Some adventures in road and trail running.
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Saturday, November 3, 2007

Autumn Leaves 50km

Today I raced the 50km at the ORRC Autumn Leaves race.
The race occurs at Champoeg state park and is a loop course. I ran around in 5 mile circles for around 4 hours and really enjoyed it!
As always it was great to have my family and friends out cheering all of us on. Leah had great fun in the signature leaves.

I am really stoked from the result and I am really sore...but in a good way :-) Any race with no blisters is a good race.

Race director Fritz Pieper does an amazing job of putting on this late season race: course was marked very well with lots of enthusiastic volunteers. They even finally figured out how to get everyone to do the same course and the right distance for the initial out and back :-) Fritz also gives out birthday cards to all the people who have birthdays close to the race day...and the swag was great as well. Thanks man!
It was great fun to see everyone so many times with the loop course: Olga, Tom, Jeff, Dave, Lynn, Stan, Susan, Rich, and Beast. There is a 10km, 50km and 50 miler running concurrently so I would guess about 200 people running around.
In a weird twist I ran the ultra and Stacey and Ronda did the 10km. Made me slightly jealous :-)

Seeing other runners and the volunteers inspires you to keep giving your best. It certainly did not hurt to try to keep up with some of the 10 kers or think about how glad you are that you are not doing the 50 miler :-) Thanks to all for the inspiration!

I finished in 4:00:58 (7:45 per mile) which was good enough for first overall.
Splits (1.2 mile loop, then six 4.9 mile loops)

This was my second fastest ultra and it validates the speed training that I have been doing lately. I stuck to the Ronda / Stacey fueling plan and had zero troubles with low energy or digestion problems. Gel every 23 minutes (after the first 40 minutes or so) whether I felt I needed it or not. It is fun when the training and planning works.
The only mistakes I made were not doing a negative split and forgetting headphones for my spanky new iPod shuffle that Trisha got me for my birthday. Argh...having my tunes would have likely given me the 59 seconds to slip under 4 hours. There is just no way to run slow rockin' out to Skillet!. Oh well, I made the USATF happy :-(

If you are looking for a well organized and supported ultra late in the season this one is it. We even had amazing weather this year: no wind or rain and the fog looked great. The race even starts at a 8 am so you do not have to crawl out of bed to early.
This is also a great race for first time ultra runners. Just get over the mental hurdle of passing the finish line soooo many times :-)
It was great to see the first timers out there challenging themselves and diggin' deep!

I know I will be back...with my headphones :-)


Rooster said...

Awesome job Darin! You made it look effortless which made me slighty jealous as my 10K pace was the same as your 50K, come on......what's up with that?

Darin Swanson said...

All my consumption of Halloween candy :-)

olga said...

I'll be nagging you for those 58 seconds all year:) yeah, I am like that. Awesome run, and you looked much better than some races I]ve seen you at:)

Sarah said...

Congrats on your #1 finish!

Steve Walters said...

Congrats on finishing first. Thanks for the encouraging words on the course. I hope to see you again soon at another race. Happy Running!