Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A FANS-tastic weekend

Saturday, June 6, 2009 (6:30 AM)Legends 5K:
Mary and I went to Deephaven to take in the Legends 5K on Saturday morning. We got there around 6:30AM, and there was enough time to take a warmup jog. Didn't recognize any people that I knew, but visited with a runner named Jim before the race. As we were lining up, I saw Rob on his bike. He had come over to watch the race, biking to several points on the course.
The 10K and 5K run the same course up to 1.55K, where the 5K turns around. We got started, and there were 7 runners that shot out ahead of me right away. Got into a steady pace around 5:50/mi. A couple of the runners came back to me after a half mile, but there was one really fast guy that disappeared out of sight. Got to the turnaround, was in 4th place, and saw that only 1 guy ahead of me turned around.
I was in 2nd place?!? Rob showed up and hollered that I was reeling him in. I told him it sucks to run fast. This is why I don't run many 5K's.
Got to the final 400 meters and the leader (found out it was Paul Brown) continued on the Minnetonka trail. I followed him for 100 meters and finally realized that we were off course. I back-tracked and got onto the street. At that point, Mac (a 19 y.o. X-country runner from Valpo) caught me. I pushed real hard to the finish and crossed the finish line 3 seconds ahead of Mac. I explained the situation to the race director and told him that I would not have been able to catch Paul.
There was a pancake breakfast and Legends ceremony after the race. Left there with a 2nd place trophy and a time of 18:52 for a Garmin-measured 3.26 miles.
The fast guy ran a 31:40 10K - wow!
FANS 12/24 hour (noon):
After visiting with Jessica, Matt, Noah and Travis in Edina for a while that morning, it was time to move on. Mary was going to travel back home with Noah, and I was going to spend some time at FANS.
Got there about noon, and saw Adam on the course. It was raining, but not too hard yet. Didn't even change shoes or take off my jacket - just started running with Adam. We visited quite a bit and he was doing very well. His mood was great and he was running smoothly. Adam told me that John Storkamp was attempting the 12 hour record and that he was really going fast.
Next lap I ran with Dave, Rolf and Greg from WI. I got to know these guys at Lean Horse last year. Good to see them again.
After that lap, I went to my truck. On the way, I met Helen and visited a bit. I saw her running with Storkamp just earlier and asked how he was doing. She said he was starting to slow down a bit. but hey, this was now 5 hours into the run - of course he's going to slow up a bit. I got to the truck and put some running gear on. Plus, warmed up a bit. Soon I found out that getting rained on combined with the cool temps and wind would be pretty tough conditions.
Put on the water belt, and started running the course opposite direction. Met up with John and ran with him a bit. I told him I could stay out here a while, just tell me to get lost if you don't need anyone around. He said it was good.
We didn't talk much. John was so focused. He was already in pain. 7 hours to go. You really can't say anything. We ran. At times we stayed under 8:00 miles, but the going got real tough. We'd get to the lap counter table and people would cheer him on. Let's go do it again. Mid afternoon the rain came down harder. The wind blew stronger. Going across the bridge was the worst, with the wind coming from the east across Nokomis.
Paul, Helen and Alicia were crewing for John. They restocked him and kept pouring fuel into him. And then we'd run again. John's stomach got real tight after the crew area. His extreme effort was tying up his stomach. But he always came back fighting. I have never witnessed a person that can dig so deep within to push that hard.
That's John Storkamp.
I ran 6 1/2 laps with John. We had slowed down to 9:00+/mile pace now. Eric was now going to run with him (Later I found out that John ran over 80 miles).
I went back to my truck. I was shivering and soaked. Changed into some dry clothes and warmed up with the heater on high.
FANS 12/24 hour (7:30 PM):
It was time to get to Aid Station #2, where I was going to work until 2:00AM. Learned where everything was and what to do. Worked the shift with Amber, who is a past recipient of the FANS program - how cool is that? While at the aid station, got to know a lot of the runners. So many really great people.
And then there was Mike Henze. What can you say? This guy just keeps going and going and going. Absolutely incredible. We got a call at 11:25PM. Mike has just left the lap counter and is on his way to hit 100 miles.
The 100 mile sign is outside our tent. We need to write down and sign the official time. Take the Coleman lantern out and here he comes. Official time of 15:40:31 for 100 miles!
That alone would make an extremely fast 100 mile time, but this guy was just getting going - more than 8 hours to go.
Worked the aid station until 2:00AM and needed some sleep. Made a cozy spot in my truck and slept until 6:30 AM.
FANS 12/24 hour (7:00 AM):
This is when the place starts buzzing again. The final hour. Runners making their decision to run another long lap or start with the short laps. Logan from Edmonton came through at 7:10 AM and didn't know what to do. By looking at the leader board, it looked like he was in 5th place. He was asking questions about his placement and a bit confused about the long/short laps. I ordered him to start a long lap - I'll catch up and explain. The two guys ahead of him had hit the medical tent a while back.
Logan was in 3rd. I caught up to him, introduced myself, and explained the situation to him. He had plenty of time for a long lap. Short laps suck, and he'll get to do plenty of them yet. Logan was able to run yet. In fact we ran the whole way around the lake - he probably didn't realize that. It was slow, but probably his fastest lap in the last 6 hours. Nice guy - he had lots of stories to tell.
After we got back, I just hung by the lap area and cheered on runners in the last 20 minutes.
Absolutely amazing.
In the final 10 minutes, Fast Eddie finished off a long lap that was his 2,000th FANS mile in 20 years. I got tears in my eyes. He's 69 years old now and ran 99 miles.
Eddie inspires.
John Miles Olsen and his friends. 13 years old. Visited with him a bit at night. Great young man who is talented, polite and humble. Got the endurance gene from his mother Sue. She started him out a bit early - like before he was born.
John Miles inspires.
Mike Henze - what can you way. 147.2 miles in 24 hours. Game plan was perfect.
Mike Henze inspires.
So many other runners/stories at FANS, I can't do it any justice writing here.
All in all - a FANS-tastic weekend.


JojaJogger said...

Sounds like you had a great time at FANS. Great job on the 5K. I'm proud to have a brother that not only runs fast, but that will give credit to a guy who had a bit of misfortune and made a wrong turn.

Jessica said...

That sounds like a really neat experience! Super fast 5K!! That's great!