Wednesday, September 28, 2011

2011 ATR 12-HR Race Report

I decided to run my first timed event on September 10, 2011 at the ATR 12-HR in Prince William Forest Park (PWFP).  This was last minute decision on my part because I felt that I needed one last long run before the UROC 100k.  The course was a 6.5 mile loop on trails inside the PWFP and had next to no elevation gain/loss.  I wasn't really looking for a challenging race but rather just wanted to spend a few hours on my feet and not get hurt.

After a few last minute instructions the gun went off a bit after 6:15, I turned on my head lamp got the show on the road (more like trails).  Soon after the start I found a nice pace and settle right into a good rhythm and put on my iPod and the time started to fly by.  I really enjoy running when it becomes effortless and when you start looking at your watch/GPS and only notice the hours that go by, not the miles. 
nice groomed trails with only a few rocks & roots
I came into the start finish area for my first lap in 1:27:04, I quickly filled up my Nathan hydration pack and grabbed a few GUs and was on my way.  As the race progressed the weather started to become more balmy and I knew cramping could be an issue.  To help prevent the cramping I quickly went into my usual one S!Cap every thirty minutes and to make sure I had the correct amount of energy I was taking one GU every forty five minutes (I usually take one every thirty minutes but my easy pace didn't demand such a high intake of calories).  Slow and steady was still the order of the day and I finished my second lap in 1:23:27.  Starting my third lap I was starting to miss my Montrail Badrock shoes, which had a serious tear on the outside mesh (by my pinkie toe), and I had to replace with the Montrail Sabino Trail but they didn't come in the mail in time so I had to rely on my old Asics 2160 Trail shoes.  The first two laps were a bit muddy because all of the rain from the night before and the Asics were not handling the mud well as I had to stop several times along to course to scrape the mud off the bottom of the shoes.  This was the only obstacle I had to over come all day.  I was content with watching the lead runners catch up to me and lap me as I was in my own little world.  It was difficult not to get in race mode and try running hard, but I knew I needed to practice running at a slow pace and even started walking sections of the course just to make sure I would remember to slow down.  I finished the third lap in 1:30:13 and I was feeling great.
start/finish area with drop bags
I was now 4:20 into the race, which was 19.5 miles, and started to contemplate how many more laps I wanted to run.  I decided that one more lap would be good and would not put my legs through too much stress.  During my final loop I chatted with a few runners and traded the usual ultra war stories. 
Suspended bridge we ran across twice on each lap
I finished my forth and final lap in 1:38:00, which gave me a total distance of 26 miles in 5:58:38.  The race was directed by the Athletic Equation group and they did such a great job.  The aid stations (only 2, one at the start/finish and another water station 3.5 miles into the loop) were properly staffed and and had plenty food/drink on hand.  I am even considering running a 24 hour race next year that is put on by the same group.

My Gear: 
Shoes:  Asics 2160 Trail
Socks: DryMax 
Sunglasses: Native 
Hydration: Nathan 1.5 Liter Backpack 
Nutrition: GU, S!Caps 
Shorts:  2XU compressions shorts 
Shirt:  Tech T-shirt  
Watch:  Garmin GPS 310xt 

I usually would put my Garmin information link here but it ran out of batteries after my 3 loop.
Here is a link to some additional pictures

See ya on the trails,


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