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At the Races

Febapple Frozen Fifty at South Mountain Reservation

Recap of Febapple Frozen Fifty trail races (10M, 20M, 50K),
South Mountain Reservation, Maplewood, NJ, February 23, 2013

10M: Rob Gerin … 1:44:34 … 17/94

20M: Laura Gelman … 3:28:29 … 21/65 & 2nd woman!*
20M: Ryen LoPresti … 3:29:49 … 25/65
20M: Pia LoPresti … 4:09:01 … 34/65

50K: Chris Jaworski … 6:53:42 … 48/73
50K: Ellen Kim … 7:43:27 … 58/73

*Laura was 2nd woman at the race and received a 2nd woman Febapple award. In these revised results, she’s listed 3rd:

Layer some ice, snow, slush, water, and mud on hilly, rocky trails, and you’ve got an adventure race course!

NJ Trail Series did a great job staging this event (races of 10M, 20M, 50K, and 50M), marking the course (bright pink ribbons, plus arrows drawn in bright pink chalk), and supporting runners at aid stations. They also gave entrants a nifty fleece vest embroidered with the Febapple logo. Yes, a superb, very much alive race in the dead of winter!

The 50M started at 7:00, the 50K at 8:00, the 20M at 9:00, and the 10M at 10:00. Each race followed a 10-mile loop that began with a run down a paved road, the road used in the Millburn Spring Run 10K and the Project Children 5K. Perhaps the trail alongside this road was underwater or iced over and unusable. The 10-mile loop had two parts, each returning to the start—a 4-mile southern loop and then a 6-mile northern loop. Volunteers worked aid stations at the start and halfway through the 6-mile loop (aid was never more than 4 miles away).

Ellen and I started running the 50K with a friend Bob and his friend Mel, but after about 8 miles I had to do my own thing and moved on.

I think it was raining or drizzling or misting the entire time. It probably would’ve been a good idea to break out the contact lenses instead of running with wet and fogged-up glasses.

Conditions worsened as the race went on—a little less white stuff and ice but lots more mud and water. And it started getting colder on the third 10-mile loop. Over the course of the race, I felt too warm, then wet, then chilly … and then juuust right when I completed my third and final clothing change of the day (I experimented with different combos of shirt, jacket, gloves, and hat).

There were some snowy/slushy/icy sections you could have fun foot-skiing down if, uh, you didn’t mind the danger. And, yes, that was fun.

I stopped looking at my Garmin at some point, and later was surprised to hear a finish time of under 7 hours: 6:53:42. Initially I thought I had a South Mountain Reservation 50K PR, but then I realized this “50K” was only 30 miles, whereas the other two races I’d run there (6:56, 7:10) were on 31-mile courses.

Ellen finished with Bob and Mel—I believe they ran a couple of bonus miles—and she was very happy to have gotten her revenge on Febapple 2011!

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