2010 Bimbler’s Bluff 50K

We ran in the first edition of the Bimbler’s Bluff 50K in 2008, but missed 2009. We returned to this fine 50 kilometer trail running race in 2010, and Debbie took on the challenge while I performed Daddy Duty and crew duty. Once again, Race Director Jerry Turk and the Bimbler gang put on a fine event. My day was a blur. Between diaper changes, handing off bottles, taking photographs, reading the course map, answering questions, tying shoes, trips to the potty, driving the “team vehicle,” feeding the crew, buckling and un-buckling car seats; there wasn’t a moment to relax. This was my second Ironman in two weeks.

Fabulous fall weather in the shoreline town of Guilford, Connecticut made it better. Guilford is blessed with an amazing trail system and the Bluff uses many of them, including two jewels in the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail crown: the Mattabesett Trail and the Lone Pine Trail.

We are big fans of the Connecticut Forest & Park Association, so it is great to see another awesome trail race making use of the CFPA’s trail system. The Guilford Conservation Land Trust and several other organizations come together in support of the race.

Debbie had a good day, but a rough day. She was third woman, but faded a bit at the end as the bonk set in. The kids and I saw her at Aid Stations 2 and 3. We made it to Aid Station 4, but we missed her by nearly 20 minutes. It took us too long to get there and she had already gone through. This was a critical mistake because she ended up not taking enough food and fluids. She ran out before she could get to Aid Station 5 and slowed significantly in the final miles. She wasn’t the only person to fade on the rugged course.

Several people, including our friend, fellow Shenipsit Strider, and ultra rookie, John Agosto, blew hard. Kristina Folcik was another Strider who had a tough but rewarding run. John gets huge credit for toughing it out and getting the finish. That was a gutsy effort that will pay dividends the next time. It was that kind of day for many of the 135+ runners who took the start line.

Brian Rusiecki overcame a few wrong turns on the famously difficult to follow course, and took the victory in convincing fashion. First female was his partner in crime, Amy Lane, who has had a stellar year at all distances. Brian and Amy have racked up quite a few double victories in 2010. She was in first for a while, fell back to second, but regained the lead despite a hard fall that drew a fair amount of blood.

I saw a few wounds out there today. This race has a special award for “Best Blood,” so we will have to see who garners the honor. With all the post-race chaos, I didn’t get the results, but will link to them when they are online.

We had a full day and it will take a while to unpack and clean all of the gear. Only one ultra left for Debbie in 2010. We are already thinking about hibernation…

Race Results

Coda: the times show that this is a tough race. It as also likely longer than 50K. Several GPS readings were more than 33 miles. Of course, in trail running, does it really matter? Brian Rusiecki ran 4:28:21. Ralph DiLeone, who was 2nd, was the only other runner to break five hours. Jay Avitable was third. Special mention goes to the ageless Bob Sharkey, who came across the finish line as if he was being chased by lions. He burned up the course in the 2nd half of the race. He was with Debbie at the half way mark and just took off from there. Despite his kick, Bob wasn’t the first 50+ finisher. That honor went to Avitable. Amazing stuff.

Amy Lane’s time was 5:16:44, good for 10th overall. 2nd woman was Melanie Murphy, a little less than six minutes back. Amy had a great second half, since she, Melanie, and Debbie were within two minutes of each other (with Melanie in the lead) at the 25 kilometer mark. Deb’s fueling strategy cost her nearly 20 minutes in the closing kilometers. Still, a good race by all. There were 103 finishes, with the last one, Thomas Abrams, coming in 10:22:52. I would like to hear how his day went. It must have been some adventure!

We were talking so much about Sharkey on the drive home, that our 4-year-old named his new plastic turtle after him. There is irony in that, so in honor of Sharkey’s big run. Bob at Aid Station 3 and again at the finish.

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