My Wife’s First 50K!

>> Tuesday, November 03, 2009

My wife, Pharmie, did her first 50K on Saturday as I was running the Monster Dash 10 Mile. She has a bunch of photos on her blog, and I’ll have some of the same ones plus a few more. Here’s how it went down:

Saturday (Halloween) we both got up early. She headed to the Murphy-Hanrehan Park in Savage, MN, as I headed into Minneapolis for the Monster Dash. (Scroll down to see my Monster 10 Mile race report.) I raced my 10 miler, and then hopped in my car to cheer on Pharmie.

I called her when I was nearly to the park - she was running with her cell phone. She said it’d be about an hour before she was at the point where we were going to meet up. So I quickly turned around and grabbed a foot-long at Subway. Then I got to the park and found the aid-station where we were going to meet. It was VERY DIFFERENT than road races. The aid-station had 2 card tables with a bunch of small bowls of goodies to choose from. Here are some runners stopping to grab some grub:

Runners kept asking me questions: which table had what stuff, which way to go, etc. So I quickly figured out the answers to all of that so I could “act” like a volunteer and help out. Soon, Jenny and Guy came running into the aid station:

They were about half done with the 50 MILE race. (There were 4 different races to choose from: 25K, 26.2 mile, 50K, and 50 mile.) They changed some clothes, grabbed some nutrition, and they were off:

(Note the guy with the tattoos on the far left - he finished the 50 mile race in about 7 hours!!)

Soon, Pharmie came running into the aid station! She was 21 miles into her 31 mile race, and she looked GOOD! She was running with a new friend, Holly. I took off with them and ran the “lower” 6 mile loop with them. (They were allowed pacers on their second loop, so it was all legit.)

I ran with my camera and snapped a bunch of photos...

Pharmie and Holly avoiding a puddle

Running on the horse trails

Pharmie and Holly

Some of the single-track got narrow...

...REAL narrow!

Downhill next to a lake

Through the Sumac

Through the tall reeds. This was COOL.

Through the forest

Avoiding LOTS of mud

Birch trees and prairie grasses

My FAVORITE shot of the day!

Running through the clearing and up the hill

Ending that 6 mile loop with a big downhill with the aid station to the left

Right before that final downhill, Pharmie looked at her mileage chart she had taped to her sleeve. She realized that about a mile earlier, she had crossed into virgin territory: she was now around mile 27, and she’d never done more than a marathon before! It was great to be a part of that mile with her!

So Pharmie dropped me off at the aid station where I started. She had to run another 3.9 miles back to the finish, while I just hopped in my car and drove there. I snapped a quick photo of some mud I’d collected running with Pharmie:

The trails weren’t too bad. While waiting to meet Pharmie earlier in the day, we heard people running by saying the sun was drying things up pretty quick. We had 3 days of rain prior to the race, so there was a lot of drying that needed to happen!

I got to the finish line and jogged backwards on the course for a while. Here’s what some of the trail looked like at that point:

I parked myself at the top of a hill (I didn’t want to go down it and have to climb back up), and I cheered for all the runners going by. Soon, Pharmie emerged from the woods to have to climb that hill:

Note: it’s level behind Pharmie, and she’s got a big climb to get up to where I was sitting. The photo doesn’t do it justice.

I ran with her over the last bit of the race.

Just before she got to the finish line, she got a little emotional. She was about to finish her first ultra-marathon!!!!


We saw Guy and Jenny come running up a few minutes later, so we ran out to see them. They had one more big 15.6 mile loop to finish to get in their 50 miles!

(Jenny noted in the photo above that she’s cupping Pharmie’s medal, not her boob. But either is fine with me.)

So between warming up prior to my race (2.5 miles), the 10 mile race (10 miles [duh]), cooling down and running back to my car (.5+ miles), running 1 loop with Pharmie (6 miles), and running to see her finish and run the last part with her (1 mile), I logged 20+ miles of running on Saturday! That’s my longest single day of running since IM WI 07, and my SECOND longest day of running ever! What a great day!

Pharmie’s a freakin’ rock star!! Go to her blog to see many of the same photos and to read her side of the story. She ended up 13th out of 16 females, and 43rd out of 53 overall in the 50K. Congrats Pharmie!!


Nat 7:31 AM, November 03, 2009  

Ooooh sooo cool. I may have to do one of these...awesome support job Steve! And, of course, congrats Pharmie!

lindsay 7:38 AM, November 03, 2009  

loved the pics! gorgeous trails. congrats to pharmie!!

Kim 7:45 AM, November 03, 2009  

youre wife is kickass! cant wait to read her blog.

Diana 7:52 AM, November 03, 2009  

Congrats to your wife and those trails look fabulous. That makes a long run a lot more enjoyable-beats boring pavement anyday!

jen 8:01 AM, November 03, 2009  

Great job Pharmie! Beautiful photos. Makes me want to do an ultra...

Carolina John 8:28 AM, November 03, 2009  

wow, that rocks! that is way too much mud. I would have been lost for sure. Big ups to her for finishing!

Jenna 8:35 AM, November 03, 2009  

great pictures and way to go Pharmie!! It's great you two can do so much together!

Regina 9:54 AM, November 03, 2009  

I read her race report on her blog. YOur wife rocks!

Chad Sayban 10:04 AM, November 03, 2009  

Awesome, awesome, awesome!!

the gazelle 10:57 AM, November 03, 2009  

that makes me want to do an ultra, too! great photos & report. and congrats to pharmie!

Charisa 11:20 AM, November 03, 2009  

Congrats Pharmie!! Looks like a BEAUTIFUL day for a 50k!!! Great pics Steve!

Anonymous,  11:21 AM, November 03, 2009  

I know you're attached, and she seems quite nice (Hi, Pharmie!), HOWEVER, it isn't PHARMIE IN A SPEEDO, GROSS, it's STEVE! I surfed on, all ready to see the latest incarnation of my favorite STAR, but it's all PHARMIE, PHARMIE, PHARMIE. And while she's VERY, VERY NICE, she just isn't (sigh) THE SAME....

Your (disappointed) FAN.

Dimity 12:33 PM, November 03, 2009  

beautiful pictures and a great run. nice job to both of you.

Rural Girl 12:35 PM, November 03, 2009  

she looks absolutely fabulous!

Adam 1:01 PM, November 03, 2009  

This is so awesome! I am amazed at anyone who runs further than 26.2!

BTW - the website layout is starting to come together nicely.

tri_al 2:28 PM, November 03, 2009  

omg brilliant pharmie; absolutely hands down brilliant!

DaisyDuc 3:10 PM, November 03, 2009  

How fantastic that you two got to share part of the experience together and you captured so many wonderful pics! Great going pharmie!

teacherwoman 5:06 PM, November 03, 2009  

That's awesome! Way to go Pharmie!

John Evans 7:10 PM, November 03, 2009  

Glad to see kindlier, gentlier running has you keeping at it. I've been in only four races, all in the late 1980's. These were:

Schenectady Stockadeathon
Rome YMCA Copperman Triathlon

I would like to run again but I'm just a broken rock and not a gazelle or leopard. But I think a little exercise is important to everyone. I'm thinking a treadmill and elliptical exercisers might do the trick. I'll be 50 next year and will be at the base of my next molehill mountain.

Trishie 7:51 PM, November 03, 2009  

Congrats to Pharmie! and she had her own personal race photographer !

Aaron 12:15 AM, November 04, 2009  

What a cool looking run, like running through a postcard. Well done!

Velma 4:48 PM, November 04, 2009  

Your wife is amazing!

Wingnut 6:11 PM, November 04, 2009  

Nice job by both of you!! Congrats to Pharmie for her first trail race.

brendaj 12:39 AM, November 05, 2009  

This makes me super excited to do my first trail race in a week!

Coach Liz 10:32 PM, November 05, 2009  

Congratulations to Pharmie!!!

Great pictures Steve. It looked like a spectacular run. One of these days I will step up to the ultra-marathon thing.

Julie 3:32 PM, November 07, 2009  

WOW that's amazing I am soooo happy for her!!!

sRod 12:43 PM, November 11, 2009  

How cool! Awesome job for both you and Pharmie. The course was beautiful, but I'd personally would be pissed out about the tight trails you had to go through.

Anonymous,  11:58 AM, May 28, 2010  

Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
I've been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

Thumbs up, and keep it going!


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