October 2, 2011
So… after the fiasco of not getting a timely time posting for Rio del Lago, Mark (Vishnevsky) and Michelle (Genin) decided to host a few local races in Long Beach for reasonable prices and no swag (who needs swag?).
On October 1, they held the Beach Blast 5K. I helped time it. There were probably a dozen folks and they seemed happy with how everything went (considering it was a first-time event). On Sunday (the 2nd), the inaugural Beach Blast 50K and 50M would take place.
I convinced my friend, Arin Kritzmire to do the 50K (I think she had done one other 50K and a marathon), and then Mark was going to do the 50M and one other person was doing the 50K, but starting late, whereas Arin and I were going to start EARLY, just in case it was hot.
The course was all streets (bad idea). The first loop was from Mark’s apartment off of Ocean, down Ocean to the end of the peninsula and back (about 1.7 miles). We covered that in 36 minutes… so pretty slow.
The second loop was from Mark’s place, down the beach bike path, through Shoreline Village, over the Queensway Bridge, down to the Queen Mary (give or take) and back – about 12 miles. I was slowed additionally because I was drawing chalk arrows at intersections. That section took us 2-1/2 hours.
The third loop was another circuit of the peninsula, again in about 45 minutes. My feet were already starting to hurt from the pavement pounding, but Arin stuck it out with me, because I think she just wanted to finish.
The final “loop” was from Mark’s place to a little past Jack-in-the-Box in Newport Beach and back – a psycho loop, because it is so-o long.
The plan was for Michelle to meet us at Jack-in-the-Box on Warner (Sunset/Huntington border) for an Aid Station. This was also the turn-around for the 50K, and where I would take my leave of the friendly, pretty and good conversationalist Arin. The 8.2 miles took nearly 2 hours, so basically we were just walking.
When we arrived, Michelle informed me that Mark was not going to do the 50M, because it hurt. That’s what I had been thinking also, but I had gotten it into my head that I had an opportunity this year to complete (at least) 2 races each of 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon, 50K, 50M, 100K and 100M… and I still needed a 50M (and 100M) to complete the collection… so I would continue.
I bid my farewell to Arin, and informed Michelle that I would call her when I was about 2 miles out from this same location so that she could help me refuel, but not have to sit around all day waiting for me to arrive.
The section from Warner to the far end turnaround was a tough go, because my feet would get more and more sore as I progressed. By the time I got off the beach path and onto the sidewalk, I kept seeking out bus benches and other places to sit, just to get off my feet for a time. The far-end turnaround was 9.5 miles and it took me 2:30 (a little faster than just walking)… but on the way back, it took me 3:40!
The amount of sitting and resting increased quite a bit, and I did walk on the sand and on grass whenever it was available.
The final stretch was a little under 7.5 miles and it was getting dark. I was getting a bit chafed as well, and I’m sure that Mark and Michelle were a bit impatient waiting for me… but I crossed the finish line in 13 hours and 40 minutes (not my worst 50 miler, either). Since Mark dropped down, I ended up being the winner and the only finisher of this event. Also, because the course was so spread out (and to my thinking, horrific), I will continue to be the record holder, unless they (stupidly) decide to bring back this particular course.
As a postscript, I created a laminated race number for myself (#1E) and I also wore a laminated message on my front and back that read:
“Running 50 miles…”
“.,.. for Stupidity.”
Just after finishing the Beach Blast 50M