On the trails of Bogue Chitto State park, located a short drive north of New Orleans, Louisiana, over 70 runners embraced the frigid temps for a marathon and half marathon adventure by Q50 Races.
25F – get your feet wet section – sand – flowing trail – giddy up!
The marathon scamper saw Kenny Trahan create over a five minute gap from the chase group led by Ed Melancon, to win the two loop adventure in 3:30:40.
Top 5 male
- Kenny Trahan – 3:30:40
- Ed Melancon – 3:35:42
- Chad Rice – 3:48
- Brian Novak – 3:55
- Bart Sutherland – 4:25
Allison Carey won the female trail marathon in 4:45 with Amanda Otto earning runner-up honors.
All 5 female
- Allison Carey – 4:45
- Amanda Otto – 5:02
- Susie Ro – 5:12
- Wendy Neal – 5:19
- Jill Hudson – 5:27
Jennie Passero and Nikki Dunaway put together an exciting little finish with Jennie creating a small 57 second gap for the win.
Top 5 female
- Jennie Passero – 2:05:00
- Nicki Dunaway – 2:05:57
- Lori Zeringue – 2:08:56
- Brooke Holland – 2:11:10
- Joell LeCompte – 2:14:44
The fast-footed Pat Gavin rocketed through the course to finish in 1:15:23. Ben Broussard finished alone in second.
Top 5 male
- Pat Gavin – 1:15:23
- Ben Broussard – 1:22:30
- Dalton Fetters – 1:29:21
- Justin Bertheaud – 1:32
- Rob Church – 1:33:33
Enjoy as Marathon winner, Kenny Trahan, shares his marathon race report with us.
Pain is temporary; Finishing is forever
It was a frigid March morning in South Louisiana, the temperature was 24 degrees as I headed North to Folsom, Louisiana, for the inaugural Q50 Bogue Chitto Marathon. I arrived early and checked-in at the registration table in the warm meeting room where race participants waited until the start of the race. I was given bib number 1, which could only mean good luck. While anxiously waiting for the pre-race meeting, several runners and I reviewed the map and realized that the route was going through water not once but twice for the full marathoners as it was a double loop course. Although I love trail running, I do not like to get my feet wet. Nevertheless, I brought two pair of shoes and was prepared for the worse.
After the meeting was over and the national anthem was sung, it was time to “show out” as my good friend and race mentor Todd Poole always says. Out the door, everyone approached the starting line. Although I had anticipated this race for several months and was very nervous as usual, I had a good feeling about this race. Knowing it was going to be a tough run, I was ready and prepared for the challenge. Bogue Chitto is my home turf, and I knew every mile of that second loop was going to be a struggle. That is where the race would really start for the full marathoners.
The count-down began as I stood in the very back of the pack. My strategy was not to get caught up in the fast pace of the half-marathoners out in front but to set a slow and steady pace. As the race commenced, I had flashbacks from boot camp. Jesse Nelson, Lieutenant in the Army National Guard and training partner, yells in my face, “Let’s Go Boy, Win this Race”!! Being so fired up, it was difficult to hold back. I wanted to sprint to the front, but I had to stick to the plan.
The first few miles of the race were on the rolling hills of the uplands. Strategically conserving energy I walked the up-hills and hammered the down-hills. Shortly after the first aid-station at mile 6, I joined another full marathoner Ed Melancon on the course. Ed had just recently completed the Destin 50 Mile Ultra Race—truly a great accomplishment! Soon afterwards, the course guided the participants over several mounds of sand from mile 7 to 8. I suppose Ed felt right at home, having run 8 hours 40 minutes on the beach just two weeks ago. I quickly realized that it wasn’t the water which came at mile 9 that I should have been worried about, it was the sand. The Bogue Chitto terrain is so diverse that a runner never knows what to expect. That’s why I love it.
As we headed back to the meeting room, we returned to the uplands to complete the first loop, more rolling hills challenged us. Here, we ran into Chad Rice. Chad had just run the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon in New Orleans a week ago. Completion of this race qualifies him for the Marathon Maniacs Club, if not already in it. The three of us played tug of war for position back and forth through the hills. Ed also informed me of another runner who was on our heels by the name of Brian Novack. Brian had just run the MS 50K yesterday and finished 3rd overall. Wow, two ultra runners and a marathon maniac, I was among some great competitors.
We completed the first loop, through the aid station I went as the race director made sure everything was OK and cheered me on. I did not change shoes because the wet shoes were not bothering me or causing any problems. I knew Ed was not changing his shoes and I did not want to waste any unnecessary time. However, he did stop to refuel. I continued alone but constantly checked behind me to see if he was near. I didn’t realize that I was in the lead until a photographer on the course at about mile 15 informed me that I was the first marathoner. Deliberately sticking to the plan of walking the ups and running the downs, I proceeded slow and steady with one foot in front of the other.
It was not until approximately mile 19 on the power line trail where the runners face the dreaded mounds of brutal sand again that I would see Ed again. There was a short out-and-back section of the course where I saw him as he approached and I was returning. I figured I had about a ½ mile or about a 4-5 minute lead on him at this point but he was closing the gap. It was time for the home stretch and that is when I hit the infamous “wall.” I stepped in a mud hole and my hamstring did not appreciate it. To make things worse, the cramping began. I could not believe this was happening, but then I realized that I had not properly hydrated because the weather was cold and I did not feel the urge to drink. My nutrition plan consisted of consuming Generation UCANN with an Elete Electrolye Additive in my CamelBak, Hammer Endurolytes prior to the race and again at mile 13, Carb-Boom Energy Gu at mile 6, 12, 18, and water from a small hand-held bottle. I thought that was going to be sufficient, but I was terribly mistaken; the little bottle of water was not adequate. At this moment, I reminded myself of a Hal Higdon quote, “Even when you have gone as far as you can, and everything hurts, and you are staring at the specter of self-doubt, you can find a bit more strength deep inside you, if you look closely enough.”
The remaining miles to the finish line of the race was a war upon a battlefield of rolling terrain. I would run, cramp, stretch, and run, cramp, stretch, again. It was a battle that I was unsure of winning. At this point, I was hoping I would just finish in second place or even finish at all because it was inevitable that Ed, my nearest competitor, was closing in on me. Through determination and perseverance, I finally got close enough to the meeting room to hear the cheers. I knew the finish line was near. I dug deep and gave it everything I had. To my surprise, my wife and daughters were there waiting on me to finish. It was a beautiful sight. This was the first big race they have been able to attend, and I was fortunate enough to win. As I crossed the finish line in 3 hours 30 minutes, race director Cesar Torres greeted me with a huge hug as emotional tears of joy and excruciating pain fell from my eyes. I was so thankful that the fight was over. I then collapsed and knew I had given 110%. I thought, “Pain is Temporary; Finishing is Forever” –unknown
A special thanks to Cesar Torres and Kenny Trahan for their support with this article.
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Posted on 28 Mar 2013
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