Monday, April 20, 2009

DRB 50K is Rocket Fuel powered!

Yesterday was the 13th running of the DRB50K trail race in Milton, Ma. This trail race is one of the gnarliest, rooty and rocky trail I have run. It is a mini Massanutten. The climbs are relentless and because of the rocks, running fast downhill is a challenge. The origin of DRB is that is was run that first year as an obvious alternative to the Boston Marathon. The Don't Run Boston 50K is a really good run that has become a reunion of friends.

In this 13th running were myself and my wife, Deb, both Wasatch Speedgoats. I have run 12 of them, having lived in NM for one of the running. No one has run as many. I also "was" the course record holder with a 5:38 time run back in 2000, this year two younger and faster bucks learned the course and blew away the CR by 22 minutes, running 5:16! It was a great day to run with temps in the upper 40's and full sunshine with a nice breeze on the hilltops to cool you off after a long climb.

I ran the race, finishing 5th overall in 6:16, only 38 minutes slower than my old CR and at 57 years old, without a doubt the first senior finisher. The next oldest guy up front was one of the CR breakers at 49 years old. Deb at 54 was the only woman finisher, so therefore was the first woman finisher. Both of us ran times much faster than we had been averaging over the years, so it was a great day!

Now about my race....being a true Goat, I wore my LaSportiva Fireblades and other than a small stone bruise on my forefoot, these shoes performed magically. Many places you run straight down what some would call a cliff face and these shoes stuck like glue, never did I worry about slipping. I had absolutely no blisters and feet looked great after the finish.

I also wore my Nathan Pack, the Elite2V Plus 2 bottle waist pack, which worked great. I liked and wore Nathan packs before I was ever on the Speedgoat team, so need to gloat over the product here. Without a doubt, Nathan makes the best packs for running, as is evident with the amount of Nathan packs at the race.

But what I really want to scream about is one particular product that made my day. Let me first explain that I am prone to stomach issues and absolutely cannot eat anything solid, I need liquid fuels and just the right amount. Too many calories? I'm sick....too sweet? I'm sick. I am known as Steve the barfer because I am always getting sick during and after my ultras. It has become par for the course with me and I expect it, it's just a matter of when, not if I get sick.
Yesterday was magical and I owe it all to First Endurance Liquid Shot. I very skeptically decided to give it a try and was expecting to be tossing the gel flask into the woods after the first sip.

After an easy start, following my HR and keeping it under 80% of max, I started at mile 9 to push and try to move away from those behind me and gain on those ahead of me. This always causes stomach issues, but I had to try....this was, after all a race and i was the course record holder. After coming into the first aid station at mile 13, we do a small 3 mile, but tough loop, climb straight up for 1.5 miles and then run back down on some of those tough and rocky trails.

On this loop, I decided to drop my pack and just hand carry one of my Nathan bottles. I also grabbed the 1st Endurance liquid shot in the other hand and put a regular gel in my pocket because I expected that the shot would be too sweet and I'd need some calories. As I walked out of the aid station, I opened the flask and took a sip. Hmmmm, that's pretty good! Within 5 minutes I was cranking up the hill and caught a runner at the top, then blasted down the other side, running this section (3 miles) in 36 minutes, catching 2 other runners in the aid station. The aid station volunteer said to me "You're back already? That was fast!" I mentioned to him it must be this rocket fuel I was using. From that point on, all I could think of was the Rocket Fuel! Every hour, I pulled out the flask and took a good sip and within minutes felt like I was buzzing, flying along. I want to mention that there is no caffeine in this, so it wasn't that.

To wrap this up I just want to say that this is "the" best I have ever felt during an ultra race. I never bonked, never felt tired, never cramped and most importantly never had the slightest nausea at all. I ran this race like I ran it the CR year in 2000, running just about all the hills, never even thinking of wanting to walk. I wanted to catch more runners and almost did! The difference between 2000 and 2009 is then I barfed after I finished and was walking in a cloud during, just on the verge of bonking. This year I felt energized all day long....and never got sick.

First Endurance, thanks for a great product, I feel like I have gotten a lease on life in my Ultrarunning. A new start...

Also in play here is I have done nothing but low HR training in the past 6 weeks, which I wrote about in my previous post. I go out to run and keep my HR under 135 and all I can say is it's working...

Here are the results from yesterday:

Unofficial Race Results

Times truncated to the minute

1. tie Gary Harrington, NH 5:16 *

1. tie Josh Katzman, ?? 5:16 *

3. tie Howie Breinan, CT 6:08

3. tie Chris Taft, MA 6:08

5. Steve Pero, NH 6:16

6. tie Steve Faluotico, ?? 6:40

6. tie Jeff List, MA 6:40

8. tie Bob Crowley, MA 6:44

8. tie Chris Haley, MA 6:44

8. tie Chris Shanley, MA 6:44

11. Paul Lanham, MA 6:57

12. Chris Martin, MA 6:57

13. Deb Pero, NH (F) 7:13

14. Bogie D, MA 7:13

15. Clint Morse, CT 7:37

16. Norm Sheppard, MA 8:48

17. tie Damon Lease, VT 8:48

17. tie Kevin Zelechoski, ?? 8:48

(24 starters)

*old course record: Steve Pero, 5:38, 2000

'til next time!
Steve Pero


Trail Pixie said...

Looks you all had a lot of fun out there! I can't believe the fast front performances by Gary H and Josh K! Holy rock heap! I am excited about the First Endurance products, too. I will explore that as I can get queazy on my "long" runs, too. I wish I was up to the mileage for DRB this year; it would have been fun to keep Damon and Kevin company! Congrats to all finishers!—Cheers and see you in the woods!

Dan said...

Great run Steve! Awesome time for such a difficult course. I've finish reading "Training for Endurance" and started "Slow Burn" Looking forward to trying the Low HR training method as prep for my first 50K and 50M this fall.

Sophie Speidel said...


I love that stuff! I never had the chance to use it at BRR, alas, as I packed it for the Do Loop and never got that far! But I agree, it's amazing and I am so glad you have found a new lease on your ultra life!!!


Run Home Pam said...

No nausea?? None???

I think I'm going to have to try this, because so far absolutely nothing has worked and I am getting a bit desperate.....

I wish I had run this. Found out about it too late. Alas.

ultrastevep said...

This stuff is fantastic. Deb never thought I would like it, so I thought I wouldn't either. Tastes great, less filling and powers your mind and body!
Now we'll have to see how it works on a hot day ;-)

RunSueRun said...

Steve 'n Deb, congrats on your DRB runs & Deb's win! One of my all-time favorite events, both for the gnarly course and the low-key atmosphere. (I met both of you at DRB, ya know!)

Does this really mean no more BAAAAFF'ing??

(My blog is back up, btw.)

I am a runner. "We are what we repeatedly do" said...

Fantastic Steve & Deb. Can't wait for MMT!