On Saturday I ran the Seaton Soaker 50K, which takes place along the Seaton Trail in Pickering. I hadn’t planned on racing this event, but given how close it was to home, I decided to use it as a long, supported training run in preparation for the Sulphur Springs 50 Miler in two weeks.
Organized by race director Colin Arnott, the race follows an out-and-back 25K route that includes some nice hills, blooming trilliums and a refreshing water crossing. Although it was quite hot, much of the race had tree cover, so the key was keeping cool in the more exposed sections.
Although I felt tired for the first half of the race, I ran the first 28K with Scott Myers, which helped keep me moving at a reasonable pace. (I will be pacing Scott at Wasatch 100M this Sept, so this was kind of a practice session.) Around the 28K mark, Scott stayed longer at an aid station so I decided to jog ahead and eat a CLIF SHOT until he caught back up. I didn’t see him for quite a while until I stopped to take a washroom break, but then he fell back again.
Shortly before the 36K mark, I saw current race leader Chris Giesler walking up a hill, so I pushed forward and passed him shortly after. At the 37.5K turnaround mark, I filled my water bottle and headed back, passing both Chris and Scott who were only a few metres behind me. At this point, I started to feel strong, so I kept to a fairly steady pace. As this was an out-and-back course, I also started to see lots of other runners going in the other direction, so it was great to hear words of encouragement as I passed them. While going down a hill, however, I caught my foot on a root and stumbled. Although I didn’t fall, my legs did seize up in cramps, just like happened at Pick Your Poison 50K two weeks ago. As I said to a runner going in the other direction who saw me trip, “That is how you lose a race.” I did my best to keep steady after that, but I had to monitor my calves and hamstrings from that point forward. Just before the final creek crossing about 3K from the finish, I had to walk due to cramps and was passed by Scott. I stopped in the creek and splashed cold water all over my legs and gave them a quick massage. This seemed to help and thankfully I was able to run the final 2.5K and finish 2nd.
During the race I did my best to stay hydrated, but I probably should have drunk more water. I did do a good job at keeping cool externally by pouring water on my head and body at the aid stations. I ate a CLIF SHOT every 30 mins, and took one or two CLIF SHOT BLOKS every 15 mins after the gels. My energy levels were great at the end, so I just need to figure out this annoying problem with the leg cramps.
My Salomon Sense Pros were great on the trails and they drained well after the water crossings. I also wore Salomon trail shorts, trail tee and visor.
Congrats to Scott for his win and Chris for a strong 3rd after struggling in the heat. Also congrats to women leaders Marylou Corino, Lori Salter and Kimbely Van Delst. It was also great to see April Boultbee finish 2nd in the 25K event after missing a year due to injury.
My next race is the Sulphur Springs 50 Miler on May 23.