Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Doug Barber Bad Road 65K

Just a quick post while I have some time.  Doug Barber (250+ marathons or ultras) invited a few friends on Saturday, October 22, to run 65K and help celebrate his 65th birthday.  Henri Ragetlie and I manned the S/F aid station.  We had everything!  Tents (although we didn't put them up), music, his and hers washrooms, cold weather, wine and an innate ability to guess exactly what the runners wanted, then give it to them, even if they kept telling us they didn't want any damn dark chocolate!  The boiled potatoes, fresh out of my garden, went over well, especially with the runners that had never experienced a longish ultra (more than 50K) and were surprised to see cold, salted boiled potatoes at the AS.

It was cold!  The forecast promised (I know, but I grew up near Disney Land) sun and cloud, with a high of 10.  For almost the entire day, it was overcast, windy and the temperature struggled to reach 7 degrees.  I think my rib about Owen Sound being close to the north pole did not go unnoticed.  Anyway, Henri and I kept relatively warm, using Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, tools that should be handled with care and make sure to read the directions...

About 13 runners ran various distances.  I "paced" Lee Anne for a 12K out and back loop.  The quotes are because I had trouble keeping up with Lee Anne!  She ran 40K the day before and I could not keep up to her from (her) 36K to 48K.  Lee Anne went on to complete 60K before calling it a day.  Although not many of the 13 intended to complete the 65K, Doug Barber and Ron Gehl pulled through and crossed the finish line.  Some tactics were in evidence during the day, such as when Ron's support (his wife Barb) went for a hike just as Ron was finishing his fourth loop (48K).  Ron had intended to call it a day, but without Barb (she took the keys to the van), Ron had to keep going.  He grumbled something about Barb "doing this on purpose", which was unfair, although perfectly true!  Ron mentioned that he had run 5 long races (mainly ultras) in the last 15 days and was beat.

Doug ran an smart, steady race and looked fresh right until the end.  He had an amazing time, which I don't know as they wouldn't let me near the timing clipboard after the second bottle of wine.

We capped the day by having a fine meal and awards at Tomato Joe, in Owen Sound.

The race was held on the Tom Thompson Trail near Owen Sound and would make a lovely venue for a 24K, 50K and 100K race.  Doug, are you reading this hint?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post Pierre. I was really disappointed that I couldn’t be there. I really happy to hear that everyone had a great day! I particularly like yours and Henri’s keep warm strategy. I have always wondered what it would be like from the sidelines and you make it very inviting.