Rocky 50 2014 Results – David Brown and Sabrina Little Texas Trail-Step for Wins – 3 Qs with 50M First-Timer Ritu Rao
One week after the Rocky Raccoon 100, the Rocky 50 took place on those relaxing trails at Huntsville State Park, a short scamper north of Houston, Texas. Dry and below average temps supported a great running day for over 300 starters. From the experienced trail veterans, to the speedy rabbits and 50 mile first-timers, all were ready to share a three loop day together.
Often 50 mile races can get strung out even at the pointy-end of the race. Well, today was not that day in the men’s race.
David Brown of Texas and Dan Vega of Colorado were separated by 31 seconds at the finish line.
Not minutes – seconds!
How did that final loop play out?
Dan recounts the fun, discomfort, and fun of the final 16+ mile lap. Also, a good reminder that it is never over until you cross the finish line.
Leading up to the last lap I was really starting to tire at around 28 miles. I stayed at the turn-around aid station for a little to get some food before I took off. As I left, I started to count the seconds till I saw Dave. It ended up being around a 2:20 advantage over him. As I went by I tried to look as fresh and focused as possible for him to see, only thing was I was really starting to slow down.
At about a mile and a half I started to cramp in my left hamstring. Tried to change my stride in hopes it wouldn’t cramp but eventually had to stop twice to massage it. After awhile it seemed to hold together but was always worried that it might come back.
At the first aid station I quickly got some fluids and got right out of there. As I got to Damnation I believe I remember him a ways away running down the trail. I took off from there trying to hold it together.
As I was running, the trails started to have a little more downhill in it and I started to run more smoothly. Dave [Brown] told me afterwards that he pushed really hard on that section to catch me before we got back to Damnation again. He told me that it looked I like was running effortlessly. I did feel good for a while but as we got closer to Damnation, I was starting to feel really tired again.
When I got to the aid station, I really took my time. Just after I got there, there was a lot of cheering of Dave’s name as he came in I told him great job and he was out of there very quickly. I stayed and ate and drank some more.
At that point I thought it was all over. When I finally left, he had gotten a good lead. At one point I could see him in the distance and he didn’t seem to be pulling away too much. As the trail neared the highway, the trail took a hard left so he was out of sight.
Still not feeling good, I arrived at the last aid station which was about 4+ miles to the finish. I stayed at the aid station knowing that I was going to get second and we both had a huge advantage over third.
As I left the aid station I walked for a little drinking the rest of my drinks. I had nothing left on me, so I was as light as possible. The trail started to go slightly downhill and in the past if I could run faster I felt better. As I pushed myself thinking maybe, just maybe I could catch up, also thinking how long can I run at this pace, don’t trip (had a few close calls as I was tiring) and will I ever see him because it felt like I was really starting to move pretty good.
At about two miles to go, I finally saw him.
It was a little steep climb, as I top out I caught him pretty quick. Thinking I could now win this, he turns around in shock to see me on his shoulder, he takes off really quick. I went with him for a few seconds and my legs really started to burn. At that point I knew it was over, he was moving much faster than I could go at that point. He pulled away pretty good as I just watched him go.
With less than a mile to go, I felt a little better and pushed a little more. As I came around the last turn to the straight, he was just too far.
David earned the win in 6:32:25! Dan a stone’s throw behind.
How is that for a race for the win?!?
Men’s Top 3
- David Brown – 6:32:25
- Dan Vega – 6:32:56
- Jorge Cardenas – 7:07:47
Sabrina Little put together a dandy effort to finish third overall in a 7:06:59 women’s win! Sabrina now holds Rocky wins for both the 100 mile and 50 mile! Impressive indeed.
While Sabrina created a comfortable gap from the chase group, the race for second, or positions 2-5, was a down-right trail-biter. After Sabrina, the next four women were all within a seven minute window after 50 miles of running!
Gotta love it!
Defending champ, Sydney Pitt, led the chase group and created three minutes of separation to earn runner-up honors.
Women’s Top 5 (too exciting not to share two louder)
- Sabrina Little – 7:06:59
- Sydney Pitt – 7:39:18
- Anna Scheinzbach – 7:42:37
- Melinda Coen – 7:45:06
- Karen Kantor – 7:46:18
Tough As Nails
Doise Miers of Texas brought it home in 14:55:02!
Tom Hamilton (age 66) and Nofal Musfy (age 72) brought the wisdom and additional inspiration to this year’s adventure.
3 Qs with Ritu Rao – 50 Mile Newbie No Longer
Ritu Rao of Texas ran her first, and finished her first 50 in 14:44:19!
Ritu was kind in answering 3 Qs.
EB: You have a broad road running collection of adventures from the 5k to the marathon. What led you to begin exploring the trails last year?
Burnout from road running, and I wanted something different.
EB: You progressed from a trail half marathon last September, to a 50k in January, and then a 50M finish at Rocky in February. You were on the 4 months Road Runner to 50M Trail Runner program. When looking back, what are some of your strongest memories from this trail running journey over the last four months?
a) The desire to explore new territory b) Crazy and fun trail running friends 3) Beautiful trails 4) Hello, the FOOD! + laid back/super supportive trail running culture.
EB: How would you compare a 50k to a 50M? What are couple insights you learn (if any) from your 50M experience you would share with something looking to attempt their first 50M?
(based on my rookie experience!) 50k and 50M-very different! For a first 50M–a) Eat & hydrate! Constantly. b) Keep going, and enjoy…it’s going to take a while.
Special thanks to Dan Vega, Ritu Rao, and Rick Kent of Enduro Photo for sharing with us!
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Posted on 13 Mar 2014