This past weekend I went back to the Hinson Lake 24 Hour Ultra. It was another great experience overall. The course is a well maintained 1.503 mile loop around Hinson Lake. The trail surface is mostly clay with some sandy spots but overall, an enjoyably runnable course which is good since you are continually running the same trail as many times as you can during the 24 hour period.
Kami and Gavin returned to Hinson with me for our second trip. Kami maintained my personal aid area (not a fun job, I hear) and Gavin helped set up the main aid station before the race and continued to work the aid station until 11:00pm. 16 hours supporting runners and two or three clothing changes for him as he had soda spilled on him several times. I think he is working on aid station volunteer of the year award.
We arrived at Hinson Lake around 4:00 pm Friday. Luckily one of my friends, Sondra was able to hold a spot for me as runners had started setting up before 9:00am. We set up and checked in. We spent some time chatting with some other runners. After the pasta dinner last year, we opted to go out for dinner and ended up at Highway 55 as there is nothing like an Andy’s size bacon cheeseburger and fries to make you run your best. After Highway 55, we went back to the lake, Kami and I walked a lap at dusk to see (feel) what I was up against the next morning. We slept in the car and Gavin and I ended up arguing over who snored more at least once or twice.
One thing I didn’t do this year was run numbers or set goals. When I signed up my goal was 85 miles but after being sidelined for most of the summer, I just wanted to go out and see where I would end up. Now that was a bad idea as without a solid goal, I didn’t set a nutrition plan and figured I could wing it. (I was wrong, at least on the hydration side)
Woke around 6am and stumbled out of the car to get ready. Ate a couple of muffins, drank some coffee. After that, I took the last of my gear to the canopy. I jokingly talked goals and paces and the normal running related stuff. Kept saying I was only going for 10 miles. I started off at a 10:30 – 11:00 minute per mile pace. But I did that for a little over 2 hours and then dropped to around 13 minutes per mile before finally settling in on 15. Lower back pain settled in around 10:30am, so the ibuprofen started earlier than normal.
I ran pretty well until 2:00pm or so when the pizza came out. I grabbed a couple of slices and walked the lap while eating them. The following lap I went back to trying to run and the pizza decided to come back up half-way through the lap. So there I was leaned over the side of the long bridge “feeding the fishes” before walking back to the start. It took a while for my stomach to settle while I tried to keep moving, bringing on moderate dehydration. I found out here that once you let yourself get dehydrated, it is difficult to resolve during a race.
Major splits (times approximate) 50km 8 hours, 42 minutes (my slowest ever 50k), 50 miles 17 hours 45 minutes (Slowest EVER 50 miler). My Marathon time was around 7 hours, 10 minutes which is slower than my normal 50k.
I got Gavin to walk a lap with me after he stopped working the aid station and Kami went out for
a couple after dark with her wings that light up. She got a few comments about them again this year. Bringing Gavin back through the aid station was nice because after he made sure my lap was properly recorded, several people had great things to say about how much he had helped out during the race. At some point, I may have morphed into a space mantis. Not sure about that part.
I think I may have walked most if not all of my loops after the 50k and probably quite a few before. I ended up sleeping much more than I wanted, but at the end of the day I think that is OK too.
Too many races coming up – Rock ‘n Rebellion Half Marathon, Medoc Trail Marathon, ATT 10 miler, City of Oaks Marathon, Old Glory Trail Trot 50 Miler, and what I am really working toward, Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run.
You never know what you can do until you try so get out there!