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Louisiana Trails 50K Run - RunUltra Marathon

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Shreveport?, Louisiana
United States
Sports Spectrum
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

When I looked this race up last year I pretty much made up my mind I was going to do it. I really wanted to cross Louisiana off my 50 states list, not to mention run a challenging 50K in November.

I also made up my mind around September that I was going to camp at this race. It wasn't until I got into the ultra running scene that I found out a lot of ultra runners will camp at the race sites sine the majority of them are in state parks or other camping friendly locations.

So on Friday after our wedding shower at Courtneys work I hit the road around 3:45 for Shreveport from Dallas. On the way out I hit some nasty storms and knew that they were heading for Louisiana. It was at this point I called Court and Scott to see what they thought I should do, and have them look up hotels for me. I just wasn't in the mood to set up my tent in that kind of rain.

Soon enough I had pulled past the storm where it was still dry. After talking to Scott, I figured I'd give the camping a try. I figured if I could get there quick enough, I'd be all set up before the rain hit.

I exited off I-20 and headed into the backwoods of Louisiana. Ohhh yay. After about 20 minutes I arrived at the race site to find about 2-3 other campers. I quickly set up my little two man ultra light tent and got inside before anything came down.

I had a bite to eat and called Court to say goodnight and tried to get some sleep around 8:30-9:00. I woke up around 11 and quickly went back to sleep, then finally woke up around midnight to some GOOD rain and wind. This was a brand new tent so I still wasn't 100% confident in it, but everything held up great. I could hear the guys next door running for their truck. The temps began dropping and got to I'm guessing the low 50s. I zipped up my sleeping bag and tried to fall back asleep but wasn't able till around 1:30.

I woke up to people parking at the race site around 5:30, then fell back asleep and wasn't up again till my alarm went off at 6:30. I made a quick french press with my JetBoil and headed over to packet pick up with fresh coffee in hand :)

Opted to leave the tent up till post race. I changed into my running stuff and headed over the start line about 7:20. The race was set to go off at 7:30.
Event warmup:

  • 5h 10m 7s
  • 31.07 miles
  • 09m 59s  min/mile

I went into the race looking for two things.

1) A finish so I can cross Louisiana off my 50 states list

2) A strong finish, without killing my legs.

I registered myself for this 50K and a 50 miler the following weekend, so this race was never meant to be a race. I was just going for a good time and to get another 50k under my belt.

The start gun went off and we headed down at pavement road for about a half mile till we filed one at a time into the muddy single track. I was quickly caught off guard at how firm the trail was. While it was wet and slick it wasn't at muddy as I was expecting after the rain last night.

The course was two laps of 13.1 miles followed by a little 5 mile loop. On this first lap I spent the first 5 miles or so in a train just hanging out. The pace felt a bit fast a few times, but I didn't feel like I was pushing to hard so I just cruised along with everyone else.

The trail was beautiful. I felt so lucky to be able to run this race. After not doing a trail race since early this year it was amazing how fast it all came back.

I was right back where I left off.

There were two other races starting at the same time as the 50K. A half marathon and the marathon, so there were a lot of people on the course. (~130 total) I just tried to not run off with some half marathoner and blow up later. Around mile 7 I found a running buddy and we ran the next 4-5 miles together. These miles just ticked away. Around mile 9 we came to an open field/jeep road and headed back towards the starting area.

Around mile 11 we came RIGHT by the starting line then headed back out for a short 2.1 mile section to total 13.1 for the loop. I finished the first loop in around 2:04 feeling really good.

I grabbed a gel and a clifbar from my tent and headed back out for another loop. As soon as I got back on the single track I was in heaven. All the half marathoners were gone and I was all alone. Finally. A chance to breathe. This is the part of ultras I live/run for. When you're 15-20 miles into a race in the middle of the woods and you can't see anyone. It's such an awesome experience.

On this second lap all the aid stations that had been manned on the first lap were no longer manned. So I'd pull in, fill up my bottle, grab a few M&Ms and get back on the trail.

Around mile 15-17 I had my typical down period, but after 17-18 it was gone and I was feeling freah and happy. At mile 22 or so, I was walking out of an aid station and some guy comes popping out of the woods on a side trail. He was backtracking a bit and I figured he was lost. I asked him if he was OK and he told me he was making sure he was on the right trail.

I asked him what race he was in and he said the 50K! HAHA. I was like riiiiggghhhttt. That would mean your like 5 miles ahead of me and I'm on pace for around a 5 hour 50K.

Well sure enough this guy was winning the 50K (I was in 3rd at the time). I assured him he was on the right trail. He asked if he could pace with me for awhile. I of course said yes and made it my goal to help him finish as fast as possible. He was hurting for sure. At this point I picked up the pace quite a bit, probably too fast, but I knew it was so fast, so around mile 24 we took a walk break and he stayed with me. Around mile 24.5 we started running again. It wasn't till around 25.5 that I dropped him and finsihed my 2nd lap in around 2:14. Only 10mins slower than the first lap.

I grabbed some M&Ms and headed out for my final 5 mile loop. As I was walking out I saw my new friend win the 50K! Awesome for him.

Now begins ultra fun. Everything past the marathon mark. I walked for about a half mile here and after that didn't stop running till the finish. The more I ran the better I felt. The trail was drying nicely and even tacky in some spots.

Around mile 29 I started thinking about the 50 miler next weekend and how I hope I feel this good. Soon enough I was off the single track and running the last half mile into the finish to see my 1st place 50K friend waiting! He was really thankful I ran it in with him. This was his first ultra, and he found it funny that I would pace first place in while in 2nd place.
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

I grabbed my finisher shirt and medal, then headed over the tent to begin packing things up. I chatted with my new friend for a bit, then hit the road for Dallas.

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

These race evaluation questions are so not applicable to ultras. Need an website.

Last updated: 2010-10-15 12:00 AM
05:10:07 | 31.07 miles | 09m 59s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/
Overall: 2/
Performance: Good
Course: Beautiful single track just southwest of Shreveport, Louisiana. The course was in a public park that had a chimpanzee refuge so I could hear monkeys while I was running. Not the most difficult course I've been on, but more difficult that the trails in DFW.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %N/A
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2010-11-16 3:04 AM

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Plano, Tx
Subject: Louisiana Trails 50K Run

2010-11-16 8:09 AM
in reply to: #3212616

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Parker, CO
Subject: RE: Louisiana Trails 50K Run
Nice job rolling in to a 2nd place finish.  Sounds like you had a fun time out there and made a new friend.  Great job!  Good luck at the 50-miler next week!
2010-11-16 8:28 AM
in reply to: #3212616

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Subject: RE: Louisiana Trails 50K Run
great job and nice report.  I'm tackling my first 50k race next year, can't wait for the experiance
2010-11-16 2:43 PM
in reply to: #3212616

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Subject: RE: Louisiana Trails 50K Run
Another fine effort.  Take the week off till Saturday & then go out and crush it!
2010-11-16 2:53 PM
in reply to: #3212616

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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Louisiana Trails 50K Run
That course looks incredibly beautiful. Congrats on a great race and a supafun time out on the trails.
2010-11-18 8:58 PM
in reply to: #3212616

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Frisco, Texas
Subject: RE: Louisiana Trails 50K Run
Great race and race report.  I really admire you ultra guys.  There's one in my office.  

2010-11-20 10:14 AM
in reply to: #3212616

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Longview, TX
Subject: RE: Louisiana Trails 50K Run

Great race and report!  The trails look great this time of year.  You'll have to sneak over to Tyler some time if you have the chance.  Very similar trails, but not quite as far as Shreveport.

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