Last Saturday I ran the Germantown 50k in Germantown, Ohio. Who knew it would turn out to be one of the hottest days of the summer. Fortunately the humidity wasn’t too bad. It was a tougher course than I expected. There were some very steep hills in the Twin Creek section of the course. By the time I reached those hills I was already toast so getting up those hills was a challenge. Several miles of the course were on pavement, both bike trail and roads. I don’t mind running on pavement, but the lack of shade made for some hot running. Much of the trail in Twin Creek was also in open grassy fields, so again no shade. My shoulders were lobster red by the time I reached the finish. Overall though despite the heat I liked the course, but I think I would like it much more in October or November.
I can’t really use the heat as an excuse though. The truth is I went out too fast right from the start. At the 16.1 mile aid station I was still on pace for a 5:25 finish. Unfortunately there was no keeping that pace. From 19.6 miles to the finish I was passed by at least a dozen runners. Oh well, live and learn. I think if I had taken a little slower pace at the start I would have had more gas going to the finish and could have beat 6 hours even in that heat.
I gather from post race discussions that a number of people had problems staying on the course. I ran for so long with no one in sight ahead that I guess I was being extra vigilant in looking for course markers. I did eventually miss one turn, but it was my own fault. The turn was well marked I just spaced out. I had just left the last aid station at 28.2 miles. I don’t normally fuel during a run with anything sugary, but I couldn’t help myself and I ate an Oreo cookie. I nearly choked on it and just managed to wash it down with some water. I had planned to take a handful of pretzels and head out. In all that effort washing down the cookie I forgot the pretzels. I was thinking about those pretzels and next thing I knew I was at the base of the dam. At first I didn’t know if I was off course or not, but fortunately I saw Matthew Conner up at the top of the dam, so not seeing any orange flags, I turned around and headed back up the hill and quickly returned to the trail. I guess I added maybe an eighth of a mile. Those last three miles were pretty slow going. At some point Brian from Carmel caught back up to me and we walked and talked until we were almost in sight of the finish. We then started jogging until we reached the finish.
Overall I’d say it was a nice challenging course and the volunteers were outstanding. Thanks to the Ohio River Roadrunners and especially race director Wesley Fenton and his army of volunteers for another fun event.