OK, so I'm a lazy blogger. But better late than never, especially with a race the caliber of the Sybil Ludington 50K. It was held on Saturday, April 21 on a single loop road course starting and finishing in Carmel, NY. The race pays tribute to Sybil Ludington, a 16-year-old girl who rode her horse through the area, roughly the race course, warning the area colonists of approaching British troops in 1777.
The race has a long history itself, with the 2012 edition being the 34th straight running. It was only my third running, however, with a 4th and a 3rd place finish behind me. The weather looked good at the start, and we were off. I ran the first dozen or so miles in a small front pack that included Tomasz Kochanowicz, a Polish native living in North Carolina, and Scott Delongchamps. After about 13 miles, just as Tomasz was pulling away from me, Aaron Heath comes flying by as if I were standing still. I wasn't going to try to catch him, as I was running under 7:00/mile pace, about as fast as I wanted to, knowing I'd have to have something left for the upcoming hills.
And up they came. From about mile 16-26 the course makes some tough climbs, and my pace slowed. But I was still able to keep Tomasz in sight, about 100 yards ahead. Aaron was too far ahead to see. And every time I thought I was pulling closer to Tomasz, he managed to pull back ahead to keep me at bay. I knew I'd be happy with a 3rd-place finish and hoping for a course PR, but I also glanced behind me to see if anyone was catching up, especially Byron Lane, who has a habit of doing that to me! But this time he wasn't to be seen.
So that's how the race finished, with Aaron winning with a time of 3:37:25, Tomasz second with 3:40:58, and me third in 3:41:32. I was, however, disappointed to realize that it wasn't a course PR - I ran 3:39 in the cold rain of 2006! Byron finished next with 3:56:20.
For the women, Taconic RR member Emmy Stocker won on her home course with 4:52:57, followed by Barbara Sorrell and Jennifer Tibangin.
As usual, the best part is chatting with the runners before and after the race at the Carmel VFW hall. Ultrarunners are such a great community! Big thanks to David Farquhar and Tony Galfano, RD's, for their amazing work! Also to Tony Trujillo for the post-race massage, and Rich Innamorato for the ride. Those in the NYC metropolitan area who haven't run it should give it a try next year.