Run Like Monkey

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2010 Surf the Murph 50k Race Report

I had an especially bizarre (even for me) build up to the Surf the Murph event.  My training was almost non-existent, family schedule had me drop from the 50 mile to the 50k, and I really didn’t fully commit to the race until about 2 days before.  But man was it a great time!  I’m really glad I went.


Here is my very first video race report, if you don’t feel like reading:


I had many other priorities during late Summer and Fall, mainly family, and that was just fine.  My motivation to get up at 4 or 5 am for long runs was low, so I just skipped them.  I ran a total of 97 miles in September, with nothing longer than 10 miles.  I ran a 15-miler one week before the race (up Mont Royal in Montreal), and that was the longest I had run since early July.


My original plan was to tackle the 50 mile.  That started to seem less and less realistic, and then family plans made it easier to drop down to the 50k.  My buddy Tim was planning to run, and Neil was thinking on it.  I was openly a wild card, telling them I might not decide until the night before.  That was almost true – I think I finally confirmed to Neil and Tim on Thursday.  I didn’t really mentally commit until I (rather quickly) through a running/drop bag together Friday morning.  I was finally in!  I have never approached an event of any distance this casually.

The Run

Just about everything about this event is just what I love about trail running and ultras.  I met up with Tim as soon as I walked up, and then quickly bumped into Zach and Helen in the cabin.  I chatted with Bruce from work who was tackling his first ultra at 50 miles.  I caught up with Ryan and Carl just before the race and we commited to the “Saturday finish” as a goal!.  Fun to see familiar faces in a small crowd.  Tim, Neil, and I all got prepped together and goofed off before the ever-so-informal start.

The weather was absolutely spectacular from the beginning.  The trail was beautiful and in fantastic shape.  There were a few mud puddles, but literally only a few and it was very runnable.  Just enough challenging hills, some single track, and some unique tall-grass sections made it a very memorable course.

We three ended up sticking together for about 6.5 hours and had a great time goofing around and chatting.  It brought back fond memories of Zumbro for me, where a huge part of my enjoyment was having buddies to hang with while we ran my (slow) pace.  It seemed like we talked almost constantly for about the first 4 hours.  We were shouting, laughing, screwing around, etc. and just having a great day out there.

The first lap went really well for me, but I was starting to feel it as we headed out for the second lap.  I held on for awhile and kept up with Neil and Tim but it got harder and harder for me as it went on.  They were willing to hang back, but I cut them loose.  By the high 20s in miles I was doing plenty of walking, but keeping it to just the inclines and running anything flat or downhill.  I probably walked only a little bit more after we split up, but it was nice to just work my own pace.

By the final miles I was really feeling it – almost like late stages of Zumbro.  Ouch!  I think I need to decide if I really want to do these or not, and actually do a bit of training if I do.

All in all, I think I survived this race extremely well given my training coming into it.  I had a total blast hanging with Tim and Neil.  What a great way to close out the non-ice running season!

Final Stats

Time:  6:51
Total mileage: 33.6


Vespa, S! caps, quinoa, peppermints, carrots, potatoes with salt, grapes, chicken noodle soup, water

Estimate total was about 500 calories consumed

This was my first experiment with an eating plan and Vespa before a race, and I will be posting separately on my thoughts on that approach.

This Race Was Made Possible By

Running in the dark with no headlamp

Santiago the Sheperd Boy

HEED in Tim’s water bottle (twice)

MacGyvering the mud puddles


Peppermint candies

Running into (literally) tall-grass trail markers

Are your shoes wet?

Anachronistic Ratt songs in Hot Tub Time Machine

Nikki Sixx speaking to Congress

Q:  Hey!  How’s your race going??!!  A:  Horrible.

Not MacGyverying the mud puddles

Synchronized pee breaks

Forrest Gump leading a pack into the dark

Gerbiling the last arctic snow monkey, just because you can

“Technically” an ultra (with air quotes)

Q: Your ITB hurts?  Have you tried stretching? A: Only for about 3 weeks.

Being greeted by name as you enter the aid station

Q:  Where did you leave Scott?  A:  about a minute behind

Zen and the Art of Snowmobile Maintenance

I thought you were a dirtbag and a greasemonkey, turns out you’re just a dirtbag

The generous support of Neil’s family


4 Responses to “2010 Surf the Murph 50k Race Report”

  1. […] 2010 Surf the Murph 50k Race Report […]

  2. roughkat said

    Nice job. Sorry we didn’t get to bump into each other. Last Saturday was a great day for a trail run.

  3. Kel said

    Nice to see you out there and chat afterward. Beautiful day for a run in the woods!

  4. scott said

    @roughkat – yeah, bummer we couldn’t meet up. I was looking for you, but not sure I can recognize you from the Frozen Half. Looks like you had a nice finishing time – great work!

    @kel – indeed it was a great day to be out!

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