luck. Whatever his secret, I want to bottle it up and sell it. Yesterday, Marc completed the Forest Park 50k in 6:32:45. Not bad considering that his last long run was the Haulin' Aspen Marathon last August. He also raced the Portland Marathon 5 miler last October, but I really can't remember him running much since then. And I can't get over this detail...his time at the Forest Park 50k last year (when he was training) was 2 minutes slower.
It was a beautiful day for a race. Hard to believe but I haven't been over to Forest Park since last's years race, when it was grey and rainy. This year...blue sky and dry trails.
After we saw the runners off, the little guy and I headed up to 53rd avenue. We decided to hike down the Birch trail and greet the runners where Birch and Wildwood intersect, about 3-4 miles into the race.
Marc, as usual, went out fast. Later he commented that he figured he'd die at some point, whether he went out fast or slow. So he might as well go out fast. We waited until we saw Bret come by and then headed out to take care of some other business of the day.
We arrived back at the start/finish around the 6 hour mark. I really had no idea how Marc would do...but thought the best case scenario would be about 7 hours and the worst case would be an 8 to 9 hour death march. A few minutes later Bret rolled in looking hot and tired but finishing in a very respectable 6:02.
The little guy wanted to explore the trail so we headed up the direction Marc would be coming down. It's about .84 mile up Balch Creek to the Stone House and the junction with Wildwood. We cheered other runners as they came past and the little guy played by the stream.
I wondered whether we should keep going on once we came to the junction, but fortunately I didn't have to decide.
About 1/2 mile up the trail, here came Marc!...looking like he'd make the finish in about 6:30. The little guy took off to run him in.
I started to power hike back, but then decided, what the heck, let's run! I caught up with them near the clearing and was able to sprint past on the grass just in time to capture a finish shot.
Back home, after a cold shower and nap, he was out playing frisbee and riding bikes with the little guy. Not bad for an old guy! Next up for him: Some gorge training runs (yes, I think he will do some actual training) and the PCT 50 miler in July. Next up for me: Continuing with my water aerobics, yoga and strength training. But just maybe I'll add a few easy jogs around the block here and there.