3 Days of Syllamo Day 3 – 20km

with about 91 miles on our legs from the last two days of racing in the ozark mountains of arkansas, we lined up nice and late for the 20km race. this was day three of 3 days of syllamo. there were even more grumblings on this day about “having to race”. i didn’t feel like it either to be honest. after looking at the leader board for the overall times it was clear that the best i could do was 3rd place overall for the three days. i needed to beat this guy by 3 minutes to get it. ty needed 13 minutes to get 4th overall.

ty draney, steve kirk and overall winner josh nordell

ty pointed the guy out we both needed to beat. i figured i’d play a bit of cat and mouse easing into the race. shorter races and my anaerobic threshold scare me. the guy in grey that i needed to beat blasted off the start running 6 min miles on the road. forced to respond, ty and i picked it up and followed close behind.

once we hit the singletrack john muir, who hadn’t run the 50 miler the day before was gone. josh nordell yelled out “goodbye john!”. i repeated the sentiment. grey shirt got me fired up with his aggressive start! so ty and i made a move and passed him. i felt like screaming “you called down the thunder, well now you got it!”. now i was racing! we steadily pulled away from the field. ty slowed slightly on a hill and since i was right on his heals i slipped by, catching an elbow in the ribs.

i focused on maintaining this ‘around anaerobic threshold’ pace. knowing i was probably over it on this climb i tried not to look at my heart rate monitor. focusing on my breath and my new ‘run tall’ form i started to pull away. i was really racing now as i passed a ribbon on a creek. after 15 more minutes i had yet to see another ribbon. “oh no, not again. 15 minutes is too long to go without a ribbon. i must have missed it – again!!” i had this wave of dread wash over me. i stopped and yelled across the draw. “ty! i think i missed a turn”. he had his ipod on and just responded with “yeeow!”. i kept running and decided if i was off course that was it. i wasn’t running back, or finishing 35th. i’m pissed… and then, there it was! a ribbon! i jumped with joy and picked back up where i had left off. after the 7 mile aid i noticed someone other than ty was on my tail. i yelled “great job, nice running!”. then figured i had to put it out there right now.

“sippin’ nuun and feeling great” i started to recognize the trail, which mean i was close. time to blaze. i ended up finishing 2nd overall to mr. muir, being the first 3 day racer to cross the finishline on the 3rd day. i had also beaten grey shirt by about 27 minutes and solidified my 3rd place overall at the 3 days of syllamo with a 1:52 (8:10/mile pace). ty managed to easily take 4th overall too!

i loved this race. steve kirk put on an amazing 3 days event. there is such a nice community feel to being there for three days of suffering! so, i highly recommend this race.. and i’ll most likely be returning in 2009.

the overall winners of the 3 days!.. the nordells!


my gear:
shoes: montrail odyssey with teko ecopoly socks (ok 1 lil blister after 106 miles! not bad)
electrolytes: nuun lemon lime
fuel: clif shots and clif bloks
general health day to day: i kept my immune system strong with my amazing grass