I spend two years driving around the Youngstown area without setting foot in Mill Creek Park. I working for a food brokers peddling deep-fried goodies to the fine folks of Y-Town. In the middle of this rusted-out steel town is a crown jewel. Mill Creek Metropolitan Park District preserves open spaces within the urbanized Mahoning Valley. Mill Creek Park encompasses approximately 2,600 acres, 20 miles of drives, and 15 miles of foot trails, and a rare collection of gardens, streams, lakes, woodlands, meadows and wildlife for all to enjoy.
For the last four years it's been home to the Youngstown Ultra Trail Classic (YUT-C). This would be my first time running YUT-C, I almost pasted it up because of my plans to run the Akron Marathon on Sept. 27th. I'm glad I didn't the course was great. The morning temp was cool, but once the sun came out it warmed up, with low humidity. I think we hit a high in the high 70's. I met Vince, Rob, & Dave at Vertical Runner at 5:45am. Rob drive us in his high-tech sportwagon. Vince manned the CD/music so we listen to parts of every CD in the car. Before we left we were chatting and I mentioned/(was whining about) being sick, working late, and other whiny things. I said I may only run the half(25K), if I'm still feeling sick. Vince said,"What? "The Half, then why are you here?" "You signed up for the 50K right?" "Then run the 50K." I kept this with me the entire run. It motivated me to keep running.... "I'm here to run the 50K". I've said it before, you can find more excuses/reasons not to run then to run.
I had the same plan as my Green Lake 50k a few weeks ago. The plan was to get to the next aid station. I didn't look at my garmin thinking, "man I got 15 miles to go!" I kept thinking I only have four miles to go. It worked really well. I felt really good out there. Except for a swarm of bees that got us. I got stung four times in the leg. The guy if front of me got it five times. The storm must have taken out a hive. I was in the grove jamming to my MP3 player, then out of nowhere Vince came up scaring me with his yelling. He was on his last leg of the race. I tried to keep up with his pace but couldn't do it. He was cruising up the hills like a cheetah after a gazelle. The last 9-10 miles I ran with Tanya. We motivated each other and talked about chugging gallons of recovery chocolate milkshakes after the run. We also got Walt (Tayna's Husband) to come out to pace us for the last 7 miles. Tayna would serge ahead of me a few times then I would catch up once I got to a hill. I got an energy boost in the last two miles and serge ahead...Tanya said, "Go ahead Bill, but not to far ahead." Once I got to the finish line I ran back to Tayna and ran her into the finish. What great fun! I was beat after the run I went home and slept for a few hours. Sunday I felt good, after church the family & I when on a hike.
next weekend Akron....