Sloppy Cuckoo is a series of races put on by Uberendurancesports (the RD being Stephan Weiss) in Philadelphia's Pennypack Park. This is the same venue that hosted the Dirty German Endurance Races back in May when I participated in the 50K. For the Cuckoo, Stephan puts on a 12HR, HM, Uber 10K (really 6.55) and 5K. For this year, Stephan introduced a triple challenge which consisted of the HM, 6.55 and 5K. Obviously, you cannot include the 12HR into the challenge. While floating the idea of adding the Cuckoo into my pre-Steamtown program, I initially thought of the HM only. As the race came closer, I thought about the Triple. After some Facebooking, the RD threw it out there that I could realistically quadruple. This made me think about it more. And after talking with Peg, I got the ok to go for it.
So this past Sunday, that is exactly what happened......I signed up for the Sloppy Cuckoo Triple Challenge. Peg was kind enough to drive me to the race with the intention to watch me run the HM and be back by the end of the 5K. From a timing standpoint, the HM started at 8, 6.55 at 11 and the 5K at 12:30. Knowing it would be a long day, I prepped like a mini-ultra. I had multiple trail shoes and racing tops along with a small camper cooler. Also, I brought not one but two camping chairs so I could put my feet up in between races. Due to the forecast of 80 degrees, I made sure to set up under a tree that would give me plenty of shade.
Before the race, I saw Joanna (who was hoping in the 12HR) and Rodney (also doing the triple). I suggested they set up under the tree near me for the shade. Most people who were doing the 12HR had set up out in the open. Yes, the majority had shade tents but not all of them.
As 7:30 hit, Joanna was off, along with Amy (who was running her 1st 12HR). Amy's husband, Emir was doing the HM. I had managed to say hi to Emir and Amy before her start.
As 8:00 neared, I saw Jonathan Cornibe. For the HM, I knew he would be my toughest competition. Jon is great on the trails and has been running tremendously as of late. My shot at the triple was not going to be easy. From the get-go, I ran to put distance between Jon and myself. After a small 2 mile loop, I had some lead. Enough thankfully that when my own dog, Falcon started running after me, he did not interfere with any other runners. Mentally, his pursuit threw me off my game for a good chunk of the race from that point out because of the worry that Peg was not able to corral him and something happened. In my head, I thought about stopped and taking him back. Thankfully, it did not come to that. In the end, I managed to break the existing event record in the HM in 1:23:29.
Now, I had to wait......and wait. During this wait, I used the bathroom a few times. As 11 approached, I worked to pump myself up. The heat was around much more than during the HM. At the start of the race, I nearly tripped three strides into the race. The way I look at the Uber 10K, I survived it. The switchback section made me dizzy. Amazingly, I won in 43:36. (My triple lead was over 20 minutes going into the 5K)
Before I knew it, the 5K had arrived and Peg was back to watch me run. It was a blitz, I flew threw this race in 16:45. Triple victory complete! (Combined: 2:23:51)
Strike that.....Quadruple victory as I also won the challenge since I took all three events outright. For my efforts, I took home two cuckoo clocks, two weather houses and one whistle in addition to some delicious grilled cheese in my belly. To wash it all down, I celebrated with a Coca Cola from Wawa on the drive home.
Three days out and I am flushing any tightness out of my system as I finish my final week of training before Steamtown on Oct 12. Going in, I feel really happy with my recent results. I'm ready to go....