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The HUFF 50K Trail Run (Relay) - RunUltra Marathon

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Albion, Indiana
United States
Veep Races
29F / -2C
Total Time = 1h 27m 55s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = Relay
Age Group Rank = 4044/
Pre-race routine:

This race was so different that I couldn't really have a normal routine to get ready.
Normal as it gets: Got up at 5:15 and had a cup of coffee and a couple of pop tarts, checked a couple of things for the race and drove the hour to the site.

After checking my times against the rest of the one loop field, I would have placed 25th overall and 3rd in my AG had I went solo. I don't think that was too bad for my first ever trail race.
Event warmup:

I was the anchor for the team and I had a little while to wait before I went out so I filled the time talking to Adam and some of the other competitors. Some of which I really (at the time) wish that I hadn't talked to. They were telling a few horror stories about the course.
As it got close to my jump off time I ran around the parking lot a couple of times at a moderate pace. I didn't do a lot of stretching for this race, but I should have.
  • 1h 27m 37s
  • 10.35 miles
  • 08m 28s  min/mile

Team Name: "Tri-N-It" Placement: 10th in the Mixed division At 5:20:38

After some of the stories coming off the course from the early relay runners I got plenty nervous. The first guy I ran into said there was waist deep water in at least one place and others that were knee deep. I began to hear from more people that they didn't encounter anything deeper than knee deep so I began to get a little less nervous and began the idea of embracing the pain.
The race began as I ran up the first hill and quickly made a WRONG turn. I got side tracked by another friend and completely blew by a sign marking the right way. Had I not noticed as soon as I did I would have turned 10.35 miles into 15.5. I had gotten about 150 yards onto the wrong course prior to seeing my error.
The rest of the next 2 miles were fairly uneventful. The route was a little slippery in a few spots but nothing like what I was about to face later.
At 2.25 miles I hit the first of the water logged areas. I thought I might be able to navigate around it but about 50 feet into it I was already ankle deep and decided I was going for the gusto and headed right for the middle of the trail. It was now knee deep and freezing cold but I only had another 50 feet to the end. After getting through that I made it a couple hundred feet and thought I was "pretty good." The water was gone and I was warmed back up...........Then more water......RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE. I fully embraced this one without even thinking about going around it. There was only about 50 in this one altogether.
Once past that first 3 miles or so things got much worse but it was miles 3-6 that weren't that bad either. There was mud and a little more water but it wasn't horrible.
Then mile 6-8!?!?!?! These were the most rugged of all! The conditions were torturous to say the least. The mud was so bad that all I could do was manage to jog using very short steps and, at times, run on the side of the trails to get ANY traction whatsoever. The mud was more like pudding and it was ankle deep for a as wide as the trail and a little wider because of the other competitors that had been through. There was almost a mile where this type of slippery mess was encountered very often. All said, it might have been up to a quarter of a mile of that in one mile of the course.
The last 2.5 miles were pretty hilly and a lot less mud. The trail was more and based and allowed the water to drain and run off much more quickly from the huge amounts of rain. I finally had a firm running base and could turn up the speed a little bit. (With no GPS I don't really know my mile paces and I hate not knowing!)
I encountered a lot of water again in the last mile and it was getting close to the knee many times. Again, as with the early miles, I decided to embrace the wet, cold, pain and finish with water running from my shoes and clothes. I barely slowed down for these last couple of water holes.
The final half mile was on firm footing and a little bit of downhill. I tried to lay out a solid effort for the last part of this race and see how bad I could hurt myself in such a short distance. There was n't really enough distance left to get real nasty but I was still suffering.
What would you do differently?:

First: I would have payed closer attention to the signs. The mistake of running the wrong trail probably cost me about 1 minute.
Second: not worry about the conditions of the trail. This race was so much more memorable because of the horrendous conditions. Basically I would have embraces the pain sooner.
Third: Go into the race with full intention of diving into the middle early and often. That was exhilarating to run through and know I was going to be fine in the end.
Post race
Warm down:

No warm down. It was a freeze down.
I walked back to the truck with Adam and Jayne.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The course!!!!
I am certain I could have nailed a 1:15:00 or better under solid footing. the course would have been challenging but I am sure I would have been fine to hit something MUCH faster given the right conditions.

Event comments:

The start was late because people were still coming into the venue but I didn't see it as a big deal.
It seems like VEEP Races is a little slow to post results to their races. I think this should be an area they should work on. Also I think it would be a good idea to advertise what sites the results will be posted on the soonest.

Last updated: 2011-11-25 12:00 AM
01:27:37 | 10.35 miles | 08m 28s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
I had no GPS on my watch because I knew it wouldn't last so all HR data is from the lap button at each mile marker and I missed a couple of them. They could have been mising for many reasons. Lap 1 - 168/186 (This seems high, likely incorrect) Lap 2 - 161/179 Lap 3 - 162/176 Lap 4 - 165/177 Lap 5 - 164/168 Alp 6 - 161/167 Lap 7 - 160/168 Lap 8 - 163/171
Course: The course was the pinnacle of all the races I have ever run. It was ridiculous! The course was much more hilly than I normally run but overall I think it was really not that hilly. The overall elevation change across the route was +/- 100'. Many of the hills were steep and short with a few that were much longer and a little more gradual. There were a few hills that may have been as much as 50 yards long with a relatively steep incline. The back breaker for the race was the mud. And there was ALL KINDS of it! With all the rain we have had in the past several weeks it made for a "tough mudder" type of course. And then there was the water. Just enough to make you question what you were doing here at all but not enough to make me wanna quit. It was cold and deep, up to the knees in many places.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2011-12-17 9:18 PM

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Fort Wayne
Subject: The HUFF 50K Trail Run (Relay)

2011-12-18 5:33 AM
in reply to: #3942552

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Sendai, Japan
Subject: RE: The HUFF 50K Trail Run
Crazy stuff Dirk, but it sounds like you enjoyed it. 
2011-12-18 9:35 AM
in reply to: #3942552

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Seacoast, NH!
Subject: RE: The HUFF 50K Trail Run
That sounds more like Tough Mudder than trail run! What a blast!
2011-12-18 3:59 PM
in reply to: #3942552

Subject: RE: The HUFF 50K Trail Run
Great report, I feel like such a weenie! About a 1 1/2 mile into the race a girl asks me what the trail will be like, I say it probably will be just like this (at the beginning it was a nice leaf covered trail)! At the 2.0 mark I hear yelling, laughing, all kinds of commotion...then I see why. Well I was one of those lightweights that cut through the thorn bushes, downed trees, and other obstacles...did this many times during the day, and actually didn't get into anything over my ankle until around the 9 mile mark! I watched you hearty souls fearlessly slosh through the water, while I timidly tip-toed along the edges!

It was a fun race on a beautiful day.
2011-12-18 6:01 PM
in reply to: #3942552

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Subject: RE: The HUFF 50K Trail Run
Good job to finish, Dirk! What an initiation for a first time trail run. It was my first Ultra and those conditions were amazing. It was just plain crazy! I like your attitude of just going in the middle and enjoying it. Congratulations!! Did you find the results posted yet? They're on

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