I spent Saturday afternoon watching Cross Country Regionals in Boardman and wondered how they were running in that muck. Knew We’d be running in some mud at Run With Scissors the next day but had no idea what we were in for.
I had one goal for RWS. Finish.
Picked up Jonathan “Scooby” Bolha in the wee hours of Sunday morning and headed to CVNP. He is a sub-3 hour marathoner who I somehow inspired to do RWS. This would be his first ultra and first trail race.
Roy gave his pre-race spiel about course markings, staying off the road and dealing with horses and it was time to go. Clear and cold, about freezing, morning. Perfect race conditions. Started right at 5 and shot off into the night. Trip to Pine Hollow was pretty uneventful with some muddy spots but not too bad.
After Pine Hollow was a different story. Running beside the parking lots started the fun. As you got closer to the access between fields you would slide down the small inclines and then force through ankle deep slop. Maybe 4 spots like that until the Wetmore Trail. From there to Covered Bridge intermittent battles with shoe sucking tar pits. The fields before the farm were particularly bad. Many times my shoe started pulling off and filled with gruel. Bathroom after aid station was either closed or someone was reading a novel. Had to opt for some high weeds to take care of business. Plenty of leaves to use as TP.
Perkins Loop was in good shape other than the last mile which got soupy. Guys book was called “Va-Voom” which was a nice attention grabber. Is it longer going from Covered Bridge to Pine Hollow? Damn that section takes forever. Wasn’t planning a shoe change, what’s the point, at turn around but socks or insert started balling up. Made Ledges Shelter in a little over 5 hours and changed shoes. Old ones felt like they weighed 10 lbs each. No thoughts at all of stopping and hit the second loop.
Second loop started great. Hit Pine Hollow in just over an hour with almost dry feet and feeling good. Great run until mile 35-36 when left knee pain began on a steep decline. Ran/hobbled/walked until I saw someone on the bridge before the farm. Scooby was sitting on the guard rail. Said his feet hurt and was dropping. Got him to the Covered Bridge aid station and was on my merry way.
Reduced to a slow gimp and walking most of the way from here. Fell in a mud hole at some point, covered my water bottle and every time I took a drink it smelled like swamp. Solaced myself in the fact it was a beautiful day to be on the trails. Ran, some semblance of running, from the Overlook to the shelter and finished in 11:25. Woke Scooby up from a nap, had some of Bill’s fine grub, grabbed some candy for the road and we were off. By the time I got home, I was pumped that I finished and ready to go a bit longer.