My first ultra-marathon is now in the books. Wasn't a fabulous finishing time, but I finished.
This year's Jack's 50k in Palm Coast, FL was six laps of the 5-ish mile Male Compra Greenway Trail and mountain bike course, plus a half mile to/from the start/finish.
I only had 3.5 hours of sleep the night before due to getting back late from my son's marching band event.
The day ended up being fairly warm and humid: a temp of 82 and a dew point of 73. Heat and hydration determined the outcome of the race for several runners. (11 DNFs out of 42 runners in the 50K.) Climate was one factor in me ultimately running this race much slower than planned.
First lap was ran in a conga line at a fairly conservative pace. Since it was a conga line, I didn't take any walking breaks except the mid-course aid station to refill my bottle. Conga line dissolved after the 1st lap at the main aid station.
For the 2nd lap, based on my HR in the first lap, I decided to stick with the same pace but with some walking breaks. For this lap and the others, walked a majority of the Cloud 9 section.
During the 3rd lap, I started to feel a little dehydrated. The mid-course aid station was a bit further than halfway (about 3.5 miles in) and my single bottle was running dry. I tried to catch up by drinking more frequently with larger drinks. I had the "full stomach" feeling a few times, but it wasn't too bad. Grabbed the Camelbak vest and 2nd bottle after finishing the lap. Spent the rest of the day trying to catch up on hydration. Never caught up but it never got worse.
On the 4th lap, tripped on a tree root around the 3:58 mark and did a nice barrel roll. Nobody was around to witness it though.
Started raining during the 5th lap, which cooled things down a bit for a while but also made some of the rocks and hills more slippery.
The humidity came back out to play for the 6th lap. After finishing my last trip through Cloud 9, my rate of perceived exertion was way higher than what my heart rate would suggest. Ended up decided to just walk it in with my new walking buddy Brooke since we knew we'd be safely under the 8-hour cutoff. (She had already ran a different 50k on the day before!)
Legs were fine all day; they were never really tired. There were a couple of times where certain spots (knee, hip, stomach, head ache) threatened but a brief walking break made the issue go away. Overall energy was the limiting factor, as well as just wanting to play it safe with the heat (especially after feeling some dehydration). Toward the end I was just really "meh" about trying to knock a few minutes off the overall time.
Drank Tailwind for 1st half lap. Drank Skratch for the other 4.5 laps (2 to 3 bottles per loop). I would have preferred Tailwind, but that isn’t what the aid stations had.
Ate a combo of bananas, watermelon, fig newtons, and 1 piece of pickle. Fig newtons were too dry going down; I’ll probably avoid them in the future.
2nd best estimated Marathon effort (6:04:24)
3rd best estimated 30k effort (4:11:32)
My official time: 7:48:17
20th of 31 total finishers / 42 runners (11 DNFs)
13th of 16 male finishers / 24 runners (8 DNFs)
Overall and Male winner: 5:09:22
Masters 40-49 Male winner, 2nd Overall: 5:45:34
Grandmasters 50+ Male winner, 4th Overall: 6:17:27
Female winner, 3rd Overall: 5:50:43
Female Masters 40-49 winner: 7:37:39
Female Grandmasters 50+ winner: 7:40:20