Wednesday, May 4, 2011

American River 50 Mile

About a month ago I ran the American River 50 Mile endurance run in Sacramento, CA.  Yeah, I've fallen behind in my blogging.  This will be just a quick post to record my running of this race for posterity.  In reality I'd chalk this one up as not one of my better races.  My time was ok, I just feel like I executed the race poorly.  I definitely felt much stronger during the first half of the race, and then fell apart during the second half.

I don't usually bonk during races, but it's been a while since I had raced a 50-miler, and I think I wasn't quite trained up that the distance on race day.  It's true that the second half of the race is harder.  AR50 is an unusual hybrid race -- the first half is on a paved bike path, and the second half mostly on singletrack trails.

I ended up running most of the first half with Jason Reed.  We crossed the marathon mark in 3:15, and I made it to 50k in exactly 4hrs (which would have been a 50k PR for me, had that been the end of the race)  Unfortunately just a few miles later I was feeling awful.  But so it goes sometimes.  Miles 31-41 are the most technical parts of the course and I was happy to be done with them.  There's also a somewhat nasty finish - after 47 miles of basically flat running you finish with a continuous 3-mile climb to the finish line, during which you gain 1,000 vertical feet in elevation.

I finished in 7:38 (39th place), which was technically still a PR for me, but I feel like on this course I should have been faster.  Maybe I'll have to come back and try it again someday.

Me finishing, via live webcast

Special thanks to Jesse Barragan who yelled to alert me I had made a wrong turn  (how does one make a wrong turn on this course?) and also to Ray Sanchez who provided some much-needed words of encouragement when he passed me towards the end of the race.

Sometimes having a bad race is a good learning experience and makes you appreciate the days that go well all that much more.  And it was still a beautiful day and I got to hang out with friends afterwards.  Oh, and the finishers' jackets were pretty sweet.

GPS data from my watch:

Complete results here:

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