I arrived to the entrance of
Pre race photo
My goal for this race was to finish in the top 20 our blow up trying. From looking at last year’s results I saw that I 5:54 would have been good enough to place in the top 20 so that is what I was shooting for. When the gun went off I tried to get near the front of the pack to avoid that clutter that would be caused by 100+ people being crammed into a long steep single track climb. This race has 10 climbs that are spaced realativley even throughout the course. They usually come after every aid station. Rob and Adam both went out ahead of me as we entered the climb. I passed Rob on the down hill, of course it would be short lived as we would run the first 11 miles of the race very close to each other.
As I was running down the second climb, around mile 5, I twisted my right ankle. The guy coming up behind me asked me if I had heard it pop. I told him I hadn’t, and he said it should be OK. It only hurt for a couple minutes, after that I was fine. Rob passed me going into the third or fourth climb at mile 11. I wouldn’t see him again until the finish line, after he had time to eat and shower. Before he passed I voiced my concerns about how I though I had gone out too fast and would blow up soon. He told me that I had put in the training and I would be fine. Of course, he wasn’t going to say “Yeah, you idiot, you went out to fast, now your screwed!” I appreciated it nonetheless. By the 6th “hill”(I would call them mountains) My climbing legs were gone. I could still pound the down hills and flats but the rest of my climbs would be pretty slow. Comming into the aid station at mile 20 I passed Adam who was having bit of a rough patch. He rebounded to finish just over 6 hours. A great showing for his first ultra. Despite my worries of going out to fast, I was able to maintain a good pace throughout the run. I never blew up and felt really good the whole way through.
As I descended the final climb around mile 29 I twisted my right ankle again, this time I heard it pop. It hurt like hell for a minute or to then subsided. Luckily it was at the end of the race and didn’t have an effect on my finishing time. I crossed the line in 5:51, which was below my goal of 5:54. It is also a new trail 50k PR. Beating my old PR of 5:56, set on a MUCH flatter course last December. The race field was much bigger this year, so my 5:51 wasn’t good enough for a top 20 as it would have been last year. I ended up finishing 35th out of 135 registered runners. I am happy with that. I felt better after this race then I ever have after any race, which is weird because I really pushed it hard. It is amazing how short 6 hours of running feels after the 28+ hours of running required to finish my last race. When I came to the final aid station and they told me I had 3 miles to go, I couldn’t believe it. I felt like I was just getting started.
Post race photo (happy)
This race is definitely up there in terms of difficulty. It may be the most difficult 50k I have run. The climbs were just ridiculous at times. You would climb straight up for about 10 minutes, then come to a turn and think you were finished only the make the turn and see that you were only about half way up. Even the smallest of the 10 were bigger than any hill at Mo, and apparently they don’t know much about switch backs in
My ankle swelled up on the ride home and feels pretty bad now. I figure it will be a few days before I can run on it again. I will be OK for BT50k next weekend.