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9:00 AM

30 mi


9:58 mi


153 lb


50 F


8 / 10
7 / 10

Race Result

10 / 71 (14.1%)
10 / 42 (23.8%)


After going to work for 3 hrs, I picked up Jeff and we headed to The 3 Days of Syllamo, a 3 day trail running stage race in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. We left about 11:30 am, stopping only once at Subway in Rolla for lunch. We made good time and arrived at the packet pick up at 4:30 pm. We could not pick up since the race director was delayed so I went ahead and set up my tent. We waited until 6 pm and Jeff decided that he would pick his up packet in the morning. We then went to find the cabin he was staying with Andy P. and Nicole. I then went to fill up the Prius in Mountain View and then went inside the Wal-Mart to purchase a new air mattress. I had discovered the cap was missing from the one I intended to sleep on. I felt out of place in Wal-Mart and got out as quickly as possible.

I headed back to race headquarters where I was camping. It started to rain just as I was getting the stuff I needed inside the tent. It rained hard with thunder and lightening but at this point I was staying dry. Later, I woke up and noticed water in a couple areas on the tent floor so made sure nothing was in those areas. Up higher on my bed I stayed dry and slept fairly well waking up with the intermittent rain and claps of thunder.

I had set my alarm for 6 am but woke up at 5:30 to use the restroom. I decided to stay up and started eating, hydrating, and getting my gear ready. I ate some bananas, Nature’s Path toaster pastries and a Lean Body shake with instant coffee mixed in. I opted not to have a drop bag for the 50K. When I had everything ready, I then walked around the campground looking for the shower for later and found Allan B.’s car. He was not in it and then found him a few minutes later near the packet pick up. He had arrived at 3 am and slept in his car and then set his tent up before the race. The shirt for this race was unusual. It was a dark gray button down bowling shirt with the race logo.

Andy, Jeff, and Nicole arrived and Nicole arrived. I then went on my race clothes and Nicole took some pictures. After a brief description of the course and what markings to look for, the race started at 9 am. The temperature was 50F and felt cool, but I opted to wear short sleeves since I would warm up. We were off without any dramatic start. I settled into a pace behind a female. At some point passed her and made a wrong turn but we got back on track quickly. I then got behind and followed her and another guy for awhile. Her name was Ashley and she was a fourth grade teacher from Mt. Baldi, CA. She had run the race last year and this year her husband and a friend were running too. Last year she was the first female finisher.

At some point, the 3 of us veered off the wrong way and soon realized we were off track. Then we saw 2 other runners down below and joined them back on the trail. I stayed with this group and it felt like they were running a little faster than I wanted to run. After we stopped at the next aid station they slowed down. At some point, I was feeling good and taking the lead with everyone in our group following. Ashley and I ended up running with them for about to 22 miles and then one of them dropped back and the other sped way ahead. Ashley stayed behind me and we continued at what seemed like a very steady comfortable pace. Sometimes I would walk a few steps up the hills but was surprised how I kept running up some. This course was quite hilly with rocks and some trees to climb over as well. Every so often we would see some insulation, plywood, tin, or siding that had dropped into the forest from the recent tornados.

My GPS kept working until sometime during mile 28 it lost signal, and got back a little later. We veered off another wrong turn with about 3 miles to go and Ashley noticed the flags way down a hill below so we took a shortest route down the treacherous hill through some brambles. The area through the brambles was the safest to avoid falling down the hill. I was scratched pretty badly on the upper legs and already had some scratches on the lower from earlier encounters.

Several of the creeks we crossed on this course had some very swift moving currents and the rocks were quite slippery. I could feel the current pulling me and would walk at an angle against the water. I managed to avoid falling on the 50K course and only turned my left ankle slightly one time.

As we were running to the end, I told Ashley to go ahead since I really felt like she deserved to place ahead of me. She said we would cross the finish line together. We crossed in 4:58:55. After talking with others, I suspect the course was short by about 1 mi based on my pace for the part where the GPS didn’t work.

Here are my splits. This course had some monstrous hills and treacherous terrain, and downed trees which slowed us down at times. Whenever we had down hill, we used to our advantage and picked up the pace trying not to fall over the rocks. The last few miles were a little quicker since we were going down.

M1 – 9:02

M2 – 8:27

M3 – 11:54

M4 – 12:29

M5 -10:24

M6 – 9:13

M7 – 9:02

M8 – 10:03

M9 – 11:04

M10 – 9:31

M11 – 9:06

M12 – 9:20

M13 – 9:06

M14 – 9:49

M15 – 10:42

M16 – 12:04

M17 – 9:27

M18 – 13:09

M19 – 9:20

M20 – 9:49

M21 – 8:45

M22 – 11:15

M23 – 9:42

M24 – 9:52

M25 – 11:58

M26- 10:42

M27 – 9:56

M28 – 30 – 23:37

I suspect my GPS was a little short as it usually is on trails so I am calling it 30 miles.

Andy P. finished about 10 min behind me. I then ate some food, drank some Accelerade and went and stood waist deep in the creek with a group of people for some recovery. The water was excruciatingly cold but actually felt good. I then ate some more and prepared my things for the 50 miler and went to shower. At 6 pm they served us meatless pasta with marinara sauce, garlic bread, salad, and Oreo cookie cheesecake. I was eating at a table with 7 of 9 people that were left-handed. At some point, one of the people got up and a different left-handed person sat down. We wondered if a higher % of ultra runners are left-handed. After dinner, Jeff, Andy, and Nicole headed to their cabin and I headed to higher ground to find a phone signal.

I called Hugh to tell him about the first day and then was getting hungry and in need of some meat so went to KFC and had the buffet. I then headed back to camp, got my things ready and set the alarm for 4 am since the 50 miler would start at 6 am.