The annual URINEO (Ultra Runners in North East Ohio) FA commenced on Saturday December 6. My day did not start off auspiciously as I forgot to set my alarm clock! Luckily,my dog jumped on the bed at 330 am, and woke me up!
I arrived at Mill Creek Park and only had to grab my hydration vest,lamp, and “Hannibal Lechter” mask and get on the trail. I had an immediate gear “fail”. Using the facemask (which helps keep the air I inhale a bit warmer and cuts down on my wheezing) was causing my glasses to fog over. I didn’t have my contacts in because my eyes are barely secreting tears these days. If I over do the contacts, I tend to end up with ulcers on my corneas- not exactly what I to happen! So I pulled the face mask down, and resolved to try the contacts later in the day.
I ran into Bob Combs, Dave Peterman, and Dave(?) shortly. They were heading back to the Lily Pond to meet up with the 7am starters. I continued on my trek. It was good to see all the little landmarks at Mill Creek Park-it had been a year since I had an opportunity to run here!
The Monkey Trails! I entered the portion of the YUT-C course
known as the “Monkey Trails”. This is the hilly portion that you either love or hate. There was a new tryst this year.Mike Dobie’s brought up the idea of the Monkey Trail Marathon” subset of the FA-just run the Monkey Trail portion back and forth, over and over,very pointless. Of course we all thought it was a great idea! (Dobie’s then did NOT show for the event.) Jim Harris and the M brothers (Brian and Jeff Musick) were doing some laps as I approached the “ Love Log”. As you can see from pics if you are shorter, the easiest way to get over the Love Log is to lay down on it, and then roll off the other side. I got some poor pics as runners were just catching up to me here.
Shortly after the Monkey Trails, you arrive at the Lanterns Mill and Covered Bridge, usually considered the half-way point on this loop. You then cross the creek and start up the other side of the creek and then around Lake Glacier. Bruce McMurray caught up to me here, and we chatted all the way back to the Lily Pond.
This is where I met up with Chris and Nora, two new NEO Trail members and new trail runners! They went out with me on my second loop, and we had a good time chatting and running. They had just completed their longest race, the Fall Classic,1/2 Marathon, in Strongsville November 20, and now they were tackling some technical terrain! They did great, although Chris was a bit astonished at the Monkey Trail!
We kept running into other runners out there, as when you ran a loop, you then reversed direction. This gives you a chance to see other folks out there.
Chris and Nora made the mistake of getting in their car and starting the heater. That lured them away from starting another loop! They probably run at least a 1/2 marathon (they ran for an hour on trails before they found me)Loop 3 was uneventful. I did get the contacts in, and did keep remembering to use eye drops.
On my last stop at the vehicle, The M brothers, Slim, and Gombu were hanging out, waiting for me and Lloyd to finish. (Lloyd was finishing up 50 miles, not a 50K!!) I got some hot soup from them, turned down Brian’s offer of a beverage, and picked up the Zune for some company on the last loop. I was starting to get a bit tired. Most of the last two loops I had spent thinking of the MMT lottery. I have had this on my mind for quite some time. I vacillated back and forth on this quite a bit. This probably deserves a separate blog post of it’s own, so I will say I was still undecided on anything as I finished up.
It was just Lloyd’s car and mine left, and I did the usual hurried end of run procedure-rip off wet clothes, get dry tops on, get heater going, drink my Recoverite drink, and eat some food. Lloyd then finished up before I got out of the parking lot, so I chatted a bit with Lloyd.
Another great trail run at Mill Creek Park. I’m not sure of all who was running, and there were a few faces I knew but not sure of their names, so I will try and get that information.
We do this same Fat Ass in March, same course,called the Covered Bridge FA, so come join NEO Trail Club for a run!