Tuesday, March 22, 2011

2011 HAT Run 50k Race Report

I was happy to be able to take part in one of my favorite races, the Hat Run 50k this past weekend at Susquehanna State Park.  Coming into this race I was feeling confident because my races this season have been going well and have already set PRs for my marathon and 50k.  Last year I rolled my ankle and tore some ligaments in my ankle and wasn't able to finish, so want to seek a little revenge on the course that got the best of me last year.  All winter I have been training on this course and knowing the course came in handy because I knew where I could run hard and where I needed to conserve energy.  This course is challenging with 9800 feet of elevation change.
elevation profile
The weather was perfect on race day, it got up to about 55F with a little bit of wind.  It was nice to see some familiar faces before the race and everyone got to swap stories about their past races and also to find out what everyone's race schedule is going to be for the year.  The race started at  9am and I decided to wear my compression shorts with UA HeatGear long sleeve with a a shirt over top, this was perfect because some sections of the course were windy. 
start line
Billy Goat Peake and Mary
The race starts out with a 3.6 mile loop, then 2 identical 13.7 loops after that.  Because there was 420 runners that started the race it took the first loop for everyone to spread out and this is about when I started to settle into a comfortable pace.  I finished the first lap in 41:10, which is right where I wanted to be considering I wanted to run a 6:15:00 race.  I was feeling good at the beginning of the second lap, but I started to feel bad at the 2:45:00 mark.  I was was taking an S!Cap every 30 minutes and I was taking endurance cubes and GUs every 30 minutes too, I was averaging 145 calories per hour (maybe this wasn't enough)  Once reached the pavilion to start my second lap I decided to take my meal replacement shake and restock on GUs and cubes.  It took me a few miles of struggling before I started to feel good again.  I was back to a good pace and was running up most of the climbs.  Then with about 3.5 miles to go I started to cramp up, I just had run out of water and had a 1.5 miles to go before the next water stop.  I could feel my calves tightening up as I was running up the hills, but thankfully I made it to the water stop and filled up.  I would have to run the last few miles well to make my time, but it wasn't to be and I finished in 6:17:47.
I beat my time from 2009 by almost 50 minutes, I am very happy about that.  I am learning that each ultra race brings with it a unique challenge and I learn something about myself that I didn't know before.  Sometimes the races you where you run poorly and is just a struggle to finish end up being the races that you learn the most.  My JFK last November I had my worst race, but that metal I earned that day means more then any other I have earned so far.  My Dad ran his first ultra in 2 years and he recently had hernia surgery and had to spend most of the winter recovering.  His race unfolded a bit differently then mine and he struggled.  I am sure he had quite a conversation with himself at the pavilion before he started his final lap, but he decided to get back out on the course and finish what he started.  At the end of the day I bet he will remember this race for a long time, congrats Dad!
Billy Goat Peake gets it done.
And as always I want to thank the best crew in the world!!!!!
Team Peake

Happy finishers (L TO R) Kevin, Mary, Me, and Ron
Race Splits

This race has a great following and filled up in record time this year and that's because the secret is out on how well organized and how much fun this race is.  The park is big enough to accommodate the runners needs and the course is a amazing with the right amount of elevation change and the footing on the trails is great too.  The volunteers are always helpful and are very gracious in donating their time.  This is the main reason why I will be back next year and I recommend race to everyone as one of the premier 50k races in the Mid-Atlantic region.

See ya on the trails


Post a Comment