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Bartram Forest Winter Trail Run - 50K - RunUltra Marathon

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Milledgeville, Georgia
United States
Kevin Hatfield
38F / 3C
Total Time = 4h 05m 20s
Overall Rank = 1/35
Age Group = Open
Age Group Rank = 1/35
Pre-race routine:

I have a tradition for this race. It's not healthy, but hey...whatever works. Brian and I went to Golden Corral for dinner upon our arrival in Milledgeville. I've been going to GoCo the night before this race since I started running it (in 2007) and it got me a 2nd place and a 1st place, so I figured, why test fate?

After dinner I got everything together for the morning and headed to bed. I knew I wouldn't sleep much, I was actually nervous. I hadn't had a good marathon so far (bonked/puked at Mile 21 at MCM, extreme exhaustion and another puking fit at Mile 21 at X-Country) so why was I thinking I could win an ULTRA??? I finally fell asleep though.
Event warmup:

In the morning we got up at 5, packed up the car, and got on our way. We stopped at Starbucks, made jokes about Jim (timebaron) and our pre-Boston-Marathon Starbucks visit, and sat for a few minutes to drink our coffee. I had gotten a donut but I couldn't stomach it. I was too nervous.

After a few minutes we headed to the park. I was fearing that a bunch of really fast runners would be in the mix this year. The 2008 race only brought 35 people. This year it was well over 70! Kevin's little race is gaining strength! Not so little anymore!

I got everything set that I needed, Brian was gonna be my in-between-loop support so he prepped by putting things where they needed to be for easy access when I came to the finish line.

Garmin on, music on, gel in my pocket, ready to go!
  • 4h 05m 20s
  • 31.07 miles
  • 07m 54s  min/mile

Lap 1:
I barely made it to the start line after getting everything set before the gun went off. I started my Garmin and took off with the lead people. I immediately took the lead but upon making a wrong turn about 100 yards from the start line, I decided to stay back and run with others so I didn't get lost. This was almost an entirely new course for me, so I figured it'd be better to run the whole first loop with the lead group, get to know the new course, and then take the lead in lap 2.

At Mile 1 I realized we'd been running uphill the whole time. This new course was a little bit tougher, terrainwise, than the previous one was. During Mile 2, there was a lot of grass, which was cut but was covering up large holes in the trail. I managed to put my foot down into one of them and felt the pain in my Achilles. Mile 2 and I'm already hurtin' myself! Mile 3 included the "big hill" from previous years, but we only went about 75% of the way up it before we took a hard right and made a small loop onto a fire road that would take us up another long steep incline that met up with the top of the "big hill". I was now running with only 2 other runners...a really young kid in his 20's and an older guy who seemed to be struggling to keep this pace. I was comfortable, but I could see that "the kid" was not even winded. Uh oh. Miles 4 and 5 were pretty much downhill and just slightly uphill at times. The last .75 miles of the course was the same as last year's course so I knew where the hills were and what the terrain was like. There was some gravel from about .4 miles before the start/finish, to about 100 feet before we entered the pavillion area. I ran in with "the kid" and the older guy. The older guy dropped here to (I assumed) take off extra layers and "the kid" went to the bathroom. I stopped to get a drink and a gel. First lap, 37 minutes.

Lap 2:
I left after grabbing some water and Gatorade. I was still in the lead. As I ran up the first hill, I noticed "the kid" coming up fast. By a half mile in, he'd caught up to me and ran with me. We chatted a bit about ultras. He'd NEVER DONE ONE BEFORE!!! Wow, I thought...this kid's crazy fast, he's gonna beat me unless I can run him out. About a mile and a half in, he tripped and fell in almost the same place I stepped in the hole last lap. He got up though, and jetted by me. That'd be the last time I'd see him. I took a gel about 2 miles in to the second lap. The rest of Lap 2 was pretty much like the previous. I came in to the start/finish area at 1:14, almost exactly the same time split as Lap 1. Brian told me that I was 3 minutes behind at the start of the next lap.

Lap 3:
Still pretty comfortable. I was still counting on the kid running himself out so I didn't want to push it too hard. I was still running at sub 8 pace...mostly sub 730 I figured, any faster and I'll be the one bonking. I took a gel and then stopped at the unmanned aid station on the course this lap. I hadn't stopped at this station in the first two. I started lapping people on this lap. A mostly uneventful lap, I was halfway done at the start/finish line crossing this time. I made sure to eat and drink a little more this time. I started drinking my cola and chicken broth since now I was halfway done. Brian gave me another gel and I headed off. I was now 7 minutes behind the leader.

Lap 4:
I still felt really good after 15 miles, but I knew my critical point was still over 1 lap away. So I was cautious. I was keeping up a good pace, my music was really helping me stay focused on the task at hand and not what "might" happen. All in all, I was having a good day so I was enjoying it. It was starting to get warmer now, so I kept that in mind. I took my gel after the first hill ascent, and I stopped for water at the unmanned aid station, the two hills really started becoming a challenge. I started to notice that the second hill got steeper as I went up, and then leveled out at the top. It was definitely tougher than the "big hill". After that hill though, the rest of the coure is flat or downhill (except for a few little inclines in the last half mile) so I felt good. I came in to the start/finish area and Brian handed me a gel and some water. I stopped and drank my cola and broth again, which now, tasted better than ever! I even went up to the aid station and got some extra food from the table. I was now about 20 minutes behind, so it wasn't worth going crazy to get out of the start/finish area. I had a solid second, I wasn't worried about third place.

Lap 5:
Here's where it got hard. My legs were feeling heavy. The hills got almost unbearable to where I wanted to walk. But I figured, I've never walked them in the past, no reason to start now. I re-lapped some people on this lap. As I ran, I saw Brian walking our dog, Savanna, and I ran by and said hi. He said I looked good but I really didn't feel that way. I had just taken another gel, so I had a bit more energy. I stopped at the aid station at the top of the hill and ran the rest of the course feeling a little more tired than I wanted to. I was almost at the marathon distance now, but I knew I still had 5 miles to go. When I got back to the start/finish, I had blown away my trail marathon PR with a 3:22. I was happy, but "the kid" was now 30 minutes in front of me. THIRTY FRICKIN MINUTES!!! I thought, I'd better leave or he's gonna finish the damn thing before I leave for the sixth lap! Funny though, I didn't see his girlfriend or all of his stuff where he'd had it all day. Had he dropped? No, I thought...he told me he's going for the 50K, so I'd better move it. Brian wasn't back yet, so I took the last of my cola and broth, grabbed a gel, and left.

Lap 6:
Weirdly, I felt okay on the last lap. I was tired. But I knew I only had 5 miles to go. At 8 minute pace, that's only 40 or so minutes. I could do that. I figured I'd just run it comfortably since I knew second place was mine. I'd have had to be a cheetah to catch up now. About a mile into the last lap, a guy came rocketing past me! I was devastated! But as he passed he said, "don't mind me, I started 15 minutes early." So I felt better. He'd have to be running 5's and I'd have to run 10's the rest of the race for him to beat me. He was running pretty fast though. I was able to keep him in my sights pretty much the whole time. The two hills were unbearably hard this time...I wanted water and a walk so badly! I didn't walk them, but my heart rate skyrocketed. I was starting to get dehydrated. I kept with it though, and climbed the last big hill before stopping for about 90 seconds at the aid station at the top of the hill. I knew I had only about 2.25 miles to go, it was all gonna be over soon. I drank ALOT of fluid there. I didn't take my gel though, I thought I might get sick if I did. I had enough energy from the water and Gatorade to get it done. I left the aid station slowly, and only ran at about 8:20 pace for the next mile. When I got to the point where I knew I'd only have .75 to go, I sped up. It felt good! I actually lapped a few folks for the third time here in the last mile. In the last half mile, I saw a fellow Maniac and he said, "damn I was hoping I could finish the marathon before you lapped me on the 50K!"...we were .4 miles from the finish so I told him he did a good job of holding me off, it's the end of the race, it doesn't count! He laughed.

I was expecting to see "the kid" at the finish line but as I came into the pavillion area, he was nowhere to be found. As I came down the hill to the finish line, Brian told me, "you just won the 50K! The kid dropped out at the marathon distance." AHA!!! So I was right about his girlfriend and his stuff being gone when I came in from Lap 5!

I crossed the finish line at 4:05 on the race clock and was met by Kevin (the RD) and some of the other volunteers who promptly got me some water and a few things to eat as I sat down. I was really tired and I just wanted to not be on my feet anymore. They informed me I just broke the course record by 5 minutes. I was happy to know that. But I was just really tired. Soreness was setting in quickly.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing...this was the smartest I've run a race in a LONG time.
Post race
Warm down:

Brian got me some more cola and a grilled cheese. I was hungry but couldn't eat. Kevin brought me my coupon for my free Montrails (yay another free pair of shoes!!) and my yearly gingerbread man! This time he has candy eyes, smile, and buttons! Can't wait to eat him! We hung around, took some pictures, and I chatted with the guy (Andy)who passed me on lap 6. We figured he was second place at 4:12, but as we were chatting, another runner crossed, and his elapsed time was 4:11. So Andy wound up in third. Still, for an ultra, only 6 minutes separated first and third place. It was a tight race and I didn't even know it!!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nothing. I was very happy with my speed.

Event comments:

If you're looking for a great ultra, lots of fun friendly people, and a beautiful course to run it on, this is it. I look forward to this race every year, and I always will. For the money you spend, you get SO MUCH...this year we got little duffel bags, lots of food and drink, and who can say no to yummy sweet baked goods and free shoes as hardware?!?!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-08-20 12:00 AM
04:05:20 | 31.07 miles | 07m 54s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/35
Overall: 1/35
Performance: Good
Course: Six laps of a 5.25 mile trail loop course. First mile all up hill, second mile, lots of grass and slippery mud, third mile two huge ascents, fourth mile all down hill, fifth mile a mix of terrains and inclines.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
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] 5

2009-12-01 1:31 PM

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Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Subject: Bartram Forest Winter Trail Run - 50K

2009-12-01 4:17 PM
in reply to: #2537953

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Extreme Veteran
Latonia, Kentucky (near Cincinnati)
Subject: RE: Bartram Forest Winter Trail Run - 50K
Very good report!  Makes me want to do this next year!  Hmmm.  You did AWESOME at Boston, and had a coffee BEFORE that race....and what I'm hearing here is that you broke a record here AND had coffee at Starbucks BEFORE this we see a pattern here?  You can thank me and Starbucks later!  Wink
2009-12-02 12:24 PM
in reply to: #2537953

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Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Bartram Forest Winter Trail Run - 50K

awesome job Jeff as always congrats!!

2009-12-03 8:05 PM
in reply to: #2537953

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Subject: RE: Bartram Forest Winter Trail Run - 50K
2009-12-03 9:24 PM
in reply to: #2537953


Subject: RE: Bartram Forest Winter Trail Run - 50K
very nice report, when i grow up i want to do marathons, ultra long distance is just too much jajaj,  probably the longest time i ever ran was about 50 minutes
2009-12-04 6:53 AM
in reply to: #2542336

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Subject: RE: Bartram Forest Winter Trail Run - 50K
Great Job Jeff!  Congrats on another OA Win and a course record to go with it.

2009-12-04 12:08 PM
in reply to: #2537953

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Subject: RE: Bartram Forest Winter Trail Run - 50K
It was great seeing you out on the course. i agree for the money, this is one of the best buys EVER in a race. I love it and won't miss it.

Congrats on the win.
2009-12-05 12:15 PM
in reply to: #2537953

Iron Donkey
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Bartram Forest Winter Trail Run - 50K

I've read a few of your reports in the past, and am always amazed on how well you do.  CONGRATULATIONS on the win!  And that pace is something else!

2009-12-06 8:56 AM
in reply to: #2537953

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Extreme Veteran
Olive Branch, MS
Subject: RE: Bartram Forest Winter Trail Run - 50K
Nice win!
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