Sunday, July 7, 2013

Midnight Madness 50 miler

Tulsa's longest footrace was ran yesterday--the Midnight Madness 50 miler. This jaunt on bnoth the east and west sides of the Arkansas River between the RR pedestrian bridge and the 71st St bridge is a 10.3 mile loop, ran 5 times. (Do the math--it's actually 51.5 miles--BONUS!!) This is the 4th year for this race, a brain-child of one Brian Hoover aka Head TATUR. This race always seems to attract media attention. Running what adds up to almost two marathons in the middle of the night and finishing in the heat of day in what is often the hottest part of summer just seems crazy, yet each years there has always been over a hundred runners crazy enough to do it. Check out the Channel 6 story on the event.

I, TZ, thought it might be a good idea at 10:00 pm to lay down and catch an hour long lap. I woke up at 11:45, and despite doing my fastest moving in recent weeks, arrived at the race just as the starting gun sounded.

Picture courtesy of Tom Love
I did not have my race number or ship, so I filmed the runners as they took off. 125 of them. It was a nice night--80-something degrees with a mid 70s low forecast and a decent breeze all night.

I had no desire to push the pace anyway, and got checked in, and took off at a slow trot.

The throng of runners were about a mile ahead of me when I got going, and I planned to pick them off one at a time if things went right.

The course went west on the RR pedestrian bridge--one of my favorite stretches to run. The surface is decked and it is soft on the feet. A good cross-breeze is always a treat during the hot days (or nights) of summer.
After three miles, I caught up with Eunsup Kim. His race strategy is start very slow and then speed up. He was in last place for laps 1 and 2, and then started running at a much quicker pace and moved up in the standings. I also caught up with Rachael, who was running this race for the third year determined to get a finish. We chatted for a while and then I moved on ahead a little.

The big party was at Turkey Mountain, where Marty Odom, John Nobles, Matt Carver, Bill McGee, Kristina Leihberr, Jenny Sanchez, and Danielle Martin waited on runners hand and foot.

From there, I ran the last half rather lackadaisical, and with my 10 minute delay starting, finished in 2:40 about a half hour slower than what I thought I'd be doing.

I refilled my water bottle and headed on out. Somewhere near 61st Street, I turned around and headed back to the start/finish. Maybe I lacked motivation, maybe I was just tired from working all day on a 30' ladder, maybe I was just sleepy, but one thing was certain--I was first quitter. I thought I would help out at the s/f aid station, and after checking in, left to make a coffee run and ended up napping in my car until 7:00 am. This concluded the personal side of this race (non-race) report.

I was awakened from my slumber at 6:51 when Brian was whooping it up about the men's winner approaching the finish line. Picture courtesy of Tom Love
Nick Seymour crushed his time last year by clocking a 6:51 this year. Aided by the cooler temperatures and a horse race for the first three laps with Katie Kramer, Nick just rolled.

Jennifer Overmeyer won the women's race, running 8:50 with the help of the slave-driving Stormy Phillips. Stormy would have easily won the women's title if he had followed through with that gender-change procedure he was considering.

The finish line buffet was being assembled. Darcy Carson and Venus Fulghum slice watermelon and prepare sandwiches with a smile. Hope they got good tips!. Maggie Cooper also pitched in serving food to weary finishers. Shorty Jennings worked all night and most of the day at the aid station at the end of the timing chute.

I headed out to grab some coffee and some non-aid station stuff to eat, and dropped by the Turkey Mountain oasis to see how they were doing.
Bill was still standing. Matt was catching up on his beauty sleep.

Picture courtesy of Tom Love
The weatherman said we were looking at mid 90s for midday, where the mortal runners would be finishing. But we had partly to mostly cloudy and an awesome south breeze which made it closer to bearable. I was given chair duty. Part of the paved trail was under reconstruction and was closed, but RiverParks was allowing the race to run through it over a half mile section that was on packed gravel. No problem there. But a stipulation was that we had to monitor the traffic so ONLY our runners were in the construction area. This was a futile effort as many bike riders felt they should have access too. Every day since may 28, and every day until mid October this portion was and will be heavily fenced off. But on a brighter note, I got to see many of my friends in their finishing mile.
Ken Saveth, paced by Darcy Carson, jogs by with happy feet. Great job, K2!

Mitch Drummond is here so very near the finishing line en route to his first 50 mile finish. Kathy was a half lap ahead of him, and waited for over an hour at the TM aid station to pace our friend home. Barbara Pinkerton was Mitch's official pacer for lap five.

This is what it's all about. 14+ hours of pain (with some fun mixed in) gets you to the finish line and to a milestone that few people ever see. 50 miles. Picture courtesy of Brian Smith

133 people signed up ... 125 showed up ... 8 people stayed home .. 19 people succumbed...and 106 FINISHED ! Here are the results from the 4th Annual Tatur's Midnight Madness 51.5 Mile Race.

From Head TATUR Brian Hoover:
Volunteers for Tatur's Midnight Madness 50 Miler ! Words cannot describe how proud we are of all of those who compete in the race ! However we want to thank each and every one of the INCREDIBLE Tatur Volunteers. Many of them were out in the heat for over 31 hours with no sleep, literally running to keep the water, food and Gatorade stocked and iced, setting up all the equipment, marking the course, making sure the results were correct, cheering, setting up the aid stations, serving food, cooking bacon, cleaning the restrooms, handing out medals, patrolling the course, staying for hours after the race was over cleaning up trash, packing away the aid stations, etc etc. You folks are also TRUE HEROES !!

And a few comments....


* You guys are the BEST!!!!

* Those volunteers were AWESOME!!! Seriously! They were the best ever. Thanks to all of you!

* THANK YOU!!!! The volunteers at the aid stations were amazing!! I was too exhausted to even really how them my gratitude but they were so helpful and really made sure I had everything I needed when I was too tired to even think about what I needed. Thanks to all of you!!!

* Thanks again to the volunteers....
4 hours ago · Like

* I only completed the last 10 miles as a "pacer" with my husband and I agree......the volunteers were awesome!

* Wow that was fun! Can't wait for next year!

* Thanks to Tatur Racing and all the volunteers. Another great event. Your hard work and sacrifice is appreciated by many.

* Great race yesterday! Thanks to Tatur Racing for hosting another great event.

* Finished! It was freaken' Hard! Thank you Tatur for making it fun as well! BTW- when will I be able to walk again:))))

* Tatur Racing rocks! All you runners rock!

* It was brutal....I cant walk now.....but I liked the challenge...

* Another awesome race pulled together by you and the crew again, Brian. Always have a great time out there at MM making me want to torture myself yet another year again. And my left foot has found it's home right next to the left one. YOU ROCK!!!!!!

* Thank you Tatur Racing for putting on such great races! I love the running community, they are all so positive and encouraging! I wasn't able to complete the entire race, but everyone still made me feel like a winner! You guys are awesome!

* This race was first class and the volunteers were a huge reason. Great job guys!!

Great group of volunteers! They made the race even better.

* Huge thanks to the volunteers. Especially everyone at the turkey mountain station it was my oasis out of the darkness. The bacon was just what I needed.

* Thank you SO much to all of the volunteers. Races like this couldn't happen without your. I am very, very appreciative for the blessing you were during this run!

* The volunteers made it for me.....Especially that one guy at Turkey Mountain, "pushing" for us to eat the bacon.....That bacon was good. A Great bunch of people made me laugh and kept encouraging me to keep going......
5 hours ago · Like · 1

* Yes, yes, yes! Thanks so much to the volunteers and organizers. You made this a first class event! Well, you guys and the bacon...

* I always believe volunteering is more difficult than competing

* Great job by Taturs timing and All the volunteers! As a slow runner I never had any doubts that anything I needed would be found. The encouragement and positive words were timely. Thanks again from the caboose.

* Thanks to all the volunteers, especially the ones who made sure Brandon made it the last few miles to the finish!

* There are never enough Thank you's for volunteers. You guys make it happen for us crazy runners

* Thank you all very much!! y"all are what makes this event GREAT!

* Thank you volunteers, you were great as always!

* I had a great time yesterday. The TATUR's know how to put on a race. The volunteers were great. The t-shirt says it all.

* BACON???? Did someone say BACON????

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