Going to the Derby 50K has become a Thanksgiving Weekend tradition for me since 2003. I regret now that I didn't run that 1st one but at the time I was still fairly new at ultra running and didn't think I had had enough time to recover from my last race and prepare for the next one on my schedule. I did however go down and volunteer and then ran the third lap with the Finkles. I have since raced every year and include myself in a small group of 6 that have raced it 6 times. My buddy Tony Rouse is now the only one to have run every year with 7 finishes.
The picture above is from 2007 with Jenn the Ultra Angel before her first one. I ran a PR 4:46:58 that year and it remained my pr until I ran 4:44 at Frosty Fifty this past January. Derby doesn't have age group awards but I was the first Grandmaster in 06 and 07. My streak of "wins" was broken in 08 when I just ran to finish due to my nagging hamstring injuries and would take off 6 weeks immediately afterwards and then last year I ran with Karla in her first ultra.
Derby is one of the rare road ultra's and although it has some rolling hills I consider it a pretty fast course. With the way things have been going in my last two races I'm not sure what will happen this weekend. I would like to race it and go for yet another 50k pr and at my age I know I won't have too many more opportunities to do that. My plan is to take it very easy the first two or three miles and then pick it up to pr pace and see how I feel and go from there.You never know about these things so you just take the good days when they come. If I figure out I 'm not going to get the pr I will probably drop back and run with Amy (Marathon Mom) Surrette who is eager to run her first ultra. Lisa will be running her first Derby and 2nd ultra and I expect she will once again do well. Sadly, The Marathon princess won't be returning as she is resting a nagging foot injury and Jenn has to work.