I'll keep this one short:
* Slept in ('til 7:30)
* 10 minute drive from home to the starting line.
* Cold but not rainy
* Got under way at 9am
* ran with my VT50K buddy Frank for a short distance
* Was going slow on the hilly technical terrain but feeling good & comfortable
* Nice view at mile 5
* Frank passed me at mile 7.9 (or so)
* Ran off the course at mile 8. Spent 15 minutes finding my way back.
* Found the course where I left it, shocked at how I ran off (it was clearly marked)
(here's where it gets important)
* Mile 10: tripped on a root. Rock meets kneecap.
* Steve curled in fetal position for 60 seconds, got up and started walking
* Pain went away after 2 minutes. started jogging again.
* Pain came back after 5 minutes. started walking. Pain didn't go away
* Hit a short asphalt section. continued walking. Pain didn't go away.
* Sat on rock and rubbed that groove at the inside edge of the kneecap. Pain got worse.
* Look at watch. I was on pace to miss the cutoff 10 miles down the road, and even if I didn't, going 20 more miles on that knee didn't seem prudent.
* Called my wife to come pick me up. Started walking to the starting line.
On the drive out, I came across Frank and two other guys walking back towards the starting line. They were told they ought to turn around, they had little chance of making the next cutoff. Because he passed me right before I got lost, I knew he was at least 15 minutes ahead of me - and healthy - yet he was turned around. Reading the race results, I see the winner took 5:20, and there were 69 finishers, 1 DQ and 32 DNFs, not including DNSs. That's really high for a 50K. It's a tough course.
Maybe next year. It's a great race. I liked it.
* Rested and iced it all afternoon on saturday.
* Sunday: pain on stairs, going both up and down. Rested it all afternoon after church. Iced it at night.
BTW - I overheard a lot of people complain about getting lost. I know I did, but it's my own fault for not paying attention. I saw another guy run right off the trail (he was too far away from me for me to catch him or for him to hear me). He missed a VERY clearly marked turn. I don't know everyone's situation, but it seems to me that the RD did as good a job marking the course as can be expected - it's just, in that area, it's easy to take a wrong turn..
New entries for Steve's blog are published every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10:00am NY time and can be seen at http://www.tursi.com