This year's Psycho came just one week after the Rocky Raccoon 100, where I pulled out at mile 63 with a thropping right foot. I had already made the decision to run Psycho prior to Rocky and decided to stick to the plan even though I knew it would be somewhat of a stretch to get through the 50K, especially if it was icy or muddy...it was both.
The main reason for doing this had more to do with not wanted to miss the event then it had with really wanting to run it. Ben Holmes and the Nerds have done a tremendous amount of work growing the sport of trail and ultra running. They have developed a enthusiastic community of runners and volunteers that work hard, are fun to be around and deserve to have their activities supported. The aid stations at this race have always been well staffed, but this year's race was special, as over the past year I have gotten to know a number of the Nerds who man these muddy oasis'. The other reason I didn't want to miss this years race was to cheer on the continued influx of Topekans at this very off road event. The number of trail runners continues to grow in Topeka and it is very cool to see so many Topekans do so well yesterday. Among the top performances were good friend Dave Wakefield who took sixth overall in the 50K, Kevin Lemasters who took fourth overall and won his age group in the 20 mile. Kim Deckert who finished eighth in the women's ten mile while winning her age group and Becky Collins who was right behind Kim finishing ninth in the 10 mile.
All in all my race was pretty much a carbon copy of last year, finishing in 7:25, just nine minutes off last year's pace. Significant only in the fact that I had just run 63 miles last weekend and the mud was perhaps a bit worse this year. The real by product of "getting through" these two long weekend runs (other than a very sore right foot) is the endurance base and confidence to begin the heavy training for this summer's Grand Slam. The Three Days of Syllamo is just four weeks away. Three days, 95 miles and untold elevation change throught some beautiful, but brutal country in North central Arkansas. Last year, day two was full of challenges and I eventually completed just 31 of the planned 50 miles. My hope is that the Rocky/Psycho double has built into me a liitle more endurance for the long run ahead.
In closing, first; a big shout out to GPRC-Salomon runner Rick Mayo who tore up the course in and finished in second place and finally, a big thanks and congratulations to Ben Holmes and all his Trail Nerd volunteers for another year of fun on their sadistic slip-n-slide.