Bethel Hill Moonlight Boogie 50ML

Categories: Race Reports
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Published on: 17-June 2012
1st, let me start off by apologizing for the WAY long post.  However I think it is worth the brain-dump.  Enjoy and please comment.
Well the day started unlike any other day seeing that I slept in until 10:30 and awoke to the phone ringing, it was my buddy Chris confirming the time that we were going to leave.  After some discussion we decided on the time, 3:30, and said our c’ya laters.  As I got up from the bed I did not have the normal Achilles tightness that I have grown accustom to.  I wonder if my body was already anticipating what I was going to do to it…..or maybe it was the 2 weeks of not running?  At any rate, Off to the kitchen I went to fix breakfast and drink my ½ gallon of coffee.  During the day I just piddled around getting my stuff ready, at 2:45 I decided it was time to go and get ice.  I met my other friend up at the 2x the ice place and got his coolers and race gear.  I filled up my two coolers, 1 food & 1 dedicated, with Ice and back to the house I went.
When I got home both Chris and Shawn were waiting for me.  We loaded up the truck and headed off the Ellerbe, NC.  The drive is a semi-familiar one having been there a couple of time before to run.  However this time we were going to a different location.  The start / finish of the race was at BH Baptist Church, that’s right… the top of Bethel Hill, more about this hill later.
Once we got there we proceeded to setup up the camp…hahah, I had brought a 10X10 first-up canopy and strung it with rope lights powered by a 12v deep-cycle trolling motor battery & power inverter, needless to say this generated quite a few comments by the people passing by.  We also had race stuff, lol, we setup a table and each of us started piling our Community race supplies on the table.  And off to the race briefing we went.
So there were rumors the night before that a man named Joey was going to run a double Boogie.  This meant that he was going to start the double at 6:00 AM and finish up the 1st ½ of the double before 6:00 PM then run with the rest of the 100 with the normal 50 Milers.  Sometime in the early afternoon on race day reports & rumors started flooding in that Joey & his pacer Amy were involved in a dog attack.  As the facts started surfacing they were indeed attacked and bitten!!  Holy Crap!!!  This attack happened on the 1st loop about 1.5 miles from the start, You can read their accounts about it on Joey’s Blog or Amy’s Blog.  Joey was bitten 4 times and Amy was bitten once.  Needless to say this was going to be an interesting day.  Side Note: Amy finished the Marathon & Joey stopped at 40, I think.  Both sought medical advise & both are doing fine.  Legal action is being perused against the dog owner.
Race Briefing:
This was a very nonchalant event,  a kinda Harley riding looking dude, Doug, stood up on the stairs of the stairs of the church and welcomed us all out there.  He said before I forget let’s talk to the pastor.  The pastor greeted all of us and then prayed a safe keeping prayer over us and turned the steps back over to Doug.  Doug explained the rules to us and jokingly confirmed that even though the weather was highly un-normally cool we were still going to have the event.  He warned us about all the stuff that was in the race waiver and warned us about the dog attack, then told us to line up in 5 min.
The start was unlike any other race that I had ever been in.  This race there was a 50 Mile option and a Marathon option.  Each of the racers started on one side of the road or the other and to the sound of the gun started in opposite directions.  The marathon distance people would go .2 miles the opposite way as us then turn around and run the same as the 50ML’ers.
Lap 1:
The course was laid out in a 6 mile loop with a 2 mile out and back equaling 10 miles.  The course was quite interesting, I felt like ¾ of it was downhill BUT the up hills were just that UP!  We would go by 2 aid stations on each loop.  The 1st one at the start / finish we would pass 2x as well as our cars.  The 2nd aid-station would be at the “Dog Pen”.  Each of the stations would offer water & Gator-Aid.
I decided to carry my 2 hand-held Nathan’s quick-draw’s with me both filled with NUUNs. Banking that it was not going to be too hot and I really did not want to carry the backpack for 12 hours.
At the start I teamed up with my friend Chris, who came prepared with a baseball bat & Bear spray, and proceeded down the hill.  My initial goal was to complete each of the 10 mile loops in 2 hours, which seemed like a very doable pace.  As we proceeded down the hill & up the 1st hill there was much chatter of Joey & Amy’s dog attack and everyone seemed to have something to say about Chris’ baseball bat.  At this point I decided that on each lap on this hill I would post a new tweet to keep my wife and everyone else updated on how were were doing.As we neared the house with the dog you could hear all of the dog barking and could see each person as they passed by point at the dog which was pend up.  Thankfully that was the extent of the do for the entire night.  The course was very pretty, well a pretty as road in the country could be.  We rounded the 2nd aid station and started the 3 mile trek back to the start / finish.  This is where there was a set of 3 hills that everyone learned to hate.  The 1st hill was not that bad but then the 2nd one had you going what seemed like straight up.  Thankfully these hills were not that long and we could still ultra-walk them at about at 14 / mile pace.
This would start the knee & Quad thrashing 4 mile out and back.  The hill leading down the other side of the church was a 2 mile down to the turnaround and the same 2 miles back up.  My Garmin says that this was a 300 ft elevation change!  This hill was brutal to go up OR down.
As we came to the truck for the 1st time after finishing the first complete 10 mile loop I was absolutely famished.  I ate a PB&J, Handful of Pringles, a handful of dried cherries & 4-5 chocolate covered espresso beans.  Since I had already filled my race pack with water I threw in 4 NUUNs let them dissolve while I ate the above and off we went to start loop two.
After Photo of pinched foot
Loop 2:
Starting this loop I felt good, however my Achilles was still quite tight and I started having this strange feeling like my sox was bunched up under the pad of my right foot, As you can see from this “AFTER” photo it was not bunched but my shoe was too tight across my mid-foot that it was actually pinching the skin!  We proceeded past the dog & at the next house we found a man telling everyone that there would be a bon-fire once it got dark.  I remember telling Chris how wonderful that would be since I love a camp fire.  Not that I could do anything but looking at it would make me happy. As we approached the dog pen aid station there was a wonderful sun set that we stopped and took a couple of photos of & posted to Facebook.  Then, we rounded the aid-station and met up with another runner who was also taking pictures of the sunset.  We had some polite conversation with him and kept on running.  We continued around through the hills the pain under my foot would get worse & worse.  I told Chris that when we got to the 4 mile out-and-back I would have to stop and make some adjustments.  He suggested that I do it before the out-and-back so when we got to the truck I sat down and readjusted my sox.  This made my foot feel better but something was still wrong.  We grabbed our headlamps and proceeded down the hill to the out and back.  Running this porting at night was very interesting.  You would be running along then would see these light start coming at you like flying saucers….weird.
Loop 3: 
As we proceeded by the “Supposed” bonfire house there was no fire that Chris or I could find.  This provided us with a few miles of conversation do what you say you are going to do & how upset that I was going to be now that there is not fire, hahaha, Yup, I’m lame I know.  Lap 3 finished off with not much fanfare.  We were both feeling good, we were staying hydrated & fed.  It was at this point that we were going to try and start pushing a little bit and start making some time on the other runners.  Sooooo, Chris made the decision to have the main aid-station fill up his water pack so we could go and do a shirt change and not lose any time, this turned out to be a HUGE mistake!
Loop 4:
As we started out we picked up the pace a little bit down the hills and we ultra-walked the hills a little less and what we did walk we walked faster. As we passed by the “supposed” bonfire house we finally saw it.  The guy had built the fire off the side of his lot and it had burned down to embers, needless to say that provided a little conversation. J  Once we made the turn at the dog pen aid-station I heard Chris say “Whoa” , which is never good coming from the guy who puts in 20-25 miles a day.  So I asked what was wrong, he started telling me that he is nursing a hamstring that is really tight and running these hills started to make it twinge. Ironically he said, walking hurt more than running but it was the running that was putting the stress on it so we slowed back down.  Now, after the hill by the dog pen we came down the hill to the base of the church hill and I could tell that something was wrong with Chris but I thought it was just his hamstring so we kept going.  However at the bottom of the out-and-back he started to look really bad so I asked if he was ok.  Apparently the aid station workers were filling water from the church and it turned out to be well water.  Something to note, if you are not use to all the unfiltered “stuff” that is in well water it takes a while to get used to.  Chris had drank his entire pack and was feeling VERY sick.  We got back to the truck he threw his pack in the truck, grabbed his hand held & filled it with the filtered water that we had in our water cooler and off we went.
Loop 5:
At this point in the race we were really tired.  The sleep deprivation was starting to get to us, our legs were hurting & we were just tired.  Chris was sick & his hamstring was causing him a lot of pain.  Despite all that we were determined to push on.  Now was when I really started to look at my watch wondering if our decreased seed was going to effect the 12 Hour cut-off.  After some calculations we figured that we could do a 15 min / mile pace and still make cut-off with 15 min to spare and that’s just what we did.  The 6 mile loop there was not much talking and a lot of ultra-walking.  On the way by the truck I asked Shawn if he would start to break down “Camp” so that when we were done with the 4 miles we could leave as quick as would could.  The 2 miles down of the out-and-back were absolutely the worst HOWEVER we did manage to ultra-walk the 1.75 miles up the hill at a 13 min / mile pace and as soon as we could see Bethel Hill Church we ran to the finish.
It was official, we completed the 50 miles in 11 hours and 40 Min!!

The race concluded without much fanfare, there were a few people left and there was some congratulatory clapping.  We collected our finishers mugs and pressed on to the truck.  Shawn and Parker had thankfully packed everything but the shelter.  There was one stake that they could not get out of the ground.  So with the mood I was in I just start yanking on the leg of the canopy exclaiming that “I JUST WANT TO GO HOME”!  Eventually it came out and we said our good byes to each other and a left out.
I drove for about 15 min before I asked Shawn if he could drive the rest of the way.  I was starting to feel nauseous and per previous experiences, if I did not take a quick nap I would be sick for the rest of the day.  So once Shawn started driving I Slept all the way home (about 30 min).  Once we got to my house Shawn unloaded his stuff and I hit the bed.  I slept for 2 hours then got up and attended regular church service.  After church me, my wife & son all went out to Golden Corral for a “recovery” meal.
Once home for the day I ended up falling asleep for about 3 hour that afternoon.
All in all what a wonderful event, wonderful people & volunteers.  I look forward to doing this race many more times in the future!
Additional Photos
Pre Race Chris & Parker
Down by the Turn-Around
Delivering of Cupcake Balls
Up the Hill on lap One
Pre Race Weight
Post Race Weight
Lap 1 Chris & Me
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