Sure, my annoying injuries have kept me from getting into any sort of racing shape for the Bull Run 50 miler this weekend, but I really don't care. I'm just so happy I can finally run in a race again (it's been FIVE full months since my last race). It'll be a little bit of a let-down not to try and contend for a podium spot in the race on Saturday, but I think the weather (looks beautiful), terrain (I love that course - when dry!), and camaraderie with the other runners out there will make the experience just as rewarding.
Adding to the fun will be the fact that I'm running the race officially as "Tom Griffin", my great-great-great Grandfather who actually fought in the battles of Bull Run about 150 years ago. My parents will be coming down from MA to join in the fun with me, and I'm sure it'll take me a couple of Aid Stations before I get used to hearing them yell, "Go, Tom!".
Even though the course should be in great shape by Saturday, I know I need to keep it in a low gear all day to stay healthy and survive the "battle". I figure I'll go out comfortably at more of a 100 mile pace and just try to hold that steady the whole way. I'm treating this run as more of a training run for the Mohican Trail 100 miler in June, and with the terrain of the two courses being very similar, it'll be the perfect testing ground.
In other news, I'm excited to note that I will be pacing a new (and fast!) face in the ultra-running world at this year's Massanutten 100 in May. Nick Pedatella of Boulder, CO has posted some smokin' fast times in his first couple ultras, and given that he's only 23, I expect a bright future for him in the 100 mile world. I'll be pacing Nick for about the last 30 miles of the race, and given the absolutely stacked field this year (I see about 8 guys who could win the thing), I'll have the best seat in the house to see how the final stages of this battle unfold. If he can withstand the cracks of my whip, I'll do my best to get Nick a spot on the podium!