Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mohican update

A few notes from Saturday afternoon/evening:

- Reported weather at the start was wet, warm, and humid. Andrea and I drove down for the afternoon. Temps rose into the 80s with little cloud cover throughout the afternoon. Driving into town along Rt 3, the hot, open road was Badwater-esque with heat beating down on the shadeless pavement.

- First stop, Grist Mill (mile 37) at 2:30 PM. I was surprised by the number of runners still at this juncture but happy to see Courtney and Silent Bob. I suggested a dip in the creek near the mill to lower body temperature. While they had been at it for some 9-plus hours at this point, I had been at Mo' all of five minutes. It was warm enough for me to happily get in the creek, too.

- 50-mile runners endured the brunt of the heat with their final 13 miles on open roads. The uphill road stretch along Rt 3 with the sun beating down, in my view, was nothing like the trails of Mohican State Park. We drove past most of the finishers 10-12 hour range and many were near heat casualty. Men's winner 8:27 with women's winner two minutes behind. My quick glance at the finisher sheet showed about 10 runners under 10 hours in the fifty-mile.

- News from the runners was that there were a multiple turns poorly marked or ground marking washed away by the overnight storm. I heard second-hand reports of the 100 mile leaders all off course at one point or another, particularly on the purple loop.

- At the Fire Tower (mile 60) at 3:30 PM, I was surprized that none had come through yet. Bradley Mongold, Jay Smithberger (2008 winner), and Mark Tanaka all came through within a minute of each other. The heat was apparent as they were off the 2008 pace by over an hour, arriving at 3:55 PM. Fourth place Wyatt Hornsby was about 25 minutes back at 4:20 PM.

- We hiked the purple loop and although it was wet, the mud was not bad. I heard reports that the Green and Red loops were very muddy and slow.

- At the Covered Bridge (M63), the four top women were within minutes of each other: Ellen (last name unknown), Terri Lemke, Jenny Chow, and Michelle Bischel.

- At Grist Mill (M75), we had heard that Smithberger and Mongold both dropped. Tanaka was first at 7:05 PM, followed by Matt Arrow and Wyatt Hornby about 30 minutes behind. Wyatt took all of 1 minute here and looked in super shape.

- Tanaka was first thru Bridal Staging (M83). We didn't stick around to see how far back the other two were.

- Back at Grist Mill (M75), the top three women were all in the aid station at the same time. They departed in this order: Ellen (last name unknown), Terri Lemke, Jenny Chow.

We left for home around 10 PM. I wish I were around to see more of the race and particularly the mid and back-of-pack runners. Witnessing 100-mile finishers, particularly the final ones prior to 30-hour cutoff, is quite a sight to see.

The only other info I heard is Hornsby won in 19:5x. Congrats, Wyatt!

Looking forward to hearing more about the results. I wonder how many days it will take this year to post.