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Ironlegs 50 Miler - RunUltra Marathon

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Kananskis, Alberta
28C / 82F
Total Time = 14h 14m 48s
Overall Rank = 62/84
Age Group = men
Age Group Rank = 44/56
Pre-race routine:

The taper for this race was less than ideal. Mole out on calf on July 31 meant no running for 5 days (they said 7 but blah), then 6 nights in Kelowna meant more beer and pizza than running for a week. By the time the 17th rolled around I had run 8 hours in July, done little or nothing of anything else, my pants were tight. Right, whine whine whine. Anyways, had a half decent sleep the night before, rice fish and veg for dinner.
Event warmup:

Race started at 6 am. So, up at 4:15, oatmeal and a banana, drove the 40 minutes to the race start. Tried to get things moving but couldn't. I blame it on a week of junk, I ate well Friday but one day wasn't enough to get the old system into regular. I was in the john when they started.
  • 00m
  • 80.47 kms
  •  min/km

So in the john when they started. And it is just dawn right, with sunrise coming at 6:20. But there is enough light. But I am wearing my sunglasses because I didn't want to have to wear 2 pairs. There are 100+ people in this race but I can't see anyone. So I am off, and I ask a guy walking back towards me, where is everyone, and he says go left, and I go left, and I see no one, and I am like, did he mean my left or his left.....ha. Anyways, catch up to the tail end in about 2 minutes, but I was moving for those 2 minutes.

Noticed my Garmin was on cycling so fixed that.

Took it easy, took tons of pictures. No rush. The trail is fairly easy with very slight hilly bits. I walk the hilly bits with the other BOPers, but slowly edge my way through the group. Going nice and slow. Stopping to take pictures of the sunrise and other magnificent views. There is a bit of a hike up here that isn't so bad. I bomb down the decent which is super runnable. Get to the first aid station at 10k. Thankful they have an outhouse so I can take care of things.

So, spent a while at the first aid station. Nice volunteers fill my hydration pack. I am like, how long until the next aid station, there is some confusion but I eventually get out that it is 14k. There is a bit of a challenging climb but I get through it and bomb down the downhill. Feet are feeling good, I went with the MT 110, which I was a bit worried about but were turning out okay. Anyways, bomb down the hill and into the aid station soon enough. I had a drop bag there but didn't get anything. Again with the full service hydration pack filling. I asked how long to the next aid station and no one really knew. I thought it was about 14k.

Anyways, turns out it is 24k so I didn't take enough grub. So, it is rolling for a bit. I know there is a water drop after 4k so I suck hard on my hydration because it is hot, 28C and no clouds. Do a good job of sucking it down and fill up at 4k from the aid station. Then it is up. Now this is were I got a bit confused. I knew there were 2 major climbs at about 1/3 of the way, now I thought I had already done one before the second aid station and I thought this was the second one. Turns out that neither was one. Ha. Anyways, up this one, steeper decent, rockier. The path was getting much less single track like then it was previously. Very narrow. I had a tough time finding a flat spot to land and my feet were taking a beating with these shoes.

So then back up, onto the major climb about 500 meters. Not so bad. No real breaks. The down really sucked though, my feet were sore. Really lovely view on top of Jumpingpond, gorgous really. 2200 meters high, really nice. So I think it is over for sure, but sure as you know what we are heading back up. Then back down the long decent of about 700 meters, which was torture on my feet.

Get to aid station 3, 49k down. Oh, so happy to be here. Change into my xlabs, nice cushy mmmmmmmmmm heaven on my feet. I eat like an absolute pig. Meatballs, potatos, bars, jelly beans chips, everything. I was starving, having only brought 2 gels 2 small packs of jelly beans and 2 mini granola maple toffee type bars (which were the tastiest thing ever). I drank tons, so thirsty, I had drained my pack. Interesting they started rationing water here as they were down to their last jug. I felt bad, I think I got the last full pack, and it was only 7 k to the next aid station. People were a bit upset because they didn't want to drink the heed or coconut water. To me it wouldn't have made a difference but I didn't realize how short on water they were.

So I get out of there after 15 minutes. What a long stay that was. But I was full. Liquid sloshing in my stomach, I even was getting stomach cramps. Ha. I didn't care, I was going to be walking the next 31k, I knew it. BUT, my feet were golden now. Felt so good, no pain, no problems. Kicking myself for not wearing them before as I could have bombed that long decent when people were passing me.

So this lady catches me. I had been leapfrogging with a bunch of people, so she catches me and I don't let her pass. She has this walk going where she walks faster than me so I am walking and she catches up, so I start running, so she starts running, but she runs slower, so I get some time on her and start walking, then she starts walking and catches me. This repeats itself probably 100 times over the next 31k. So that was nice. I hadn't met anyone in the first half of the race, so things were kinda boring. I was seriously resigned to just walking the thing in so her arrival was very appreciated.

The remaining 31k were good. A number of shorter 25-75 meter climbs. The time really went quite quick. We made good time, about 9 min a km to the 4th aid station and about 10 min per km to the 5th aid station. There is a net decent over the last 31k and it is at much lower elevation so far less challenging terrain.

Post race
Warm down:

hobbled to the car, changed in to shorts and a tshirt. Quite sore. Stiffened up very quickly. Exceptionally quickly. Went back to get some chili, got super cold, sat in the chair near the chili tent and was graciously served 3 very tasty bowls. Warmed me up. Had a couple of drinks. Very good. Still a bit cold though, hobbled back to the car, put the heater on, and drove home. Got home, still cold, hot shower,hot bath, no longer cold. Bed

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Hmmmm, tough to say. I wanna say my shoe as they prevented me from bombing down the major decent but in truth I had a good rhythm coming down, just not as fast as I would have liked. It may have saved my quads for the remaining 31k. Tough to know.

Other then that I had an 18 day taper with limited exercise. Again I don't know if that was a good thing or a bad thing. My legs felt strong, even though they didn't feel strong the week leading up in my easy shakeout runs.

Things to remember:

1. Lube often and in all places, I had some chaffing in groan and armpits, also on lower back...from back pack???
2. Don't forget to put on sunscreen.
3. Holding camera for whole run was a good thing, worked well. Not sure how it would work with polls.
4. Drink lots, I drank enough here but I drank tons and didn't have to take a leak but for once early on.
5. Bring warm clothes when sun goes down. When I finished I got cold fast even though I was in clean clothes. At 100 miler, put on tights long sleaved tech shirt, maybe jacket.
6. Don't wear the minimal shoes, I know you want to because you think it makes you a bad ass and your feet super light but it hurts. Your other shoes are not that heavy.
7. Plan to recharge garmin on the go is not going to work. You will not stop to do it.
8. Wear spandex, seems in shorts hurt.
9. If you are not running with someone pretend you are. You will go faster. POWER WALK don't stroll.
10. If you stop you will get sore. Not sure how to deal with exhaustion.

Event comments:

if you have a chance do it. Awesome support, good deal.

here are some pictures

Last updated: 2011-12-01 12:00 AM
00:00:00 | 80.47 kms |  min/km
Age Group: 0/56
Overall: 0/84
Course: Welcome to the Iron Legs 50 miler and relay. It is a 50 mile trail run that loops around Moose Mountain, in Kananaskis Country and offers fantastic single track and stunning views of the Canadian Rockies. The course is mostly on single track trails with some fire roads and lots of elevation change. There is approximatly 20,000 feet of elevation change in the race with about 15,000 of it coming within the first 50k, which makes this one of the toughest ultras in the series.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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

2012-08-21 1:06 PM

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Subject: Ironlegs 50 Miler

2012-08-21 10:29 PM
in reply to: #4373415

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironlegs 50 Miler
great job, that is a hell of a run!
2012-08-23 3:47 PM
in reply to: #4373415

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Spokane, WA
Subject: RE: Ironlegs 50 Miler
2012-08-23 8:00 PM
in reply to: #4373415

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Subject: RE: Ironlegs 50 Miler

First and most importantly... congrats on an impressive feat of athleticism...

Second and more amusing, my favorite line from the report: I was in the john when they started.

Still laughing...

2012-08-23 8:20 PM
in reply to: #4373415

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Ironlegs 50 Miler

Your race goes off and you're in the john.  Funny enough....the list of things to remember, priceless.  Some good pointers though for ultras.    

Nice work, sounds like a hard course too.

2012-08-23 8:29 PM
in reply to: #4373415

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Subject: RE: Ironlegs 50 Miler


What a challenging race to do. Lots of ups and downs and interesting experiences all packed into 80K. Cool you found someone to leap frog and keep you pushing a bit more.

I'm impressed and enjoyed reading your RR.

Recover well

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