Total Time: 4:51:50
Total Distance: 31 miles (50K)
Place: 1st Place Overall
Shoes:Nike Kiger 3
Shorts: Rabbit Quadzilla
Shirt: RAD Rabbit Technical
Socks: Random Bargain Bin Socks
Nutrition: Tailwind, vFuel, Coke, Water, Ice
Pre-Race, Start, and First Lap
As soon as I woke up, my tummy was already yelling at me. I knew this was a bad sign - I often have stomach issues during ultras, so the fact that this was starting before I left the house wasn't great. Woof. I did my best to settle my stomach and try and hit the bathroom, remain calm, and just hope it would get better. Unfortunately, it zapped my focus and excitement, and I quickly switched my mindset to one of "I just want to get this thing over with."
After one last pit stop, I headed to the open field where the race starts. When the clock hit 7AM, the RD lead us around a field (to thin out the crowd), and then onto the start of the single track, about a quarter of a mile after the start. I did my best to stay up with him so I didn't get stuck behind a conga line, which I was able to do. I broke ahead with another runner, and tried to keep gaining distance in front of the chase pack, while at the same time not moving too fast.
|Chasing Nick the RD!|
The pit stop put me in second place, but after about 20 minutes or so of controlled running, I caught back up to 1st, and we ran together for a while. It wasn't a crazy pace, which was fine because I was still on target for a sub-5 finish, and was thinking more about when to strategically make a move. I was doing fairly well overall, but the heat was starting to get to me (not nearly as bad as last year, but still 78-80 with a ton of humidity). Oh, and the miles of rocky, rooty terrain were starting to beat up my legs.
I kept pushing together with the other runner, and eventually he started to fall back a bit. For a few miles I thought he was just a few feet behind me, so I kept pushing, all with a big smile on my face, and a deep, deep desire to be at the finish line! I blew through the final aid station on the way back, and kept focused on keeping a decent pace until the end!
For anyone considering this race, it's a great, challenging race that is well supported with amazing air and wonderful volunteers. There's about 4K of vert for the 50K, but that's over a lot of technical terrain. I always feel like if this course were just a little smoother, I could run 30-40 minutes faster. There are just too many sections where you're kicking your way through fields of rocks that really slow you down. The same is true for several descents - there's a strong desire to bomb down hills, but you end up being slowed by the technical terrain.