Cremator 50 Mile Race Report
Being from Minnesota I feel that I started preparing for this race way early, going from Minnesota down to South Carolina for an endurance race in extreme heat is something that I took very seriously. Researching running and how to best keep the body cool became a daily event, I knew that I wanted to finish and finish well. I had a lot of my family coming down to watch me and help crew me through this adventure.
My fiancé and I flew down to South Carolina on Wednesday trying to acclimate to the heat of the low country. Luckily there is an amazing running store located just off of Hilton Head Island, Palmetto Running Company, and they have a group run on Wednesday nights. I wanted to take my run nice and easy because I had not tapered for this race because I was planning on training through this race to the Lean Horse 100 which will be my first 100 mile run. When we got to the store for the run my competitive nature got the best of me and I went out with a faster group and instead of just a nice easy 5 I went for a quick 8. For my first time running in the heat I thought it went very well even though I went way to fast. We headed back to my grand parents house and I tried to relax, not an easy task as it was my second fifty that I had ever done.
Packet pick up was on Friday night and it felt like a little kid in a candy store once we arrived. I got out and practically ran to get my packet, I met Tim ( the race director) and a few others but got out of there as fast as I could. I was starting to get really nervous about the whole event, my amazing grandparents drove me to the pick up and they asked if I wanted to go drive the course I was about to go run, I told them no way did I want to see what I was about to do especially if I was doing two loops of it. I wanted to actually get some sleep that night so I let the course be a surprise in the morning. We went out for Italian so that I could get noodles and I ordered plain noodles, no sauce, no butter, nothing just noodles, the restaurant was pretty blown away with the order but they did a good job. Once we got back I tried sleeping and managed to get a few hours under my belt but was pretty anxious.
Wake up was early and to be honest it couldn’t come early enough, I was pumped for the run. I had laid everything out the night before so I was ready to get my shoes on and head out. We loaded the car and headed to Port Royal for the day, a long, hot day that is. We got to the race and there was an amazing vibe in the air with everyone buzzing about the run. Just a fun little fact, only two people who started last year attempted it again this year. When we arrived there was a nice little fire going and weight ins started right away. I got there and got settled, trying to calm my nerves I talked to some of the other runners but mostly kept to myself. The start was a blast, Tim called everyone to the line and said ready, set….. there is a car coming, ha. GO! We took off and I tried to calm my pace a bit so that I could make it to the end. I latched on to a group of runners that seemed to be at a great pace for my goal which was sub nine pace. After a little bit I had to let them go because they had picked up pace a little and the heat was starting to come out and play, I ran most of the first 12.5 alone. Towards the end of that first stretch I made a friend and we ran for a bit together until he wanted to pick up pace a little more than I could as well. Support along the course was great, people were cheering and any support crew in the area would offer S-Caps or Gatorade. For the most part I just loved seeing my family throughout the course, they made it such a great experience for me really. I couldn’t believe how much easier it is to push when you have loved ones surrounding you. On my way back I did a solid pace until the bridge, the bridge was the only large hill on the course. I made it to the turn around and weighed in successfully, I needed some one to pace me up the hill the second time and my sister was ready to make it happen. My fiancé was going to be my savior on the way back up the hill but my sister was there to put in some grinding miles. We got up the hill and back on to the hot road, I loved the smells of the low country and that was one thing that kept me going.
In order to finish this run I needed to have myself stay in the moment, realize where I was and how great it was to be there. The whole reason that this race report has taken so long to come out is that I felt like I needed to re center myself after this run and make it a much more personal report.
The last loop, 25 miles, was getting to be a scorcher. Everything about the run made it hot, the name continued to flash in my head and the black pavement wasn’t helping at all. The best thing was to dump water over my head so that I could cool my core and try to keep my head. I absolutely love every aspect of running in South Carolina and that includes the heat so I tried my best to just love it all and keep running. Running that last loop was not only tough but it was a blast to be honest, it was a little rough to have to finish and end my long run in the low country.
I ended up passing a women on my last lap, having no clue what place I was actually in and I made that my goal to not let her pass me again. I worked as hard as I could to hold that lead on her. Obviously my legs were burning up after the 40 miles but I had that goal and I had to see it through to the finish. I some how managed to push through my pain and I hurled myself to the finish line. Once I hit the line Tim was there to hand me my finisher medal and take a few pictures, we did all that and than he said “Congrats Max, You finished 5th” and he handed me a top five finisher shirt. I was in shock to be honest, I never thought that I would ever finish in the top 5 of a race this distance and I surprised myself.
That finish certainly lit a fire in my stomach and I am working towards more top finishes, next will be the North Face Endurance run in Madison, WI.
Thank you to Skora running for making such an amazing shoe that I felt fresh my entire run.