Ultra Runners

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podium'ed my first ultra! Not sure I loved it. Advice please! (Read 122 times)


finally Sub-3!!!

    It's been a few weeks since the Black Warrior 50K (race report) where I tackled my first ultra and first trail race.  It was a great event, great support, and awesome race.  I have nothing negative to say about the BW50K, and I will probably do it again next year.

     

    But!

    I didn't love trail running.  I should say "running" instead.  Because the BW50K is, according to experienced trailrunners, a relatively flat course.  But I found myself hiking a lot.  Not because I had resorted to walking, but because it seemed faster to hike the hills.

     

    I love running; I love trails, but I don't want to see how long or far I can walk.  As I read reviews, and explore elevation profiles of other ultras, they seem to be focused on making it steep and grueling.  My perception is that ultras aren't really about running.

     

    I think I'll give it a go at a flatter course and see if it changes my mind.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  I love the idea of pursuing the 50 and 100 mile races, but I'm not really interested in seeing if I can walk for half of them.

     

    Thanks in advance!


    Uh oh... now what?

      Terrain and distance (or time at time-events), fitness assumed, determines how much

      you will need to walk.

       

      When racing, the intent should be to see how little you need to walk, not how much.

       

      If you get the March issue of UltraRunning magazine and read the summary pages, you

      can see some examples of how fast people can cover ultramarathon distances--when no

      walking is done, or, at least, when walking is kept to a minimum.

       

      It might be that one race is not enough to justify the opinion "that ultras aren't really

      about running."

      AT-runner


        From your blog: "There is something immensely satisfying about ticking off quick mile splits repeatedly throughout a long day."

         

        Very few miles are the same when you are running on trails.  Most races I run the mile markers are GPS determined and serve more as a guide than an actual fact. I've "run" a mile in 20 minutes, and a mile in 6 minutes in the same race, and not all of that was due to elevation.  The informality and uncertainty are some of the reasons I love trail ultra's.  I did the "chasing time" thing for marathons for years, and was a slave to my watch and pace.  That's easy to do a a course like Chicago, where every mile looks and feels like the last.  

         

        If you want to test you distance and see how far you can run a constant pace, then you might want to look for a 24 hour event that is done on a flat surface.  Not all ultra's are on trails, and not everyone loves trails.  


        Not A Runner

          I love trails. I also happen to be a pretty bad trail runner. I just don't get enough time on them.  I also live in a flat area. When racing I have found that I can be more competitive on the flat, fast stuff. Being competitive means that you have people to push you and your best racing is brought out. I also love spending my time on trails hiking, being able to take in my surroundings.  That means taking my time and being able to pick my head up. Just because someone doesn't want to spend all of their time racing on mountainous, technical trails doesn't mean that they don't love them.

           

          Ultrarunning's history is mainly roads. Go back to the 70's and 80's. there were very few trail races. Many of the road races that were around then are gone, but there are still races to be found.  Go on Ultrarunning's website. Use their race calendar.  Look for 1/1.  And don't apologize to anyone for racing what you want to race.

          I want to do it because I want to do it.  -Amelia Earhart

          AT-runner


             And don't apologize to anyone for racing what you want to race.

             

            Amen to that!

             

            I've introduced a few running friends to trail ultra's, and they either loved it or hated it.  We share the love of running, but not always the love of the surface upon which we run.


            finally Sub-3!!!

              Thanks for all the comments so far.  I really love to run, and I so very love the trails.  The Ultrarunning.com calender was a great suggestion.  I think I might shoot for a few of those 1-2 challenges and see how it treats me.  Thanks, that was a great resource.

               

              It might be that one race is not enough to justify the opinion "that ultras aren't really

              about running."

              I meant no disrespect, by any means.  It's just that as I talk to other trail runners, read race reports, and listen to podcasts; it seems that only the pointy end of the field is running most of the course.

               

              It just seems like lots of shuffling, walking, hiking.

               

              And this was a relatively flat one by all accounts.

                I've seen lots of shuffling, walking and hiking in road 5k's.

                 

                MTA:  Congrats on your finish.  I read your report and it seems you ran a very smart race.  There is a 50k and 50 mile road ultra in Tallahasse in December that has some fast results.

                  Tallahassee Ultra Distance Classic is a paved 50 mile in FL

                   

                  Chicago Lakefront 50K or 50Mile is paved

                   

                  Pumpkin Holler 50K, 100K, or 100 mile is gravel, very runnable.

                   

                  Peachtree City 50K in GA

                   

                  Black Diamond 40 miler in TN

                   

                  Running Dead 40 mile on April 07 in GA

                   

                  Keys 100 mile or 50 mile in FL is HOT but paved

                   

                  There's more.

                   

                  Timed races are often paved or easy trails.

                   

                  But on many ultras there's many runners doing very little walking and going very fast. Not me. But lots of them.

                   

                  Find your bliss

                  PR's (certified courses)

                  5K-; 21:45 ; 10K- 45:17; Half: 1:41 --- full : 3:40   (2009)

                  Distance - 54 mi, 10 hours (2012)

                   

                  Current Weight: 175 lb

                  Goal Weight: 125 lb

                    Fastest major 100 mile ultras:  Rocky Raccoon, Umstead, Javelina.

                     

                    Give 12-24 hour events a try as well.

                     

                    .

                    2013 H1:  7 hours/week base.  Q3: Train for goal race.  Q4:  Goal Race.

                      Don't forget the Strolling Jim in Bell Buckle, TN in May. Great race with great history. 42 miles on the roads.

                       

                      Tallahassee Ultra Distance Classic is a paved 50 mile in FL

                       

                      Chicago Lakefront 50K or 50Mile is paved

                       

                      Pumpkin Holler 50K, 100K, or 100 mile is gravel, very runnable.

                       

                      Peachtree City 50K in GA

                       

                      Black Diamond 40 miler in TN

                       

                      Running Dead 40 mile on April 07 in GA

                       

                      Keys 100 mile or 50 mile in FL is HOT but paved

                       

                      There's more.

                       

                      Timed races are often paved or easy trails.

                       

                      But on many ultras there's many runners doing very little walking and going very fast. Not me. But lots of them.

                       

                      Find your bliss

                        My only ever attempt so far at a 50K was the Seashore Nature Trail 50K here in Virginia Beach, VA.  This is a trail race, and very FLAT.  You'll be running all the way if you do this one. :-)

                         

                        http://tidewaterstriders.com/seashore50K/

                         

                        Also, I asked for a 'flat, fast' course in another post and the suggestion was "New River Trail 50K", that is on the VA/NC border.  I am planning on probably doing that one next year.  I too have a preference for the 'flat' style of trail race.

                         

                        http://www.ncnr.org/nrt50k.html#course

                        The Plan (big parts)→  /// April:  Hampton, VA 24 Hour Run for Cancer  ///   May:  3 Days at the Fair (12 Hour)  ///  Nov:  New York Marathon (Staying at the Waldorf Astoria, its a "Bucket List" thing.  Can someone loan me some Zamunda money to help pay for it?)   ∞

                        FTYC


                        Faster Than Your Couch!

                          Congrats on a great race!

                           

                          Trails can be tricky, even when they are relatively "flat". If you don't enjoy steep, long hills, or rocky, rooty, muddy trails, it's just fair to rather run races that are more to your liking and which you enjoy. You are right, some ultra races are all about steep hills and difficult trails. Some are not. Some are even run on gravel roads, remotely in the mountains, so you get the "feel" of trail running, but it's more about "real running", less about mastering tricky trails and steep hills.

                           

                          I ran the Stone Mill 50M last year, and I really enjoyed it. It is run almost exclusively on non-technical trails, just a few roots here and there, but nothing like the very technical, steep trails that we have in central PA, where I usually run. And it's fairly flat, too. This race is in Gaithersburg, MD, about 25 miles north of Washington D.C..

                           

                          The Tussey Mountainback 50M is run on gravel roads (and some pavement, but not much) in central PA (State College area). It is a very scenic route, I enjoyed it as well, and it is a really fast course.

                          Run for fun.


                          Le professeur de trail

                            Trail "races" are exploding.  But I have noticed that many of the really technical and "hilly" ones are not calling it a race but rather a trail event or endurance event (even the shorter distances like 25k and 30k).  If you see event in the title rather than race, it's a good indication it's not the flat/fast course you are talking about.  That is not to say some tough courses are not called races - they can be.

                            DoppleBock


                              As others posted ~ Many kinds of Ultras

                               

                              But also remember that some people run every step ... Not me because I find it more efficient in the long run to hike the hills, but legend has it at Leadville Matt Carpenter ran every step ... Hope Pass goes from 9,000 to 12,600 in only a few miles.

                               

                              Finishers

                              Matt Carpenter is the current course record holder. His time of 15 hours and 42 minutes in 2005 shattered the previous Leadville Trail 100 record. The publisher of Colorado Runner magazine, Derek Griffiths, said afterwards, “It was a perfect race for him. He finished in daylight, for crying out loud — no one has ever done that before. I think he has just raised the bar of ultra racing to a whole new level.

                              http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                              2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                               


                              finally Sub-3!!!

                                Thanks for all the info guys.  I think I will look into some of the flatter races and see if my tastes change.

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