When I ran the Darkside 8 hour run in May, my prize for placing 2nd female was $20 off the entry for this race, so obviously I HAD to run it. That and the fact that it is just 10 miles from where I live and the site of most of my long runs, there was no way I wouldn't run this race.
The course is run on paved golf cart paths in Peachtree City. There are no hills, no roots, no rocks, just a pretty run through the woods. A perfect venue to attempt a PR.
Race morning was perfect. Temperatures were in the upper 30's and forecast to get into the low 70's with not a cloud in the sky and low humidity. I was surprised to see a pretty large crowd. There were about 40 runners doing the 50K and about 40 runners doing the 25K and about 10 who were already out on the golf cart paths having taken advantage of the early start option. Race Director Scott Ludwig gave us our instructions (follow the yellow chalk arrows) and at 7:30 AM we were off.
Since it was a little chilly, I started out with a long sleeved shirt over my short sleeved one and a pair of gloves. I quickly settled into my slow pace (walking 1 minute out of every 10). There was one race walker dude that zipped by me like I was standing still (he also looked to be in his 60s). I know the term for when I zip by a guy is that I chicked him, and when I zip by a younger guy I cougared him; but what is it called when an older gentleman zips by me walking? I'm going with polar beared until someone comes up with something better.
There were two aid stations on the 5.18 mile loop stocked with water, gatorade, animal crackers, pringles, pretzels, etc. I was using a handheld water bottle, so I filled up every other aid station and grabbed a handful of whatever looked appetizing at the time.
After the first lap, the temperatures warmed up, so I dropped off my gloves and long sleeved shirt at the start/finish/aid station and was on my way for the second lap. On this lap I caught up with race walking dude and I told him it wasn't fair that his walk was faster than my run. He was doing the 25K option and was hoping some day to work his way up to race walking a 50K.
My laps were very consistent, after the first two laps, I extended my walking breaks to 1.5 minutes out of every 10, and I was still completing a lap in about 1:01 to 1:02. The two leading guys each lapped me twice. On the fourth lap, Team Beth zipped by me. Finally, I was on the last lap and still holding my pace. I crossed the finish line in 6:13:14, a PR by over 24 minutes and my 5th ultra finish this year. Also good for 37th place out of 41 finishers. I really like the 50K distance, but I want to try for more next year.
If you are looking for a fast, no-frills 50K, this is the race for you. Lots of friendly people out having a good time Sunday morning/afternoon.
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