Niagara Ultra 50k


Only a couple weeks after the self-transcendence race, I was headed for Niagara-on-the-Lake to run the Niagara Ultra.  I stayed over night at Carolyn's place and had a chance to catch up with her, after not seeing each other since our yoga training in India.  It was nice to have a beer and some munchies and just relax all night before my second stab at a running a 50k race.  

The morning of the race was cool and overcast with a bit of a drizzle.  I would have preferred cool and dry but it has been awhile since I haven't had nearly perfect weather for a race so I was able to deal with it.  

I was pleased with the nice sweatshirt we received with our entry, instead of the regular t-shirt at most races.  We also got tickets for food and beer after the run.  The thought of this gave me something to look forward to while we were out on the course.  

I decided to start off nice and easy and see how things went.  I ended up running almost 15k with Laurie McGrath, who has represented Canada at the 100k World Championships.   It was great getting to know her a little bit and to hear come stories about herself and her dad, ultra-legend Ron Gehl.  

As the drizzle turned into a light rain, I decided to increase my pace a little since I was feeling good and was warmed up.  The rain continued to get heavier as I approached the Falls at the halfway turn-around point.  I continued on with a bit more speed and tried not to let the rain bother me.  

Getting closer to the end of the race, I figured out that if I could only maintain my pace, I'd be able to not only beat the 4:06' time I posted in Canberra, but break the 4 hour mark!  I charged on!  By now, completely soaked, not even attempting to avoid the puddles, I fought through that mental wall of discomfort and negotiation, powering through the last mile to finish in just over 3:58' and 5th place overall.  I couldn't have been happier to have finished and get into some warm and dry clothes.

The walk to the change rooms was quite slow, but I felt great after getting rid of my soaked gear.  The beer went down all too easy and I chowed down on the post race pizza and other goodies while they presented the awards.   

I called up Carolyn, who was working that morning at the Great Wolf Lodge.  She invited me into the spa at the Lodge before heading home.  She didn't have time between clients to give me a post race massage, but I was able to use the spa's luxury private shower to clean up.  

I felt a lot better after this race, knowing that my problems in Canberra near the end, were all a matter of pacing, and that I certainly could run a fast 50k.  Soon I will start increasing my training in order to get ready for all the fall marathons I have planned to run.   

© Brian Groot 2016