Door County Fall 50 - RunUltra Marathon

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Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
United States
Total Time = 8h 52m 7s
Overall Rank = 22/52
Age Group = Master
Age Group Rank = 6/20
Pre-race routine:

Drove up to the race site the day before with one of my training buddies John (he qualified for Kona last month). Woke up around 4:30 to catch the 5:30 bus to the start area. The seats on the bus were not very comfortable. They had hard wooden backs - a school bus would have been better.
Event warmup:

For a 50 miler?
  • 8h 52m 7s
  • 50 miles
  • 10m 38s  min/mile

It was windy and cool at the start so many people had a lot of clothes on for the run. By the first aid station I was heating up so I stripped down to my compression running shorts and long-sleeve top.

For weeks prior to this race I kept saying I was not going to race it, just survive it and get in under 11 hours. That would qualify me to enter the lottery for the 2009 Western States 100 ( The night before John kept trying to trash talk me into racing it with him, rather than just play it conservative. He used the phrase "Iron Girl" several times to try to bait me. I didn't give in to the trash talk and stuck to my plan to play it conservative. I went out pretty slow and actually walked up the first hill that occurred within 2 miles. It felt pretty weird to start walking so soon, but I hoped it would pay off later in the race. I purposely walked most of the hills throughout the entire race.

My nutrition plan was to carry a 20 oz bottle of Infinit with me on a waist belt holder. The night before we were given 9 aid station bags that we could fill with whatever we wanted. I put a powerbar and Gu in each bag plus a ziplock bag filled with pre-measured Infinit powder. At the first few aid stations I only used the Infinit powder and used the water at the aid station to dilute it. Around aid station 4 I started eating a Gu and washed it down with water. As it turned out, I never ate a Powerbar the entire race.

At the halfway mark they had a variety of food and soup available but I didn't want to take a chance with my stomach, so I stuck with a Gu and refilled my Infinit bottle. I also decided to change into fresh socks that I had put into the halfway aid station bag.

I had started to pass a few people around the 20 mile mark. I came through the 26.2 mile marker in 4:19:27, my slowest non-IM "marathon" ever. At that point I decided to increase my pace just slightly. It was weird knowing that with each step I took I was running further than I had ever run in my life. I could see other racers in the distance and would make an effort to slowly reel them in.

The course was very nice and a section of it went through a state park that was beautiful. Once in a while we would run through a town and it was pretty funny to realize that the tourists were oblivious to the fact that a few people running thru town with bib numbers on their front and back were part of an ultramarathon.

At about the 45 mile mark my stomach started to feel a little nauseous so I started to slow down. A little while later my right leg started to hurt a fair amount behind and just below the knee, at the top of my calf. I really didn't want to aggrevate it too much so I made a decision to walk for a few miles. I think if I had kept running I would have puked as well. I kept up a brisk walking pace even though I knew I was probably going to add 30-45 minutes to my finish time. At about the 48.5 mile mark I looked at my watch and figured that if I was going to break 9 hours I needed to start running again. I started slow and built up the pace. The leg hurt but not too bad. I wound my way through the construction of downtown Sturgeon Bay and made a turn to the long finish line chute. It was hard to believe that it was finally over. It wasn't as much of a mental challenge as I thought, but I think that was a product of taking it slow in the beginning.
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

Eat pizza and soda

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My first fitty.

Event comments:

I would recommend this race to anyone thinking about an ultra. The race organizer seems very dedicated to putting on a quality race.

While I sat eating pizza after the race I kept thinking, "there is no way I can do a 100 mile ultra". I wasn't even sure I wanted to do another 50. The next day, I started thinking, "a 50 isn't that bad". The next night I thought, OK I might "race" a 50 next year. Now, racing a 100 doesn't seem so out of reach. Just what I need...another hobby to obsess about.

Last updated: 2007-10-27 12:00 AM
08:52:07 | 50 miles | 10m 38s  min/mile
Age Group: 6/20
Overall: 22/52
Performance: Average
Mile splits: 9:44, 8:47, 10:15, 8:43, 25:17, 8:16, 9:48, 8:26, 11:51, 10:32, 10:42, 8:33, 31:18, 8:19, 9:41, 9:32, 9:38, 9:03, 8:53, 11:12, 8:58, 10:24, 9:39, 9:18, 19:47, 8:30, 9:11, 9:38, 10:51, 9:18, 9:31, 9:14, 11:07, 9:27, 9:17, 10:07, 9:46, 9:47, 11:41, 10:32, 11:24, 11:44, 16:02, 17:29, 17:07, 15:52, ? probably missing some
Course: Point to point from Gills Rock at the end of the peninsula to Sturgeon Bay
Keeping cool Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4