Well, I made it 5 days without running or blogging.
I did not plan to run the Surf the Murph, but got to the start (after several wrong turns; there was a caravan of cars going from parking lot to parking lot, looking for the start) and found myself writing out a check. The race being put on by Les Martisko, whose been ultrarunning since the term was coined, there were a lot of people there that are legends but don't do a lot of local races. We started before sunrise, so there were a number of people new to these things who hadn't brought headlamps - the race really should start an hour later.
The course is spectacular. This is where I would run every day, if it weren't too far from home. I think I prefer it to Afton; there was a lot of discussion about whether this or Afton is tougher and the consensus was that it's even, with Murphy-Hanrehan having fewer long hills, but unrelenting short steep hills. Those who know the park say it's unrunnable in the summer because of the flies, but it's great in the autumn, with the biggest obstacle being loose rocks covered by leaves.
From the start, I could tell my knee hadn't recovered, but it seemed solid enough to finish - until it didn't. I had serious problems with bonking about 18-19 miles, didn't have anything on me and struggled to the aid station where I ate everything in sight for 5 minutes.
On my third lap (the 50K is four laps, I didn't finish), Julie Berg passed me, saying, "You're back is covered in dirt. Did you fall again?!" Yes, indeed I did. Best part: my water bottle flew out of my hand and landed in a pile of horse manure, spout down. I ended up walking the end of the lap with Mitch Rossman, who feels guilty for introducing me to the place where I broke my hand.
After the race, I got to spend time with a bunch of guys I don't get to see often enough. Pete Anderson reminded me of an incident I forgot to add to my description of the Superior 100 - I petted a friendly lap dog, who bit me on my broken finger; it was one of those things where you laugh or cry and I laughed.
That night was the UMTR awardsfest. Good times. My favorite parts were the unscripted ones, like the revelation that, while I tend to have the more spectacular falls, Helen tends to bleed more. There was a slide show that had a photo of me falling in a river, me covered in dirt after a fall, me showing a splinted finger... but, mostly, it showed that every woman who has a good race has to get her picture taken with Julie Berg.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, commented on how well I clean up. I do tend to be scruffy, but I don't think it was THAT big of a deal. And a lot of people told me I did a good job in announcing awards for the Fab5 series. But how hard is it to tell people you like that they did well?
I hope someone's blog will have a pic of the Larry Pederson bust made by Wynn. I have a feeling it will make many appearances at races over the years.
Back to resting now. I've got a minor knee sprain and nothing left on the calendar.
Aid Station: Eugene Curnow
3 days ago