Getting Loopy at the Big Bear 12 Hour

This was my fourth year at the Big Bear Lake 12 Hour Race.
Here is my data from the previous years:

I went back to the website and looked at my historical data. It’s nice, with the same loop course, you know nothing has changed besides your own performance.

2008 6 Loops 1.32 1.41 1.47 1.57 1.56 2.08
2009 6 Loops 1.28 1.39 1.47 1.51 1.53 1.57
2010 7 Loops 1.26 1.35 1.44 1.48 1.51 2.02 2.00
2011 8 Loops 1.17 1.26 1.33 1.37 1.43 1.41 1.07 for 3.8 miles (Garmin died here)

2011 loops are my unofficial splits from my Garmin, but with this raw data I am very pleased with my results.
I believe my race time was around 12.40 or 12.50 for the full 8 loops, of 52 miles.

This puts me at running my 50 miles at just about 12 hours-a BIG GOAL of mine realized. I now know I CAN finish a 50 mile race in 12 hours.

Loop breakdowns:

Loop One and Two: fairly uneventful. Had to kind of patiently wait through miles 1 and 2 and bound past some folks going too slow and talking too much on the downhill. Ran with Kenny, fellow AS worker from Highlands Sky, who is training for Grindstone. Then Kenny took off and I didn’t see him again until Loop 7.

Loop Three-my hamstrings were feeling awful here. Tight tight tight. Maybe I should not have done hill repeats on Wednesday…I felt I was going so slow on this loop, so when I ended the loop and saw it was 1.33, I was pleasantly surprised.

Loop Four-The RATTLESNAKE Loop! It was warming up on this loop. I picked up my music, and was running with my headphones in one ear only. That way, I could hear other runners approaching, and…snakes rattling!!

I was around 3.5 miles,on a nice runnable downhill section through these big prehistoric ferns, when I heard-and saw-these rattling tail on the trail.

I don’t know how I went from running downhill to reversing direction and nearly falling on my back, at the same time never taking my eyes off this huge snake moving off the trail.

A lady runner caught up to me and I had to point out the snake to her, so I had a witness! It was amazing. It was fat around the middle, and it was at least three feet long. It moved off the trail, into the ferns, and we beat feet down the trail!

Of course, now I am paranoid and seeing snakes everywhere. The rocks, which I have hopped right through before, I am being careful to keep eyes on the trail.

Loop 5-it’s getting warm out. There is plenty of water at both the unmanned AS and the manned AS in the pine trees, so I pour the rest of my water bottle over my head as I approach the AS.

Loop Six-I make the mistake of calling this loop in my head “the place holder loop” because I have to run this loop just to get to Loops Seven and then Victory Loop Eight. This makes the loop seem long.

Loop Seven-I start Loop Seven with Heather, the Race Director, telling me second place female-Sandy Yoccum-is only five minutes in front of me, and there is prize money for second place!
But I encounter Kenny just down the trail, and he decides to run with me. He’s hurting a bit, and we chat just to get some miles in down the trail. Kenny tells me to go on around mile 2.5, and I put my music back in my ear and get on down the trail. Dave K, who is volunteering at the Pine Tree AS, tells me Sandy has ten minutes on me, and I kind of relax. I don’t think I can catch her, but being second was not my goal for this race. My goal was to complete eight loops, and to run 50 miles in 12 hours.

Loop Eight-I start Victory Loop Eight at 6.05pm. I am trying to keep an eye on Garmin, who is threatening to blink out soon.

There is no one else on this loop. The relay runners must have called it an early evening and stopped. I have the music low, and am enjoying the sights. This is a very enjoyable loop (I’ve now run this loop 27 times total!!!). Garmin gives up the ghost at 1.07 time, 3.8 miles. But extrapolating my finish time, of 52 miles in around 12 hours, 40 or 50 minutes, I did run 50 miles in around 12 hours!!

I was tired after. I forgot that a 50 (or 52 miler) can hurt. And be tiring. But despite being salt-encrusted, dirty, smelly, sun burnt, it was a great trail run!

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