July 27, 2009

24 Hour Around the Lake Races

With the NE Mountain Circuit a distant memory running hills certainly feels easier these days. During those eight race-packed weeks, I scaled back my mileage and now I am eager to ramp it up for a fall ultra. So when I learned two of my trail/ultra running friends, Julie O'Mara (12 Hour) and Jeanne Peckiconis (24 Hour), would be in the 24 Hour Around the Lake, I jumped at the opportunity to accompany (pace) them for some loop-d-loops!

Four separate events—a marathon, the 12- and 24-hour ultras, and a 24-hour team relay—accrued multiple laps around Lake Quannapowwit.

Participants repeat a wheel-measured 3.16 mile loop on flat terrain, w
hich varies from asphalt and concrete to elective-running along a dirt trail edge or grass. Solo runners ran from 1 to 36 laps, while and the SRR Fighting Guppies Relay Team swept up 61 laps, 192.76 miles in 23:53:43 for the overall relay win.

Byron Lane won the 24 Hour with his seemingly effortless 36 laps and 113.76 miles in 22:11:18. Hung-Kwong Ng finished second with 113.76 miles in 23:19:16. This is amazing considering 10 days prior to Wakefield he finished 19th at Badwater. Here's 24 Hour winner Byron Lane—all smiles in the heat and humidity of the early afternoon.
The races kicked off at about 7 p.m. and I dropped by Friday night to watch the marathon winners finish—Christian Baumbach (2:32:49) and Holly Parker (3:05:27)—before heading home for some shut eye around 11 p.m. The second place marathon finshers were as sprightly—Brendan O'Leary (2:43:14) and Jennifer Rapaport (3:26:39). When I returned at 4:45 a.m., I spied Jeanne coming through and ran with her for a lap and then did another sola before meeting up with Julie for her 17th and final loop.

Julie was alert and positive energy on this last lap. We joked, talked and appreciated the dawn, among other things... What a humble and surprised 12 Hour women's winner! Julie, who is also a raw vegan runner, has just begun to tap into her endurance with exceptional potential.
She is on

Watching Team Injinji's Akos Konya in his flame singlet was inspiring. Konya swept the 12 Hour with 85.32 miles in 11:55:04. Open a Trail Runner magazine and you will see him in an injinji ad with the same relaxed focus and form. He's also finished second overall at Badwater for the last three years. Scott Leslie was second with his 75.84 miles.

After Julie and her supportive spousal crew, Dave, packed up the Element and headed out of dodge I started to log some la-la-la loopy loops with
Jeanne. Jim Garcia and I took turns torturing her (just kidding.....sort of) by picking up her pace! Jeanne was incredibly chipper throughout and knew what she needed—a quick break, ice or a W.C! I was sorry to not have taken any photos of her! Drat! G.A.C. runner, Melanie Haber arrived around 1 p.m. and was ready to rumble out the final hours with Jeanne.

Barbara Bell was overall female winner in the 24 Hour with 107.44 in 23:37:46. Jeanne Peckiconis took second woman in the 24 Hour with 94.80 miles in 22:52:52. Liz Camire was third with 94.80 miles in 23:41:02. Not a minute wasted.

Runner & Photographer Jim Rhoades captured the Friday night magic: Photos.

Wakefield is a mere 10 miles from home and I've been intrigued by this event but also "concrete cautious." My 23 mini-by-comparison miles scratched my 24 Hour itch and allowed me to enjoy the company of friends! Kudos and thanks to all participants—runners, volunteers, crews and dog day of summer spectators.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

Great race recap & photos, I was wondering if Hung-Kwong was going be there just after finishing Badwater. Wish I made it out this year to compete in the 24 hour run but I need to keep my legs fresh.