Tuesday, May 7, 2013

First ultra completed

Greenland 50k
Larkspur, CO

My first ultra marathon is now in the books. It actually was not as difficult as I had expected.  The weather could not have been better.  It started out sunny and in the upper 30's and quickly warmed into the mid-50's.  Despite several inches of snow earlier in the week, the trail was dry and in excellent condition.  

The race started promptly at 7am and headed south on a wide dirt path.  I don't now why, but I had trouble regulating my breathing and had a tight chest for the first mile.  I don't usually get nervous at the start of events, but it sure felt that way this time.  By Mile 2, we reached the point where our looping course would eventually intersect with the path we were on.  I was
feeling good by now and had finally gotten into a rhythm.  Our first aid station (one of only two) was at around Mile 3.  It was also at this point that the course began its 400 climb east to the top of the route's main hill.  From the top, the course turns north and rolls along the ridge line until dropping down a gentle northeast slope.  The trail briefly climbed a smaller hill before skirting along the west side end then dropping down into the wide flat expanse near the turn around.  When I reached the turn around, I was about 8 miles in and felt pretty good.  I now have three more circuits of the course to go. The trail leading south to intersect with the original trail paralleled the original trail before climbing up a small hill which the original trail had skirted to the west.  I now knew that I had a small, medium and large hill to climb as I made my loops and I wanted to be sure I had gas in the tank when I started the last lap.  The next two loops were pretty uneventful.  I continued to feel
strong and never had to stop and walk.  The biggest excitement was a large coyote the crossed
my path about 20 feet ahead of me.  As I started my fourth and final loop of the course, I was starting to feel a bit tired.  Just prior to reaching the aid station at the base of the large hill, I noted that I'd just past the 26.2 mile point (marathon distance) and was now, with each step, was runner further than I had ever run before.  I finally had to walk most of the big hill on this final ascent.  Fortunately, once I began the descent, I was able to runner rather swiftly down the trail, maintaining the pace almost all the way to the finish.  It was a great feeling to cross the finish line.  A personal best in distance and I was able to complete the
50K(31 miles) in less than 6 hours.  You can see my data here.

My next runner event will be the Colfax Marathon.  At this, it should seem like a piece of cake.  The next big challenge will be in September when I attempt my first 50 mile trail run.  Can't wait!

In Sex
In Div
James S. 
Denver CO
30 to 39

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