Monday, April 25, 2011

Promise Land 50K 2011

Promise Land 50K 2011

I have been trying to write a race report this morning. I have started it several different times, but mostly I have just been staring at the screen. While I was staring at the screen, a guy from my past sent me a message on face book. Joe and I became friends when Mom, Dad, my brother and I used to mud race (drag racing cars thru mud). He sent me this question. “I have to ask, how did you go from mud racing, to running marathons?”
That is a good question. We all have our stories. You can read my story. Just read my profile.

To all my running buddies, if you would be interested in sharing your story with me contact me at be sure to let me know if it is ok to share your stories with others on my blog. Your stories might be inspirational to someone else.

Well I guess I should write about the race now. This was my 3rd PL. I love this race because it never gets any easier. After setting new PRs at HL and Terrapin this year I was feeling a little cocky (ok, a lot cocky), I went out way too hard and I paid for it in the middle of the race. I really felt bad from Sunset Fields till I got back to Corneilus Creek the second time, it seemed like 100 people passed me in that section.

I loaded up with water and all the food I could carry in my hands before leaving Corneilus Creek to head up the falls; I had no idea how long it takes to get up that hill, so I noted the time. I talked to one guy near the bottom, he had not done this race before, so he was asking if this was the hard section everybody talks about, I told him he better be loaded up, because this was it. He was moving well and pulled away. The farther I got up the hill the better I felt, then I saw a woman standing on the bridge and knew right away, it was “icy-hot”. I hadn’t seen her since last year, she is now married and lives in Texas, she offered me a bottle of ice-cold water. I don’t usually like cold water when running, but on this warm day it felt really good in my belly. (Thanks Robyn)

I thought I was moving up the hill pretty well, when I heard somebody coming up behind me fast. He was running hard and went right by me. I said something to him, but I don’t remember what it was. He turned and looked at me. He asked if my name was Kenny? I said yes, who are you? That is how I met Adam. He said he was a fellow West Virginian and recognized me from my blog. Well I guess somebody does read it. Thanks Adam, glad to meet you.

I had already passed the sign that says .9 mile to the parkway when I caught up to the guy that I talked to at the bottom. He said “man you were not kidding about this hill.” He said he had run out of water I offered him some of mine, but he declined. Soon we came to the aid station. 1 hour 15 minutes to the top.

I grabbed more food and water. Kissed my wife and told her I was glad she was here today and then started across the parkway. I came upon a couple of guys at the gate that were moving real slow. I asked if they were ok? They said they were pretty nauseas. I told them I had ginger chews if they wanted one. They both took one and we started running down the trail. We ran together for a while, but I was going a little faster so I pulled away. I continued down the hill, feeling pretty good. A couple of miles from the end those two guys blew by me and thanked me for the ginger. They said it worked very well to settle their stomachs. I had found a young guy having cramps a couple of hours earlier and given him a couple of salt pills. He blew by me also. Every time I help someone they end up passing me. Oh well. I know they would help me too.

Before I knew it, I was finished. I got my handshake and ice cream sandwich from Dr. Horton and picked up my finishers shorts.

Thank you Dr. Horton for another great race. Thanks to all the volunteers. Thanks Mrs. Horton for the wonderful after race feast.

Kenny Wheeler


  1. Man kenny I wish I was there. But I have to admit the terrapin really did me in and taught me a lesson about how to handle a race like that, after it's over. Especially if you want to have a race filled season. I will surley see you out there next year and maybe at the MMT50. Great race and report. My story is short but I will share it with you.

  2. Kenny,

    Nice to meet you at PL. See you down the trail!

    - Adam

  3. great job and way to help out your fellow ultrarunners with the ginger and salt tabs! it was great to see you this weekend!
    PL is a tough, tough course! it sure schooled me! :o)

    take care and see you soon!!


  4. You are certainly correct about Promise Land. It is always tough and it never gets easier. I doubt it took you three times to learn that though. I don't know if you were being cocky or not. I have a feeling it was just feeling a bit confident about being able to run strong. Sounds like you ran strong and had a tough spell, but that happens most races. Your race strategy probably unfolds like mine as the race goes on. Take it for what it is. Relish in the fact that you completed one of the toughest 50k's ++ around. That is such an accomplishment. Plus, all of the people you helped out there on the course. Where would they have been without you. They might not have finished. You are a true ultra runner!