Destin 50

Discussion in 'Chapters' started by Gidds, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. Gidds

    Gidds
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    I am going down to the beach Sunday morning to watch all the crazy ultra runners go by. I will take pics, unless it is pouring that is. Is anybody running in that race?
     
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  2. Gidds

    Gidds
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    It just occurred to me that if anybody wants to watch they should be able to see the runners on these web cams by the time it gets light around 6:30am. I think they will be getting close to the easternmost cams. You can figure out which is which by looking at the course map.
     
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  3. Gidds

    Gidds
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    Spectator report from 4:45am-7:45ish:



    I wanted to watch some of the Destin 50 because I was curious about what somebody who is crazy and insane, runs 50 miles, in one day, for fun (ok, and a good charity) looked like. I don't know anybody who was running.

    I told my husband I was getting up butt-early. He taunted me and said I wouldn't get up.

    I got up at 4:30am, threw on my clothes, and grabbed my pack of provisions, my sleeping bag, and a garbage bag to sit on since it rained ALL night.

    I went out in the yard to retreive my bike and the wind was howling and I could hear the waves crashing on the beach about a mile down the hill. I then proceeded to ride my bike, in the dark, with only my wimpy bike light and headlamp for light, at about 1/4 speed so as to stay on the bike path. I also rang my bike bell constantly once I got down where it was absolute dark because there is a healthy population of bears (they poop on the bike path ALL the time), coyotes, deer, and the occaisonal alligator migrating between ponds.

    I got onto the beach at about 4:47am. The thermometer said it was 66F at my house but I'm sure the wind chill took it down at least ten degrees. The wind was blowing about 25mph right off the water and there was only about 30' of sand between the Gulf and where I was sitting. While I was getting ready I got my husband to give me some glow necklaces. I figured it would be polite to be visible to the runners since it was still dark and I was going to be sitting someplace they wouldn't expect spectators. My husband wanted to know if I was going to hoot and cheer at them. I stated that I also felt this would be an unecessary shock to somebody running down an unlit, deserted beach. I also took my red bike flasher and stuffed it under the band of my headlamp and arranged the reflective side of my pack toward the runners.

    I was a couple of miles down the beach east of the start. I could see all the lights and the sheriff's beach patrol came down the beach before the 5am start for the 50 milers.

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    I could see the head lamps bobbing down the beach like a swarm of fireflies. It took the first runner 19 minutes to get to me and I almost missed him (it was DARK but I am pretty sure it was a man) because the crazy bugger he wasn't wearing a head lamp! The next two came by fairly quickly. They all got a standing ovation but then I decided I was not standing on the windy beach for two plus hours, so every other runner just got an ovation. The speed, pace, and gait of the head of the pack was preternatural.

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    A ton of the 50 milers weren't wearing head lamps and most of them weren't wearing shirts but they also had a lot of pacers who generally seemed to be. I also noticed that the runners in the front had "less stuff" than those in the middle and back. I couldn't tell how many barefooters there were since it was DARK. After most of them got by me the sun started to come up.

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    Next the 50 k racers started at 6am. I couldn't see them start since it was getting light and it was also getting foggy.

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    If you squint you can see the first 50K runner.

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    The first barefooter I saw.

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    Scenery between waves of runners.

    I could see the 50k runners a lot better. There were all kinds of different shoes. Lots of Merrells, a fair number of VFFs, and all kinds of traditional running shoes. Lots of runners were trying to avoid the waves which I snickered about.

    For the most part the runners seemed to appreciate the applause from me the first and solitary spectator. Some of them even hooted at me! A few said "thanks" or "good morning". One wanted to know why I didn't have a cow bell, if I was a life guard, and one wanted to know "how much for the snuggie?" Apparently he was cold and by that time I was sitting in my sleeping bag. One runner wanted me to tell his wife I'd seen him and that he was ok when I went back up the hill. Ok, I did hoot at one of the barefoot guys. I did see one lady wearing a cute pink running skirt but no kilts. A kilt would have been...rather immodest...in the stiff breeze. There were also some pretty handsome young men :p

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    I thought this guy was the first of the relay teams, who started at 7am, but as he ran by he sheepishly admitted that he got a late start so I don't know if he was 50 miles or 50k.

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    This guy was the first past me from the relay teams. He was wearing hot pink shorts and a smile.

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    Yes, this is a crappy picture. This guy was running in what I am pretty sure were the knee-high nuwool Injinjis. He, like the other relay runners, was hauling butt and my camera sucks so he almost got away from me.

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    The last relay runner heading east.

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    My bivuak.

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    The beach flags, just so you can see how pleasant the wind was...NOT!
     
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  4. curraheeeasyc

    curraheeeasyc
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    I am soooo doing this next year! Maybe we can do a PC Chapter relay!
     
  5. Gidds

    Gidds
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    We need two more people then. If we do a relay and I am not limping/hobbling I totally call the first leg since I am pretty sure I can make it to the first aid station without dying but I am not sure after that :p Ok all kidding aside if we did get a relay team together I will do support since I am pretty familiar with the area. I would recommend doing this one fully barefoot, in a non-mesh VFF model (Bikila or one of the leather or neoprene ones) with socks, or an all-leather Merrell and possibly an ultralight gator like Dirty Girl Gators because that much sand is just NOT fun and the dune lakes were out-flowing, so it's not like you can keep your feet dry.
     
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  6. curraheeeasyc

    curraheeeasyc
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    Yeah after a couple of recent runs on the beach over here at/near Mexico Beach of 3-4 miles, I definitely think I can do 12.5 or so next February on the beach barefoot.
     

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