Yes it was hot as advertised, but what a great event. I got there about 30 minutes early, and signed in and got my race number. Instead of the standard T-shirt, we got towels with the race logo printed on them. I actually used the towel during the race to wipe the sweat off my face, it really came in handy. Then I went back to my car, put foot potion on my feet and my number on my shirt. I also got to talk a bit with DavidRay and met Christian who was celebrating his 37th birthday and was planning on running at least 37 miles. Race director Sarah gave us final instructions (number one rule was "don't die"), we walked up the street about a block so the field of 50 runners would have time to spread out a bit, and then we were off.
It was a beautiful course and the trail was in perfect condition. Just wet enough to be soft, but not so wet as to be muddy. There was a boardwalk section that was slippery early in the day, and one "hill". I'm exaggerating when I say it was 20 feet high, but it was a good excuse to walk for a bit. The 1.12 mile loop actually seemed to get shorter with each lap for about the first four hours, but for me, one section that got longer each lap was the 2 block stretch on the street just prior to the lap counting station and the awesome lap counters. The fully stocked aid station was right after that and "Cold Water Dude" made sure everyone kept their water bottles filled.
I saw some people out on the trail that I had run with during the Darkside 8 Hour run. One gal was Karen who was running this as a training run for the Lean Horse 100 mile run later this month. I also saw Tom on the course, when I talked to him for a bit, he was hoping to cover at least 26.2 miles which would give him 301 marathons or greater. (I checked the results and he did reach 26.79 miles, even though he hadn't run since memorial day due to an illness!) I also ran a lap with fellow blogger DavidRay, check out his race report here, he always has an awesome report with great pictures.
As far as my race went, I don't think it could have gone any better. As disappointed as I was with my effort at Grandma's marathon, take the inverse of that, and that's as happy with my effort on Saturday. I started out slow running 8.5 minutes and walking 1.5 minutes. My plan was to maintain that for 4 hours and then add more walking for the last 4 hours. I actually was able to maintain my original pace for 6 hours and then went with 3.5 minutes running and 1.5 minutes walking. The hydration, electrolytation (yes its a new word I invented) and nutrition all went very well. I carried a water bottle and took a swallow or two every 10 minutes, took an S-cap every 40 minutes the first 4 hours and every 30 minutes the last 4 hours, ate something about every hour (the boiled potatoes dipped in salt seemed to hit the spot, plus I had a total of about 3 Oreo cookies), and had a cup of Gatorade about every hour. The last 3 hours, I substituted Coke for the Gatorade and that seemed to hit the spot. I had absolutely no cramping, sore legs, swollen hands, or anything else that one expects during an ultra. The only problem that came up was that after the race when I took my shoes and socks off, I noticed that two toenails were casulties. Somehow, I managed to get blisters UNDER the toenails. (no I won't show pictures, but if you google blister under toenail you'll see pictures that look exactly like my toes) After the race we had grilled hamburgers and leftover aid station goodies.
There were some very speedy people out on the trail. One gal (who I'm sure was less than half my age) named Kate seemed to lap me almost every lap. She managed to run more miles than the old male course record and covered an amazing 52.46 miles. Two guys ran 48 laps, setting a new male course record of 53.57 miles. As for me, I ran 30 laps for a total of 33.48 miles. I ran 16 laps the first 4 hours and 14 laps the last 4 hours. So I was very consistent and didn't slow down much at all. The heat acclimation runs the previous weeks really helped me, and I felt 100% better than I did during my last race.
Finally I want to leave you with a video that Rahn made of the hundred of pictures he took during the race. When you see a person with a white shirt and blue cap zip by, that's me. The best place to see me is around the 2:45 mark.
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