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Avalon Benefit 50 Mile Run - RunUltra Marathon

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Catalina, California
United States
75F / 24C
Total Time = 9h 12m
Overall Rank = 40/241
Age Group = M30-39
Age Group Rank = 13/50
Pre-race routine:

Breakfast: banana, myoplex, peanut butter, nutella, 2 packs oatmeal, blueberry muffin covered with peanut butter and nutella.

Up at 3:15 for 5am start.

  • 9h 12m
  • 50 miles
  • 11m 02s  min/mile

This was a fun race, a mini adventure experienced with several other folks from the Tri Club.

Start to Empire Road - The race started at 5:00 AM winding our way out of Avalon up a 1,700 ft. climb towards the airport. Took it nice and easy and the first 12 miles went by remarkly fast, albiet slightly slower than my planned pace. I arrived 9 minutes behind schedule, but not too worried that I could make it up over the day.

Empire to Little Harbor - This is a nice gradual downhill that takes you to the drop bags at "Wacko Cafe" aid station. I made up a little time here and loaded up with 2 fresh gel flasks and a myoplex.

Little Harbor to Isthmus - Here you make the climb up and over a hill to Two Harbors. I dropped my hydration pack at the aid station while I completed the 3 mile out and back.

Isthmus back to Little Harbor - Time to try to make up some more time. I walked too much of the uphill here and should have run more of it. Was with a group of 3 other runners who were really killing it on the downhill back to LH. Overall, I lost a few minutes of the time I had made earlier and had my first realization that my GPS distance was really off. It showed 35 miles when the aid station was really 33.2.

Little Harbor to Eagles Nest - Refueled with 2 more gel flasks and another myoplex. I'd finish a whole case (24) of gels by the end of the day. We experienced more beautiful views with a combination of climbing and descending. Spent time trying to figure out my pacing and figured that I was falling perhaps 20 minutes behind schedule.

Eagles Nest to Pumphouse - This climb through the interior is a steady grind. It's also the leg where things can start heating up as there is not much wind in this valley. I found myself pouring water over my head frequently to try to cool off. This is also where some members of the group had a close encounter with a fiesty buffalo. The buffalo was running back and forth across the road blocking runners from passing until an experienced runner started yelling at it and chased him off.

Pumphouse to Finish - After I arrived at Pumphouse, I realized that I wasn't as far behind schedule as I thought. However, the final mile past Pumphouse is steep. It then deposits you back onto Airport Road and then to the long descent on asphalt back to Avalon. The first section of asphalt was extremely tough on the quads. The road was in bad condition, very uneven, but it finally smoothed out where I got back into stride.

I tried to make up some time on the final part of the descent which seemed to go on forever.

You finally find yourself back on the main drag in Avalon with cheers from folks in town greeting you to the finish.

Nutrition - Was very happy with the all gel strategy. Also took in some potatoes with salt, bananas, and oranges at some of the aid stations. Hydration was just water, no mix. I received a bottle of water around mile 35 which was useful to help with cooling.
What would you do differently?:

I never really thought you could, but I think I may have gone out too slow in the beginning.

After arriving at mile 12 about 9 minutes behind schedule, I never made up enough time to break 9 hrs. I got within 5 mins of target mid course, but then gave up more time later.
Post race
What limited your ability to perform faster:

The major limiter was downhill muscular endurance. To improve, would do more long downhill run training on tired legs. Covering the distance itself was no problem. I probably gave back 5 mins on the last 6 mile leg due to fried quads on an asphalt descent.

Secondarily, race pacing, execution, and decision making was made a bit more difficult with the problems I had with the GPS.

Thirdly, heat may have also slowed things down a bit. It was unseasonably warm for January hitting 75 degrees in Avalon, so I'm guessing it was a bit hotter in the interior, but this was nothing compared to the 95 degree heat of the Noble Canyon 50k. Everyone had to deal with it.

Event comments:

This is a great opportunity to get away for the weekend and enjoy a spectacular run around Catalina Island. Would definitely do it again.

Here is a short video capturing some highlights of our trip:

Profile Album

Last updated: 2010-08-20 12:00 AM
09:12:00 | 50 miles | 11m 02s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/50
Overall: 0/241
Performance: Good
Garmin data here:
Course: 50 mile run which begins and ends in Avalon. Primarily fireroads with some sections of asphalt road in the beginning. 7500 feet of climbing. Beautiful vistas on both the west and east side of the island.
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:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2011-01-19 12:33 AM

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Subject: Avalon Benefit 50 Mile Run

2011-01-19 9:23 AM
in reply to: #3307940

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Subject: RE: Avalon Benefit 50 Mile Run
Sounds like a great race! Good job!
2011-01-20 10:22 AM
in reply to: #3307940

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Subject: RE: Avalon Benefit 50 Mile Run
nice. Good job.
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