Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Race Report: 2015 MD Heat Race 50K

The MD Heat Race took place on August 8th in Patpsco Park, which is located just outside Baltimore, and not too far from where I live in DC. I finished 9th overall, and 2nd in my age group with a time of 6 hours 8 minutes and some seconds. I did NOT expect to run over six hours that day...

Below is my very short recap of the race. I lost a lot of the details in the blog migration, but hey, it was probably too long anyway!

Start to Mile 8
I was under trained for this race, that's for sure. I thought about jumping down to the 25K, but I had already run a 50 Miler, 50K, and gone to RKUC just months before, so I figured it wouldn't be that bad. In fact, although I was still in the low-30s for weekly mileage, I was still fairly confident I could have a strong race because I was so healthy.

Me staring off thinking, "am I really ready for this?"
I started off a little quick, but slowed myself down around the half mile mark, where we soon started our first climb. It wasn't too bad, but I took it easy because I had another lap ahead of me. I also quickly realized that I had underestimated this course. It was rocky, rooty, and hilly...very hard to get a rhythm going.

Not super tall, but some were steep, and a major blockade to my flow
Some of that East Coast rocky, rooty love
The aid station wasn't until mile 8, which was a bit long for what I'm used to. Fortunately, the weather was actually pretty tame for August, and I had enough fuel with me. Plus, they had Tailwind at this race, which was freaking awesome - for me that meant I didn't have to bring extra packs with me.

Mile 8 to 16
I felt pretty good, but my mindset shifted from thinking I was going to finish closer to the top of the pack to, 'just have a fun day on the trail'. I was a bit discouraged by the fact that I had another lap ahead of me, but at least I knew what to expect, right? 

Also, the weather started to warm-up a bit, and I'm just terrible in the heat. However, my nutrition was pretty dialed, and I managed to stay on point with fluids and electrolytes.
Rivers sure were nice in that heat!
Mile 16 to Finish
The course is two, 16 miles loops. Just before you get to the start of the second loop (and the finish), there's this huge wall. Let me tell you, getting up and over this beast after 30 miles was not fun!

The other side is higher...a bit of a pain to get down.
At about mile 26 or so, I ran into a guy I had been running with earlier in the race. It was nice to see him - we were both happy to have someone to talk to at that point in the race, especially because we had been riding solo for a while. It's a pretty fun way to get to know someone!

Around 29 or so, I ran into some friends who were bopping about on the 25K course. It was fun to see them and a good break (although, they were not pleased I encouraged them to signup after they had done little training). I wanted to stay with them longer, but I had a major case of the 'just want to be dones', so I kicked my butt into gear and got moving.

When I got to the wall for the second time, I just threw my handheld over, shot up and down as fast as I could...the finish line was calling.

As I heard the sounds of the finishers, I pushed the last half mile or so, and finally crossed the finish line. The BBQ was amazing - there was a ton for me to eat as a vegetarian, and the beer selection was on point. The race director, Nick, did an incredible job with this low-key, fun race. I'll definitely come back again in the near future....

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