JFK 50 Miler

Happy Thanksgiving! - Having Fun - Tewksbury, MA - 3.1

Day 328 - We were finally out of the woods at mile 15.5! It took us 2 hrs and 15 minutes to get through the tricky trail section, putting us about 20 minutes ahead of schedule and nearly a full minute per mile ahead of projected pace!

We were greeted by Fil & Co before getting onto the towpath. Katy went off to use the bathroom while I quickly spoke to Fil. I told him that Katy was currently 1st female overall and, as it so often happens, on cue was the 2nd place female coming through. This was surprising considering that I didn't see another female runner on the trails over the last 10 miles. I thought we had a much more substantial lead than 30 seconds.

This was also where I made the biggest mistake of the day (and most likely cost Katy a shot at placing in the top 5 females. Sorry!). I gave Fil our water bottle and asked him to get a re-fill and to give it back to me at the next meet up. He misunderstood me because we didn't see Fil, or the water bottle again, for the remainder of the race! I had also taken out a small baggy from the water bottle holder thinking that they contained the salt tablets that Katy had told me about earlier. Instead, the baggy contained ibuprofen pills! The salt tablets were still in the water bottle holder. The same one that I just gave to Fil for good!

Katy and I re-joined the rest of the runners and quickly caught the lead female runner shortly after getting on the towpath. People say that the towpath is flat, but what they fail to notice is a slight incline for the entire stretch because we're going upstream. The net gain in elevation is about 75 ft, so we are basically climbing a 26 mile mole hill.

The change in footing was a nice change though, and it was time to settle into roughly an 8 minute pace for our 3:30'ish marathon. We were targeting nothing more than 4 hrs for this stretch. If we could hold that pace throughout the towpath, then we would be in good shape for the final section of 8 miles on the road.

We were moving at a fast clip right away without the rocks and roots of the trails to roil our plans. I had to remind Katy a couple of times to bring it back a little every time we went sub 7:30 on the towpath. The other female runner was about 20 yards behind us and didn't look like she was going to make a move any time soon.

Katy held the lead on the towpath for about 2 miles before the 2nd place female finally made a move and passed going at about sub 7:30. I told Katy to let her go and to focus on our own race. There was still plenty of race left.

It was around the first aid station on the towpath that Katy started to complain of stomach issues, and her hands were getting puffy from the lack of salt in her system. Not good.

Our pacing was anything but steady through this stretch as it began to creep up to the high 8's around mile 20, and back down to the mid 7's through mile 22. Things were not going to plan at this point.

It was Katy that first noticed the red singlet draped on the sinewy body of an elite looking runner at around Mile 25.


Something was definitely wrong with this picture.


  1. I would try to check Fil's cell phone records if you can, sounds like he might be a double agent who is secretly working for one (or more) of the other teams.

    Bonus points for working the word "roil" into your post, nicely done.

  2. EJ, I've checked and all we see are 1-900 #'s.

  3. I probably have them already, but I'll send you a spreadsheet. I would hate to miss a good one, if you could compare my black book against Fil's it would be greatly appreciated.