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Run for the Toad 50K - Run

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Paris, Ontario
18C / 64F
Total Time = 5h 33m 41s
Overall Rank = 41/122
Age Group = 40-49
Age Group Rank = 13/26
Pre-race routine:

2 oatmeal packets, powerbar and coffee. Also took an Alieve.
Got prerace massage which was nice
Event warmup:

walked around the expo numerous times mainly to try and stay warm
  • 5h 33m 41s
  • 50 kms
  • 06m 40s  min/km

I didnt like running and always fell apart on my Tri races once it came to the run. I felt there was no better way to improve than to truly embrace it. So a 50km race was chosen. I figured if I could run a 50k there shouldnt be much that could bring me down on a triathlon run.

In spite of following a 50km plan as best I could I was quite nervous about the race. I had never raced this distance, or a marathon, in fact my longest real running race would have been a half. The uncertainty probably led me to prepare a little more diligently towards my goal.

Goals, were as follows -
Finish at all costs - if I had to walk I would walk, I would not give up
6 hours - full satisfaction that I had "run" the race
5:30 - pffft, nope no way, that the definition of a stretch goal.
Bonus goal - Skeleton hill is a short but steep hill I had read that "no one runs it" I wanted to run it.

I arrived at 6:45, paranoid as usual about being late despite camping at the site. Packet pick up was from 6:30 to 9:00. I got a light massage which was great and walked to mainly try to stay warm. Weather was slightly rainy and cool but thankfully the rain ended as we got closer to the race. The race expo was all inside a huge tent so staying dry wasnt an issue.

After a very nice opening ceremony the 50k'ers were off at about 9:15. I settled into a nice pace leap frogging from one group to the next, not too fast not too slow. The terrain seemed perfectly manageable, not too technical, hills were mainly at a lower grade or short but steep. Either way quite fine. I wanted to treat this lap as a warm up to keep the pace steady and even. One highlight was coming to skeleton hill, I pumped my arms and chop stepped up it. It was short enough that my heart rate really didnt peak until I was already up it so it wasnt too bad. That was one goal down which was satisfying. After a few more k the first lap concluded and the time on the board read 1:20 - I couldn't believe it, it seemed fast, maybe too fast but I felt perfectly fine and didnt feel over-stressed.

Second lap - much like the first, I hit all the aid stations, walked them taking the cup of gatorade. I also had a gel every 10km or so and washed it down with the bottle I carried in a hip carrier. All according to plan, all was well. Skeleton hill again already - at least a dozen people walking the hill so really I had no choice - I had to run it which I did. Lap 2 completed at 2:40! I was running even splits and still feeling perfectly fine.

Lap 3 - I have an issue with anything over 20k or so. I practice my nutrition, use gels I am familiar with and drank the gatorade which I normally train with. In spite of this I got terrible stomach issues and suffered while frantically running and sometimes forced to walking all the while wishing to run into one of the many washrooms in the campsite along the route. I had to take 2 washroom breaks, i felt much better after each but also lost a bit of time. (I did pause my watch on these) Highlight was once again coming to skeleton hill, I was feeling good at his point and with no one in site, either runners or people cheering on the top but seeing as I ran it the last 2 times I had no choice so I ran it. Time was a little slower at a total 4:08 and my pace dropped from 6:25/km to 6:38/km but I can blame that solely on washroom breaks! Legs and body still feeling fine.

Starting lap 4 was a victory I knew that if I made it that far I was done, All I would have to do was run it home and even if I was in bad shape I knew I could and would gut it out to completion. Despite my earlier stomach issues I still felt great and passing the clock I knew It would be tight but I might be able to hit that stretch goal of 5:30'ish. I switched to coke through the aid stations this loop looking for a quick energy boost which worked fine. I did once again run into stomach issues but thankfully was close to a washroom this time. I certainly was slowing down this loop and walked some of the short steep sections that I had previously ran but wanted to keep the pace up to try and meet that time goal. I arrived smiling at skeleton hill I had hit it 3 times and the 4th would serve as no exception. With just a few more k to go my mood turned to elation, glancing at my watch I was well within range of hitting that 5:30 goal and I just had to calm myself, not get too excited and end up run too quickly and crashing. I was a little perplexed as I crossed the line at 5:33, my watch reading 5:22 but I have never been so pleased. I had accomplished what at one point was an unfathomable goal and I had done it, in what I feel, was a respectable time. I ran smack in the middle of my age group which I figure is a pretty good result for a guy who doesn't like running's first attempt at that long of a distance. I might just like running now too... I am taking a few days off then I will see.

What would you do differently?:

figure out stomach issues. Might be related to Alieve!
Post race
Warm down:

walked as cool down

Event comments:

amazing organization and very well run.

Last updated: 2016-10-02 12:00 AM
05:33:41 | 50 kms | 06m 40s  min/km
Age Group: 0/26
Overall: 0/122
Performance: Good
12.5km 1:20:16 6:25/km 25km 2:40:42 6:26/km 37.5km 4:08:28 6:38/km 50km 5:33:42 6:40/km Time by my watch 5:22
Course: small amount of road, double track in the dirt, lots of double track in the grass. The route was 12.5km long so 4 laps were needed for the 50km. Technically it was a 3/10 without major roots, rocks or other funny stuff to trip you up. Easy to latch on to another runner and zone out for a bit. weather was absolutely perfect, slightly overcast and cool made running easy.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
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

2016-10-02 9:40 AM

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Southampton, Ontario
Subject: Run for the Toad 50K

2016-10-02 1:38 PM
in reply to: #5200503

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Gold member
Subject: RE: Run for the Toad 50K
2016-10-02 2:14 PM
in reply to: #5200503

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Falls Church, Virginia
Subject: RE: Run for the Toad 50K
Well done! I'm so impressed that you were at stretch goal pace with all your stomach troubles. You are truly a runner now!
2016-10-03 7:24 AM
in reply to: #5200503

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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Run for the Toad 50K

Congratulations.  Goals broken, distance smashing, mental fortitude. All in all, that is a fork'n good day indeed!!!!

2016-10-03 7:42 AM
in reply to: cdban66

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Caerphilly, Wales, uk.
Subject: RE: Run for the Toad 50K
Great race and report. Would be fun to see the videos of you walking the day after
2016-10-03 8:45 AM
in reply to: Richardsdrr

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Bronze member
Subject: RE: Run for the Toad 50K

Great job! That is a huge accomplishment  

2016-10-04 9:01 AM
in reply to: #5200503

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Subject: RE: Run for the Toad 50K

Wow, what a great, successful first 50K, and you totally owned Skeleton Hill, not to mention hitting all your goals!  Surely the time discrepancy is because of the washroom stops so if you look at actual running, moving time, yes, you ran it in under 5:30.  Congrats!  When is the next one, now that you are an ultrarunner?

2016-10-04 12:00 PM
in reply to: #5200503

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Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: RE: Run for the Toad 50K

Great job! Ah yes, the GI issues, the bane of most ultra runners. 

I'm glad your body felt strong the whole time, congrats on being so close to the stretch goal!


2016-10-04 3:10 PM
in reply to: #5200503

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Subject: RE: Run for the Toad 50K

Great race! Congratulations on not just finishing the race, but smashing it! Your tri runs are nothing now.

2016-10-12 10:27 AM
in reply to: amd723

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Run for the Toad 50K

Congratulations!  Great race, awesome report :-D

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