Wednesday, October 13, 2010

FAQ's about Zac's Crazy Race

So, I've been talking about this on facebook and "real life" for awhile now, but for those of you who are missing out on those 2 facets of my dialogue, I'm putting this here too. I'd hate for anyone to feel left out. :)

On Friday Zac is running the Pony Express 50 Mile Race. (it is also a 100 mile race - Zac is "only" running the 50). He's been training insanely for a long time now, waking up at 4 am on Sat mornings to get his 30 mile runs in before our day gets going. Here are some of the most common FAQ's I've been getting as I tell people about this insanity (and you must know, I can't talk about it without just a little tinge of spousal pride creeping into my voice . . . even when I complain and think he's nuts, I'm still so impressed with him. Just to be clear.)

(view of a section of the course - looks exciting, huh?) ;)
1. 50 miles by himself?? not a team??

No, indeed. This is not a relay race. Zac likes to torture himself all on his own terms. (And I think he wants the glory all to himself at the finish - haha, jk)

2. Where is this race??

The race follows the Pony Express Trail starting out in the middle of nothing (Faust UT to be exact) and then following dirt and gravel roads for 50 miles farther into nothing, ending at Fish Springs UT.

3. People really do this??

Yes, apparently there are 19 people registered for the 50 miler, and then an additional 20 or so running the full 100 mile race. Not content to be "just" a marathon runner, Zac is making his foray into Endurance Running, which I guess is its own crazy beast reserved for the few truly crazy runners.

4. How long will it take him to finish?

At first I thought Zac said he was hoping to finish in under 12 hrs. The winner last yr finished in 9 hrs 30 min (or thereabouts). Zac is now shooting for somewhere between 8-9 hrs . . . or 10 or 11, or whatever it takes, I guess. There is so much that can happen and go wrong in a race where one is running 50 stinkin' miles, so it is a little hard to predict a time the first time, I guess.

5. And you're going to watch?

yes, well. This race doesn't provide any aid stations, so each runner is required to provide their own support crew. That's me. So I get to drive along for 12 -whatever hours giving Zac his water, gatorade, powerbars, salt tablets, vaseline, and whatever else he might require along the way. He's made a plan for me so I know approximately when he'll be needing what, but I'm still nervous. I don't want some other hard core runners getting mad at me for being in the wrong place, in their way, getting dust in their face, or something. I don't even know. Zac assures me this is all supposed to be very fun and bonding for everyone involved. But I'm not really feeling it. hahaha.

My biggest hope is just that Zac does as well as he hopes and doesn't get injured or collapse or something. That is always my prayer when he's out on crazy long runs (and mountain trail runs). These things just make me nervous. I've seen some people in pretty bad shape crossing some marathon finish lines, and sometimes even with the best preparation, unforeseen things can happen that can make you be one of those unfortunate people. So I'm always anxious for his safety and well-being (I have no hope for his sanity - ha! jk).

(I'll be driving along like this)

6. What are you doing with your kids?
Abigail and Isaac get to come with me and cheer him along. They can also get out and run alongside for some short stretches or even bring a bike and ride along. Mostly, we'll be playing card games, eating snacks and reading books. Not a bad way to spend the day, I suppose.
The little kids have been divied out among friends and family who will be taking shifts watching them from 6 am til approx 8 pm (including travel time). Hallelujah for people who love us and are willing to help us out!!
7. What's out there?
I've been told to look for wild horses, antelope, and maybe rattlesnakes. Other than that, there is nothing. And I do mean NOTHING. No cell phone coverage. No gas stations. No houses. No bathrooms (ONE portapotty stop for the entire 50 mile route). Seriously.
8. WHY is he doing this?
well, who knows if there will ever be an adequate answer to that. But I watch him plan out his run, with the food, and strategy for making it, pace for mileage or whatever, and he's setting out all his gear and making all his lists and he's been so excited he can barely sleep all this week, so all I know is that he loves it. What more of an answer can anyone give??
So, wish us luck. Of course we will be posting results and pics and all of that good stuff this weekend!!

(photos taken from the official race website linked above. And, disclaimer, some of my facts as far as times and such may not be 100% accurate but I'm too lazy to fact-check right now. Zac will correct my mistakes later, I'm sure. No worries) :)


Jennifer said...

Good luck to Zac, you and the kids. I hope it's a great adventure for all of you.

bonitinha said...

When I saw the title of your post I thought "Is it time for the Wahsatch Steeplechase again already?" Who knew there was something out there that's even more... well, out there! I'm so impressed that Zac would decide to set this amazing goal and I hope it all goes really well!

Ellie said...

Have you read Born To Run? It will make you want to do the race, too. And it will make you want to run barefoot, which is convenient since you just posted something about your shoes wearing out. :-)

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