Beginners and Beyond

1234

BLU 100-miler--almost a 4.5-hour PR (RR w/lots of pics+video) (Read 144 times)

RedSparkle


    Just wanted to let you know that I really have enjoyed reading your race reports.  They have been the source of two of my favorite qoutes:

    "It doesn't have to be fun to be fun"

    and

    "Great results are not achieved through mediocre efforts"

    or something along those lines.  Truly gems.

     

    Thanks and keep up the great running and writing.

     

    Thanks a lot!  The second quote, by the way, belongs to Eric Clifton (giving credit where it is due) Smile


    Muddling through

       

      The winner of the 100-miler at BLU won by about 8 minutes.  That means that the 1st and 2nd place runners were both at 99.X miles at the same time.  Pretty crazy!  Luckily the RDs did what they could to immediately notify the leading 100-mile runner that the fast 24-hour runner dropped down so he knew he had competition.

       

      Of all the crazy things I heard about ultras, this is the most unusual. It's probably one of the more unusual in races of any length to let someone switch races in the middle, especially when it may affect the outcome and awards.

      2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

      RedSparkle


        George,

        It was known from before the race even started that people could switch between the 100-miler and the 24-hour, so it really wasn't a big deal.  And the RDs notified the leading guy on his very next time around, so I thought it was fair.

         

        On that same note, though, there was a bit of an "upset" in the 50k.  The fastest guy out there, regardless of distance, was in the 50-miler, but mid-race, he dropped down to the 50k because he evidently figured he'd been out there long enough.  From what I *heard* (note it's third hand info as I wasn't there), the guy who thought he'd won was confused but very gracious about what happened.

         

        There were a handful of other people who dropped down to shorter distances, but I don't know of any other instances where this got in the way of any awards.

         

        I've seen RDs handle "drop-downs" differently in different races.  Some allow it flat-out, others with a caveat (like you'll get credit but won't be eligible for awards) and others don't at all (meaning that even if you do 96 miles of a 100-miler, you get a DNF, not even credit for the 50-miler).  Regardless of how RDs choose to handle them, the biggest thing is that I think all runners should know what the rules are in advance.  I haven't heard any negative feedback about how things were handled at BLU with regard to the drop-downs, so even though there might appear to be some issues, no one affected seem to have had a problem with it.

         

        Katrina


        Antipodean

          Thank you, Katrina, for the fascinating read. I love your approach to this race, the 'see what I am capable of'. I know there is a lesson in there for me. I'm not going to jump into ultras now or anything, but will take that to my first half later this year and see where it leads me.

           

          You are a true inspiration and I wish you many more happy running experiences. Please do continue to share them with us.

          Julie

           

          PRs:  1 mile  6:57  //  5k   24:12  //  5 mile  39:32*  //  10k   49.10*   //  Half  1:52:18

           

          * courses slightly short

           

          "It's not the mountains we conquer, but ourselves."

          ~ Sir Edmund Hillary

          Zentastic


          Chasing Rainbows

            What an amazing accomplishment!  Not only am I impressed by your race performance, but also by how well you wrote about your experience.  I have to admit I got misty eyed a few times.

            The obstacle is the path. - Zen proverb

            Coastal


              Fantastic race report, and an even better effort.  Just incredible, and so cool!

              GinnyinPA


                Thank you for the very inspiring race report.  I have a few friends who run ultras, and have never imagined myself doing likewise, but after reading your reports, I wonder . . .

                  Katrina, congratulations! I really don't see how you do such long runs, I am always in awe reading your RR. We have a local 12 hour race that runs a one mile loop, and I didn't know, but you can have teams. I might try to find a team so I can at least get the feel of the atmosphere of an ultra. Would this be stupid of me having not run a FM yet? I drove by the location early in the morning after I worked all night, I set in the truck watching for 15-20 minutes, and kept saying to myself that I would like to try this. I like all your pics, thanks for sharing.

                   

                  Mitch

                  RedSparkle


                    Julie, thanks for your response.  I hope you enjoy your first half!  You never know where it will lead.  All paths don't lead to ultras, and that's totally fine.  However, I don’t think anyone initially knows where they'll end up.  I know I was sure that once I did my first marathon, I would check it off my bucket list and be done, but for a handful of reasons, some of which were the result of random chance encounters with strangers, that didn't happen.  I was talking to someone over dinner last week, and even he reminded me that just last July, I was adamant that I would never be one of the crazy people who runs 100-milers. Wink

                     

                    Zentastic, thanks for your kind response.  All of my race reports tend to be long and detailed.  I write them as honestly as possible, for myself (when I look back) and also for others who might do similar things.  If bad things happen, I don't think I should hide them because I think they can serve as learning experiences for others, and likewise, if great things happen, I want to talk about those too.  It only has a few entries since I just started it after my first 100-miler at the beginning of February, but here's my blog if you're interested: http://runningtoabetterme.wordpress.com/ Eventually, I might move some of my older reports there, but no guarantees (especially about the timeline of that!) Wink

                     

                    Thanks, Coastal!

                     

                    Ginny, While I could say ultras are totally out of the realm that any "normal" person could ever do, that's definitely not the case.  I feel like the marathon has been built up to be such a huge deal that 26.2 miles is seen as a boundary to a lot of people (even though the number is quite arbitrary and could have easily turned out to be something else, like 23.4, 28.9 , or something else entirely depending on Pheidippides's journey).  I believe most people could do an ultra... assuming that was actually a goal of theirs and that they put in the necessary effort/time/miles.  If it's something you're even mildly interested in, keep it in the back of your mind and think about it.  And there's no rush; a lot of people in ultras are "older" anyway.  It should go without saying, but *any* distance should be respected, which is even more important when the distance gets longer.  Like I said, I think most people are capable of doing an ultra, but this doesn't negate the importance of actually training for one. Wink

                     

                    Mitch, If the team 12-hour race is something you think you'd like to try, then you should do it.  I've seen stuff like this before; the one I was at I think had teams of 4(5?) and they took turns doing loops.  You might want to check the actual rules to figure out details like the size of the team, if people can run multiple loops in a row or need to hand-off every time, if the loops need to be split proportionately between team members, if there's any requirement for a team to always be on the course (or if the team as a whole could sit out for a bit), etc.  Regardless of the answers to most of those items, I don't think you'd necessarily be in over your head, unless, for example, only teams of 2 were allowed, the team members had to spend equal times on the course, and it was mandatory that a team member from each team must always be on the course... which I think is highly unlikely.  Fixed time events are awesome because they allow people to test their boundaries in a low-threat environment where there's no obligation to do a certain distance; while the relay option would be a bit different, I think it would still be an interesting experience for you.  I'd just caution you to pay attention to your body.  Depending on whether the focus of the event in question is teams or solo runners, you *might* not get to experience a true (I know that's up for interpretation) ultra setting.  I say this based on my two experiences with running events as a solo runner with teams present.  One was a 9-hour race that had predominantly teams and just a few solo runners; even though it was on a 1-mile loop, since there were so few solo runners, we rarely interacted with one another.  The setting catered more to the relay runners.  However, had I not done previous ultras, I likely would not have noticed the difference... and there really wasn't anything *bad*; it was just different. Wink  The other event I did was a point-to-point 50-miler in which there were a few dozen teams and 5 solo runners.  This event was totally JUST a relay, with the "solo" category just added as a technicality... this was evidenced by multiple things, including the 27-mile gap with no water provided (and the complete lack of ANYthing with calories to fuel with the entire race).  If you want to get an idea of what ultras are about, I'd recommend finding a local one if you can and volunteering at an aid station. Smile

                     

                    Katrina


                    Muddling through

                      Julie, thanks for your response.  I hope you enjoy your first half!  You never know where it will lead.  All paths don't lead to ultras, and that's totally fine.  However, I don’t think anyone initially knows where they'll end up.  I know I was sure that once I did my first marathon, I would check it off my bucket list and be done, but for a handful of reasons, some of which were the result of random chance encounters with strangers, that didn't happen.  I was talking to someone over dinner last week, and even he reminded me that just last July, I was adamant that I would never be one of the crazy people who runs 100-milers. Wink

                       ...

                      Ginny, While I could say ultras are totally out of the realm that any "normal" person could ever do, that's definitely not the case.  I feel like the marathon has been built up to be such a huge deal that 26.2 miles is seen as a boundary to a lot of people (even though the number is quite arbitrary and could have easily turned out to be something else, like 23.4, 28.9 , or something else entirely depending on Pheidippides's journey).  I believe most people could do an ultra... assuming that was actually a goal of theirs and that they put in the necessary effort/time/miles.  If it's something you're even mildly interested in, keep it in the back of your mind and think about it.  And there's no rush; a lot of people in ultras are "older" anyway.  It should go without saying, but *any* distance should be respected, which is even more important when the distance gets longer.  Like I said, I think most people are capable of doing an ultra, but this doesn't negate the importance of actually training for one. Wink

                       ...

                      That is so true! I began my running career as a miler. I ventured into the closely related half-mile and 2-mile distances because they would help my mile time. Anything longer had absolutely no appeal to me. It was only at my coach's insistence and persistence that I got off the track and onto the road. By the end of that first year I went from being strictly a track runner with the mile as my event to a road racer with 8-mile and 12-mile races to my credit. But absolutely nothing longer than that, ever!!! A year later I ran my first marathon.  True, I eventually migrated back to the track but couldn't get away from the roads though I did retire (twice) from running marathons. Needless to say, I met Katrina at the NC 24 last year. Now with her encouragement and that of others I find myself signed up for the 12-hour event this fall. It only took me 45 years to get to this point, so yes, there's no rush. Big grin

                       

                      BTW the distance from the Plains of Marathon to Athens for the first modern Olympic Marathon is about 40K or 25 miles. The marathon distance varied with the course and organizers for almost 30 years before it was standardized at 26 miles 385 yards, the distance used at the 1908 London Olympics Marathon.

                      2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race


                      Antipodean

                        Thanks, Katrina and George, for your encouraging words. I used to say I didn't think I'd ever run a marathon, but I'll be 45 in a few weeks and will do my first half this year and am beginning to entertain the thought of running even longer. I used to think if I'm going to run a marathon I'd have to do it before I'm 50, but I'm realising I shouldn't make arbitrary cut offs like that. The youtube video that's gone viral this week about the 90-somethings racing is proof of that. And I'd really like to keep racing into old age.

                        Julie

                         

                        PRs:  1 mile  6:57  //  5k   24:12  //  5 mile  39:32*  //  10k   49.10*   //  Half  1:52:18

                         

                        * courses slightly short

                         

                        "It's not the mountains we conquer, but ourselves."

                        ~ Sir Edmund Hillary

                        RedSparkle


                          Julie, it's funny you mention age because there are a LOT of older people in ultras.  I'm amused by this because people who shorter races tend to be much more focused on age barriers.  I've had to contain giggles during very well-intentioned announcements at shorter races when I've heard the announcer during the awards say things to the effect of, "John Smith completed the 10k in an hour and 20 minutes at the AGE OF SIXTY-ONE! Absolutely amazing!" I don't mean it as at all arrogant, but there is no reason that most people that age shouldn't be able to propel their body over that distance. It's only amazing because more people don't do it.

                           

                          Art Webb, at the age of 70, finished the Badwater 135-mile race last summer (which goes from over 200 feet below sea level, across death Valley, and up to the Mount Whitney Portal) in a time of under 34 hours, which was a personal best for him out of the 14 years he'd completed it.  At the age of 30, I'm considered a baby, and the few people in their early 20s are really out of place, although I love the element of diversity this adds, especially since there are a few "new young guys" who are quite good (understatement).  Currently, the U.S. 24-hour female champion is 49... and the previous best was by someone literally half her age.  And the U.S. 24-hour male champion? He's 40 and actually won the world championship race last year.  There are lots of people in their 50s and 60s in ultras, even 70s.  I don't say this to persuade you to do ultras necessarily, but instead to provide evidence that since people can do much longer races than marathons at "advanced" ages, surely there's no reason people of those same ages can't do shorter ones. Wink

                           

                          Katrina


                          Muddling through

                            Julie, it's funny you mention age because there are a LOT of older people in ultras.  I'm amused by this because people who shorter races tend to be much more focused on age barriers.  I've had to contain giggles during very well-intentioned announcements at shorter races when I've heard the announcer during the awards say things to the effect of, "John Smith completed the 10k in an hour and 20 minutes at the AGE OF SIXTY-ONE! Absolutely amazing!" I don't mean it as at all arrogant, but there is no reason that most people that age shouldn't be able to propel their body over that distance. It's only amazing because more people don't do it....There are lots of people in their 50s and 60s in ultras, even 70s.  I don't say this to persuade you to do ultras necessarily, but instead to provide evidence that since people can do much longer races than marathons at "advanced" ages, surely there's no reason people of those same ages can't do shorter ones. Wink

                             

                            Katrina

                            Some of us do. I've known a few who competed in the decathlon (all ten events including the pole vault and hurdles) into their late 80s or early 90s. I've also got a streak of over 20 years where I've "run my age" or better for a 10K, i.e. my time in minutes has been equal to or less than my age in years. This year should be easy since I'll have to run only an hour and 6 minutes.

                            2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

                              Wow..Just wow!

                              redrum


                              Caretaker/Overlook Hotel

                                I only skimmed thru the first page post before realizing I'm gonna be reading for a while so I just wanna post this now before I read.....

                                 

                                INSANE IN DA MEMBRANE!

                                 

                                As much as I am amazed at damaris's weekly marathons, this one always gets me too.

                                 

                                Girl, you are quite the runner, indeed.  Your first 100 miler had me speechless.  This just shows you can definitely call yourself a 100.25er!!

                                 

                                Big grin Joking

                                 Randy

                                1234