Race report: I have decided to start doing race reports for my benefit and so that others can track/view my progress. Also so that I can start catching any inconsistencies that I have, or to remember what has been working or not working. This is all part of being intentional about running for me this year.
Saturday April the 7th was the Yamacraw 50k. It was by far the longest 50k that I have ever done, both in distance, some said it was 34-35 miles and in time, for me it was just under 10 hours. I finished and I had fun, that was the most important thing. I went into the race injured and with the weather for that weekend I was debating even showing up. I am glad I did.
I started out in the back of the pack. I think there were only 5 other people behind me. I was already passing people after a ½ mile, who had stopped to walk and take pictures. I had to work very hard on not being overly aggressive on the trail and I struggled to hold myself back and stay humble at the back of the pack. Soon I was caught in the walking line. As ultra-runners know it’s that line were the person in front is going so slow and there’s no room to pass.
Finally after some time many people stopped and moved off the train and I was able to speed up a bit. Soon I was engrossed in conversation With another runner. We ran passed the several falls and crossed several creeks and streams. I don’t know what it is about Daniel Boone National Forest, but I think that every time I have had a race there my feet have been soaking. I did not have any issues with blistering, rubbing or having wet feet. My feet were just fine other than a little cold at times.
One of the most interesting and enjoyable things was the boat bridge that had to be crossed. I know a few runners didn’t like it. I did. The creek rose enough that there need to be some crossing and a local rafting company was there to help us across. Instead of carrying us over in boats they put several inflatable rafts together and we scrambled over to the other bank. It was a good break and an opportunity to stretch out those sore legs.
Nutrition is always a huge factor for me. I went with a watered down mix of tailwind and that seemed to work well. I stopped at the aid stations and grabbed a handful of fruit and gluten free items and just mostly drank my TW. Later on in the race I have a potato burrito and cheese. It was great and hit the stop. One new trick I learned was to drop some potatoes into the chicken broth that they had at the aid stations. I had a granola bar or two but mostly TW and fruit. I will have to make a note of that for next month on the 50.
As far as gear I wore my innovate trail talons. They seem to work great for me on the trail. They offer a lot more traction than what most runners seem to have and helps me get into some places I wouldn’t normally go. I wore a new pack that I had just got. I wore the ultimate direction Scott Jurick FKT vest. One of the big reasons I got that on was for the ability to carry poles up front instead of in the back, also it was able to care a considerable amount more than my previous packs. I also purchased a water bladder that could hold between 2.5 and 3 litters of water. It also was able to hold enough TW for my race along with a few extra articles of clothing that came in very handy on top of some of the ridges. I think the next thing to try is a set of Black Dimond collapsible trekking poles.
All in all it was a great race. It took me just under ten hours to finish 33-35 miles. I had problems with my knee the whole race and at mile 22 the IT band locked up. I found that if I dug into the center of my leg just above the knee cap so that I could get the IT band to release. It worked and I was able to move a little faster. It did keep me humble and slow that day and so I just had fun. Here’s to hoping that the next trail run is just a bit better, either way I can’t wait for the next adventure!
Philip Parsons MSW/CSW