General Discussion Race Reports! » Summer Solstice 6hr Endurance Run Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply

Summer Solstice 6hr Endurance Run - RunUltra Marathon

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Abilene, Texas
United States
Abilene Runners Club
100F / 38C
Total Time = 5h 53m 38s
Overall Rank = 1/18
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 1/18
Pre-race routine:

My friend Ben who was also racing the 6hr decided to ride with me (thank goodness) from Plano. The drive to Abilene isn’t very entertaining solo to say the least.

We headed out from my place around 4:30pm and arrived at the race start around 8:00pm. When we pulled in I looked at the temp on the car and it read 109!! Geezz. Well, we still had an hour till the start so hopefully it would cool down by 9pm .

We grabbed our packets and set up our gear right near the one and only aid station. I love these timed races because it’s SO easy to do aide/etc. If you’re not familiar with this race, it’s just a 6hr run on a 1 mile loop. Whoever runs the most laps in 6hrs wins. It’s that easy…. Or not.

We finally line up for the race just before 9pm and it’s still about 103-104 degrees. I guess it’s a good thing I train at 4pm everyday! The RD gives us a few last minutes instructions and we’re off.

Event warmup:

  • 5h 53m 38s
  • 36 miles
  • 09m 49s  min/mile

Hour 1:
Well Ben and I immediately find ourselves up in the very front leading this pack. The race also had a 3hr option so I expected someone to go off a bit harder that us, but alas, no one did, so we lead the race.

My ultimate goal for the race was to get 40 miles and a sub 9/mile average pace. Well I decided that I’d run the first 15-20 miles at a sub 8 pace and put a few minutes in the bank, cause I knew I’d fall apart a bit later on in the night. So the first mile comes in at around 8:10-8:15 and I start picking up the pace just a bit so I can get that sub 8 average I’d like to start out with.

After about 2-3 laps Ben fell off pace JUST a bit (I didn’t know that at the time) so I just kept going at my 8min pace. A few miles came in at around 7:48 but that was about as fast as it got. After the first hour I was easily holding an 8 min pace.

Hour 2:
Hour 2 started around mile 7.5 or so and I was still moving well. I had been running solo for about 40-45 minutes and was just in the zone focusing on maintaining pace and hydrating/eating. I only carried one bottle since the aide was so frequent. As soon as my first bottle was out I grabbed my next one in my cooler, which also had Gatorade Endurance in it. In the long run looking back now I think it was a mistake for my first two bottles of the night to be Gatorade Endurance. I wasn’t drinking enough straight water.

At the end of the second hour I was still holding a sub 8 pace and was feeling pretty good.

Hour 3:
Building up to mile 15 I decided that I’d back off the pace of sub 8 to my overall goal pace of sub 9 and hope to hold that as long as possible. I came through around mile 15 at 2 hours or so and dropped the pace to 9mins/mile with precision. For five more miles I held the average at around 9 then mile 22 came through at 10:54. I took a bit too much time here at my ice chest but was no longer craving any Gatorade at all. I opted instead to try a Redbull (I do not condone the use of Redbull while exercising, if you do, you do so at your own risk) which is normally my saving grace.

Miles 23-26 were UGLY.

Hour 4:
Mile 23 was 14:00, Mile 24 was 19:15, mile 25 was 20:06! And mile 26 was 15:22. Obviously I was doing a lot of walking. Hour four was just ugly. I didn’t crave anything other than Redbull and water. Ben passed me I believe for a 2nd time here and was looking much stronger that I did. In my head I had given up to Ben and was excited for him to win.

Hour 5:
Hour 5 probably started around mile 26. Mile 26 was a lot of walking and I had decided that I would probably go ahead and just stop at 27 miles so I could call it a marathon. Mile 26 Ben caught up with me and we walked/ran for a bit. He said he’d had some watermelon at the aide station so I figured I’d give it a shot. Nothing could hurt now.

I grabbed a few pieces as we walked through the aid station and then walked part of the next mile. Ben and I were finishing up that lap and all the sudden I was feeling much better. I hadn’t had any Gatorade or gels since around mile 20. Ben slowed down a little bit so I decided I’d try to get at least 30 miles and maybe one of my laps back on Ben.

I finished the 5th hour with laps of mile 28 being 9:35, mile 29 was 9:08 and mile 30 was 9:53. I was feeling much better. I finally caught up with Ben around the 5 hour mark and was only one mile down on him now.

Hour 6:
Once I passed Ben I knew I only had one mile to catch up and I could possibly get the win. I hate to capitalize when a friend isn’t feeling too well, but knew this was pretty much my only chance. I really put my head down here and decided to go for it.

I ticked off a few sub 9 min miles and passed Ben around mile 33-34 to take the lead.

I was feeling SO much better than I had an hour ago. My legs were still pretty dead, but I was moving consistently now.
My goal was now run at least 36 miles (the same distance I ran last year) and hopefully win the race. Mile 32 came in at 8:58, mile 33 was 9:45, mile 34 was 9:21, and mile 35 was 11:47. Mile 35 I slowed down to have another sip of Redbull and talked with Ben for a minute. He was done at around 33 miles, but he came out for one more lap with me. We did an 11:47. I asked him if he wanted one more and he said rejected. He was happy with the distance he had covered, so I headed out for one more mile. I stopped to pee about halfway through and pulled off a last mile of 10:04.

The total time was 5:53:38.

After they removed my chip I found out I could have run one more! Last year they stopped us if we couldn’t finish within 6 hours. This year they were letting us do one more as long as our last one started by 6 hours. Bummer, I could have gotten 37 miles. Regardless I was happy with my effort.

What would you do differently?:

Too much Gatorade early on. I think I threw my electrolytes off and that's why I was craving water so bad.
Post race
Warm down:

I got my finisher hat and headed over to chat with Ben and his GF. I indulged myself in more watermelon and waited for the final calculations to find out who won.

I ended up with first OA and Ben ended up with third OA! We both got pretty awesome gift certificates so that was nice.

Huge congrats to Ben for another awesome ultra. Way to stick it out and really knock out some good miles. Thanks for pushing me when I was feeling so crappy.

To the Abilene Runners Club, thanks for another AWESOME event! I love this race and plan on coming back every year they have it.

Event comments:

Love this race. SO low key.

Last updated: 2011-06-15 12:00 AM
05:53:38 | 36 miles | 09m 49s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/18
Overall: 1/18
Performance: Average
Course: 1 mile loop as many times as possible in 6hrs.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
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

2011-06-22 12:56 AM

User image

Plano, Tx
Subject: Summer Solstice 6hr Endurance Run

2011-06-22 10:14 AM
in reply to: #3561345

User image

Parker, CO
Subject: RE: Summer Solstice 6hr Endurance Run
Wow!  36-laps in 6-hours!  Sounds like things really came together for you at around 5-hours!  Running laps for an ultra sounds difficult...nice job!  And conrats on the 1st overall finish!
2011-06-23 3:03 PM
in reply to: #3561345

User image

Subject: RE: Summer Solstice 6hr Endurance Run
Nice race report and good job. Way to come back at the end, that is awesome.
General Discussion-> Race Reports!
General Discussion Race Reports! » Summer Solstice 6hr Endurance Run Rss Feed