Second annual event and my second time here. Since I ran my first 50 miler in March, my goal today is to go at least 51 miles and also beat my time from then (9:44). If that goes well I hope to continue at an easy pace and go for at least 11 hours, making the most of the event. Last year I quit at 33.5 miles (6:22) mostly because of the intense heat. Today it will be much cooler and very nice for running.
Start to 26.2 miles - You would think that with such a long race there would be much to write about. But this course is so dull, 1.52 miles per loop around Capitol Lake, every loop blends into each other. I go a little faster than I should but also am not wasting time at the aid stations. I try to stop for water after every two laps, then have food and some other liquids on every 4th lap, being careful not to linger. Planned walk breaks after each loop give my legs a rest and a chance to digest some. I reach the marathon mark in about 4:20. Faster than planned and I am feeling good.
Mile 26.2 to 31.1 (50K) - I need to have goals within the larger goal in order to stay motivated and on task. I soon realize that if I can keep up this pace I could set a PR for the 50K distance. My PR is 5:09. I start watching the clock more closely. Then it becomes something of a challenge. I pick it up and start telling people what I am trying to do. At about 30.5 I catch up to a woman who wants to help me and she starts pacing me to go quicker. Soon I realize that she is not in the ultra race, she is just running a few laps around the lake as it is open to the public. Now we are going at about 8:30/mile pace, way faster than I should go, but I hit my mark in 5:07. Not an official PR and my GPS is off from the official race distance, so I won't count it for my records but it was a fun challenge. Now I can slow down and start thinking about 50 miles.
Mile 31.1 to 50 - This is way too long of a distance to have as a leg of this race. I have a couple of rewards planned for reaching milestones. I told myself that after 6 hours I would grab my music player and use that diversion. I also have my camera and plan to run one loop with it. But I do neither. I don't feel like taking the time to do those things. Still trying to go fast through the aid stations. I do have some fun with food. For one lap I grab 4 grapes and eat one at each quarter of the loop. I also break into my Starbucks cold frappachino drink and experiment with that. Stomach handles it well and it sure hits the spot. In the end though it was the fellow runners who made this section more than tolerable. Running mostly alone, but I keep catching up to someone taking a walk break and I can walk with them for a stretch. Or someone catches me and we run together for a bit. Rose, Esther, Guy, Monte, Marie and pack, Marilou, Robert, Cyndie, Mike and others. Jody has stopped by twice and it was great to look forward to seeing her on the back side of the course. My energy level is good, but unfortunately I am getting some pains up and down my right leg. If I walk it goes away. I am able to run farther on the gravel path than the concrete but with both surfaces I eventually get some pain and go to a walk for a while. I have plenty of time to reach my goals so I am in no rush, I for sure do not want to injure myself. I adjusted my GPS to match the official distance and now I close in on 50 miles. The Rogue Wave catches up to me and it is fitting that she is there when I hit 50 miles and cross into new mileage territory. I hit the 50 mile mark in 9:32.
Mile 50 to 57.9 - Now I have 2.5 hours to just keep moving and add to my distance record. The pain comes more often and I am walking a lot. At the 10 hour mark the leader board is updated and I am pleased to see that I am in 10th place overall. 4th Masters runner but I will not be able to catch my buddy Ron who is two laps ahead of me. The posting does not say who has stopped running, so I need to keep going. There is quite a battle for the woman's first place. I know all three women who are close to being in the lead and as I see them I encourage each of them. Jesse and Matt continue to lap me and Jesse will end up with over 80 miles! I am doing loops in about 25 minutes now, being passed by a lot of people. I decide to not start any lap after 11:30 and when I reach the check in at 11:20 I know that I will do one more lap. 3/4 of the way through, Jill Hudson blazes past me and I wonder if I just lost 10th place. It turns out that she was still one lap behind me. Also three guys who I do not know had passed me since the 10 hour mark so really I am in 13th place. Now Kimpossible passes me and again I wonder if she is on the same lap. I do not want her to beat me, so I start running faster. I work very hard and am surprised at how fast and long I can keep running. Reach the finish in 11:42. Kimpossible was one lap behind me and now she sets off to do one more. If she can not get in under 12:00 that lap will not count. It is close but she makes it. Exciting finish. Finally I sit down, for the first time since 6AM. I am able to get out of my chair when I need to but I do not feel so good. Its going to be a rough recovery but I think I will be fine in a few days. I totalled 72.9 miles in the last 7 days and that is a new record for me.
Although the course is boring and the lake is disgusting (they really need to make a decision and either dredge it or revert it to an estuary) I prefer this kind of ultra. I can't get lost, probably wont fall and don't have to carry anything as I reach the aid station and my stash of goods every 1.5 miles. The loops let me see lots of friends. Plenty of volunteers and accurate results posted in a timely fashion. Hope to come back again next year.
57.9 miles (38 laps)
11 hours 42 minutes 23 seconds
13th place of 74
Race #246 Marathon or Ultra #70 Transcendence 12 hour #2