Leona Divide Race Report (Read 26 times)

    First post on this site. I have read just about every RR here, so I figured I would add mine, assuming someone will read it.


    Background: Started running a few years ago to stay in shape. Ran a 5K with cooworkers in May 2012 and was hooked on racing. First marathon in Oct 2012, 3:38 with 20 minute positive split (ouch). Decided a 50 mile would be good idea, so signed up and started running longer.


    The race:  I had no time expectations in this race, since I had never run 50 miles before, let alone 50 very HILLY miles. Although I have been running hilly terrain for most of running career so I figured I would be okay. Started slow in the back of the pack, with Friend1 and Friend2.  Powerwalked the uphills, jogged the downhills. Scenery was amazing, and I was just trying to enjoy it while I could.


    Friend2 was a little slow than me and Friend1, and by the mile 20ish aid station, he was too far back for us to wait for him. The aid staion volunteers made me and Friend1 leave, so Friend2 was on his own. It was around this point that I had to be jumping off the trail every 30 seconds or so to let the returning runners pass. This was not fun, and my muscles seized up every so often during the process. Luckily, my fueling was going great, and I never felt my legs were gunna fail on me.


    Getting "cutoff" at an aid station never crossed my mind until I realized we were cutting it close by the 30ish mile aid station. I started to worry, but legs were feeling good, so I just picked up the pace, slowly putting a gap between me and Friend1.


    After the turnaround at 30ish mile aid station, I saw Friend2 about 30 minutes back! I knew he would be cutting it close, but he said he was feeling good (he ended up missing the cutoff at 42 mile aid station.. so a DNF for him).


    At 38 mile aid station, I knew I would finish. I had plenty of time to get to the last cutoff aid station (42), and would get my Muscle milk in my drop bag (muscle milk is absolutely fantastic, I have found).  Between 42 and the finish, I passed at least 10 people, after not passing anyone in a good while. My garmin was dead, but I estimate I was dropping 8-9 minute miles on the last 3 mile downhill, coming into the finish strong in 13:20. Friend1 came in at 13:28.


    It was as painful as I expected, but not as slow as I expected. I figured I would have ran more, but the terrain just wouldn't allow it.  Maybe I will try a flatter race for my next ultra.. But for now, I think I am going to stick to Marathons and see if I can work towards a BQ (3:05).


    Thanks for reading


      Glad you wrote a RR-- you certainly should be bragging about your first 50 miler!   Congratulations to you and your friend for finishing...and kudos also to your other friend for making it to mile 42.  You must be a very strong runner and have a very good chance of BQing.  Did you happen to get any pictures of the course while you were out there?


      "We do not become the people who this world needs simply by turning our backs on anyone we don’t like, trust, or deem healthy enough to be in our presence. "  ---- Shasta Nelson

        Thanks, yeah I feel a BQ will be possible after a few training cycles.


        I regretfully did not bring my phone (or camera) out there with me.. My first thought was that I didn't want to waste time stopping for pictures, but I definitely could have taken a 30 second break here and there for pics.. I'll know for next time.