Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Running of the Red Hot 50K

This past weekend we went out to Moab to run the Red Hot 50K+. Before getting into a race report I thought I would do a quick weekly breakdown of my training last week.

Mon: OFF

Tues: Run 6.25 miles

Wed: Run 6.25miles/ Swim 1hour/ Lift weights 30mins

Thurs: Run 4.5 miles

Fri: OFF

Sat: RACE- Run 34 miles

Sun: OFF

Total ran for the week: 51 miles

Now lets get down to the quick race report, at least what I can remember.

There was 3 of us going out to run this race; Andrew, Tim, and myself. Andrew rode out with us on Friday while Tim and his wife meet us in Moab. Friday night we all meet up at Pasta Jays on Main St for a little carb loading. This is a great resturant with great service. It was the only place that we ate at the whole weekend where we were happy with both the food and the service.

We got up the next morning around 6am leaving the hotel at 6:30. We had to have our drop bags for the 5 aid stations there at the start line by 7:15am. I decided that I would only have 3 out of the 5 allowed drop bags (which I never used). All for the second half of the race. I did not put much in each bag, just a couple of gels and some extra sports drink. I figured between the backpack I was running with and the aid stations that I should be fine.

Right at 8am the race started up a dirt road. The first mile was a climb up and over the mesa (I guess that is what they are called). The plan was for Tim, Andrew, and I to stick togetter and just have a good time. After about 10-15 mins I looked behind me where they were and they were gone, crap I was not paying attendation and took off on them. I felt bad for doing that to them and debated if I should wait at the first aid station at mile 6 for them or just run my race. After about a 5 minute conversation with myself I decided just to run my race. My original plan was to run 20-30 mins then walk for 5 mins, keeping this up until the end. At this point I decided just to run based on how I felt. If I felt good I ran, if not I walked.

The first half of the race was a mixture of rolling hills, some moderate climbing, jeep 4X4 roads, and sandy trails. It was not bad at all, there was some slickrock that would beat you up a little when running on it. I crossed aid station 3 at mile 17 in 2:31. Right were I wanted to be for a sub 6 hour finish. At aid station 3 I was finially able to see Ashley and the kids, it was the only place on the course that they had access to until the finish line which lifted my spirts. Also at that aid station my friend Rebecca was there with one of her friends. They had driven out from Denver to cheer the 3 of us on. They ran with me for about a mile to see how I was doing.

From aid station 3 to aid station 4 was about 6-6.5 miles and a huge climb. The fourth aid station was on top of the mesa some 1500 or more feet above us. I did some walking in this section on the big uphills due to the miles starting to add up on the old legs but for the most part I was able to hold my own. About half or a little more than half was ran on slickrock, the rest was on normal trails. I came into the 4th aid station around 3:45-4 hours into the race. I am not sure the times from this point on because my batteries in my GPS watch went dead during this section, I forgot to replace them before the start of the race. This aid station was at mile 23.

From aid station 4 to aid station 5 was the hardest part of the whole race. The entire section was ran on slickrock which is harder than concrete. There was no real trail to follow on this section. We just went from pink flag to pink flag hanging from the brushes. Sometimes there were no pink flags and you had to find the painted symbol on the rocks to figure out where to go. I got off track a few times and added about 1/2 mile or so to this section with backtracking I did. I have never felt so remote before, there was times where I would not see another person for an hour or so. I also spent most of this section walking. I was having stomach problems and did throw up along with some leg pain due to all the slickrock. At times we where going sideways across a 40 degree slope on slickrock. This was very hard on the body with all the up and down hill. It seemed like this section would never end then we dropped into a canyon that had a sandy trail which to run on. This made me think that the 5th aid station had to be close, but I was wrong. After about an half an hour running down the canyon we had another big climb up the slickrock to the 5th aid station at mile 29. I came into this aid station around 5 1/2 hours after starting.

From the 5th aid station to the finish line was only 5 miles. The first 1/2 mile or so was up a small hill of slickrock from there you jump on a 4X4 jeep road that you follow to the finish line all downhill. Where the trail and the road meet you can look down into the valley and see the finish line, this got me going and I started running again. As I headed to the finish line I came across Ashley, Rebecca, and Lora about 3/4 of a mile from the end. I was walking when I came across them, they told me to get going so I did and finished in 6 hours and 24 mins.

This time of 6:24 gave me 77th out of 154 overall and 38th out of 57 in my age group of 39 and under. Not quite the results that I have been used to this past year but this race kicked my ass and I was under trained for it. Of course this time last year there is no way I would even think of running a marathon yet alone an ultra.

Here is the link to the website and results.

Red Hot 50K

On Sunday we drove through Arches National Park and headed home. If you ever get this chance this is an awesome place to go. I plan on returning there next month after the 24 hours of Utah.

Here is the link to the pictures that I took in Arches National Park