Thursday, April 26, 2012

Unicorns and awesomeness

My friend Stephanie was tired of having to travel at least a couple of hours from Carolina Beach to any races and runs she wanted to do.

So she decided to put on a race in her home town.

The First Annual Prancing Unicorn and Polydactyl Kitten Fat Ass Race was born. I just had participate – just because of the name if nothing else. Especially when I found out I could purchase a t-shirt. Who could possibly resist a raspberry colored t-shirt with kittens and unicorns on it? Not me Smile

Steph mapped out a 50k course, sprayed green arrows on the course, dropped a few gallon jugs of water around. There you have it. Now, I was not sure how far I wanted to run – I brought the pups, so really didn’t want to run too much especially as warm weather was predicted. Certainly less than 20 miles.

In the end, I ran with my friend Blanca – we ran an easy 13.1 and figured that would do.

Jimbo WIlbur and Sarah

Beer and cheeseburgers wrapped up the day nicely at Carolina Beach State Park.

24 Hour Run for Cancer

Team Awesome
Team Awesome 2012.

Remember this race from last year? 2011 race report The 12 members of Team Awesome set a course record of  802.5  miles. Obviously, the mission this year was to beat it.

But let’s go back a few days. On the Monday evening  before the race, I was trying to "forge” a new trail in my back yard. With a lot of switchbacks, and some back tracking (and a little trespassing onto a neighboring unoccupied/undeveloped property) – I can get a mile, cool eh?. Anyway, a little earlier in the day, I had had a fantastic lunch time run at Umstead, and like an idiot, I posted on Facebook how awesome that run was. DOH! Talk about tempting Murphy. Well, Murphy did duly arrive and while bushwhacking later in the day, I managed to trip over something, and re-injuring my Achilles tendon again. Crap. In an effort to heal in time for the race, I did not run another step until I toed the line in Hampton VA on Saturday morning.

I always want to shoot for 100 miles in these 24 hour races, but set a relatively doable goal of 75 miles – 100 miles being the “WTF? LOL goal”. As soon as I started, I pretty much knew that my Achilles wasn’t going to let that happen, and the goal was realigned to beat last year’s total of 57.25 miles.

I also wanted to continue my experiments with “The Method of Doom”, in other words, even slow steady splits, and see how long I could maintain it. I settled on a time of 52 minutes for the 3.75 mile loop. If I get in early, instead of “banking” the time, I would sit down and rest and take care of any issues or eat/drink etc. This worked perfectly for 9 laps, and on lap 10, my pace backed off, likely due to the heat of the day. Hindsight being 20/20, I would perhaps slowed my pace earlier – or even started off with say 55 minutes per lap. Still lessons were learned. Throughout the day, the Achilles gave me grief – it didn’t get worse, but was ever present. After 10 laps – I would just plod through a loop, plenty of walking, and then rest up, run another lap.

During the night it rained – a cold rain, and to be perfectly frank, I don’t like being cold and wet – by that time, I had 56.25 miles, I was sore, and decided to call it a day, with a plan to run a mile in the morning in order to get my total to at least equal last years total. FAIL. The cold rain continued in to the morning, ad I really had no inkling to do even just one more mile – I was sore and tired.

Thankfully though, Tom did do one mile. We beat our previous record my just 3/4 mile. So, YEAH! A win and a course record for Team Awesome.

There was a whole ton of Awesomeness for Team Awesome. Kati, Ladonna and Mike – first time Ultras with 52.5, 63.75 and 75 miles respectively (I think 26.2 was the furthest they had ever run). How about Frank? – returning from hip surgery a few months ago, and hasn’t ran more than 11 miles since – well Frank ran 50! Cheryl – first place woman with 100 miles. Awesome. Alanna, recovering from 100 miles at Umstead ran 52.5.  My friend, mentor, part time therapist and unpaid coach Shannon, despite getting pretty sick early, still put up 67.5 miles. Tom did one more mile than his total last year – 83.5. John, Matt and Tony all put in good shifts with 67.5, 75, and 60 miles.

So much fun, good to catch up with friends and make new ones!



  1. AWESOME!! It really was so much fun . . . well . . . the rain not so much! But a wonderful time! I just LOVE the team competition at a timed race!

    Great reports! You always make everyone else's day better! Thanks Jimbo!!

  2. I really love the sound of timed events. Beating my previous best distance seems like a fun goal.

    love your race reports! awesome job!

  3. I had a blast Jim! I wish I'd put in a few more miles, but it was farther than I've ever been. It was good to see you again Jim!

  4. I just discovered your blog (by pressing that "next blog" button). I look forward to reading more!

  5. I read your blog often, it comes up once a week or more when Im 'next blog' ing. Today I found something interesting, you have the same photo up of the TEAM AWESOME that someone else has up today. How cool is that?
    Happy running to you.