Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Race Report: Dahlgreen 50k

As I’m flying to Denver, Colorado I type this post. I haven’t written or even posted much 
content here in a long time and what better way to spend the next few hours by writing this.This year I’ve completed multiple races ranging from 5k’s to 50k’s, and in this report, I’m going to write about the Dahlgreen 50k.

After I ran the North Face 50k in April and came short of my sub 5 hour goal by 
just 8 minutes, I decided to sign up for the very flat Dahlgreen 50k. Fun fact, Mike Wardian ran the fastest trail 50k in the country last year in 3:10:26.

I tried training for the heat in this race because being held in August, you can expect it to be very humid and in the upper 80s to lower 90s. I did a lot of hard ten mile runs in the afternoon and felt tired, but good. When I tried to do my 20 and 25 mile runs, I had to stop both times at mile 19 and call it quits. I could verily hold into a 9:30 pace and had to add a lot of walking breaks. So I went into this race without doing a long run, which I wasn’t scared because I’ve done it multiple times, but I didn’t know if I could get a good time. I had no expectations for this race; yes I would have liked to get a sub 5 hour PR, but went into the race calm and hoping to keep a sub 10 minute per mile pace.

I got to the race, did my morning routine, and started running with 57 other runners. The race is mostly dirt and gravel, 15ish miles one way to the turn around and then the same route back to the starting line. Miles 7-13ish are brutal on the way back; it’s mostly pebble size rocks that eat your ankles and I kicked the ground a few times. The first 18 miles went just fine; I kept getting 8:45 minutes per mile or around that time, which I knew was too fast, but I wanted to see how long I could keep that pace. By mile 22 I had hit the wall and slowed down to a 9-9:30 pace and a lot of walking breaks. After the first aid station, I ran the whole race by myself, nobody passed me and there was nobody to pass. It was a little boring because there are not a lot of runners and the view is just the same dirt road with trees on both sides, but it’s a very easy race to concentrate and run hard. The lack of elevation makes it an event that I will train for hard next year. At mile 28ish, I was walking and turned around to see if anybody was catching up, when I 
spotted a dog running towards me very fast. I got a little scared and thought it either wants to play or bite me. I didn’t want to find out and started running as fast as I could, looked at my watch and was doing a sub 6 minute per mile pace. When I got to the next road cross a few minutes later I told the volunteers stopping traffic what had happened and continued with my race. Once I got to the finish line, I heard the dog was caught. I’m glad it didn’t bite me or any of the other runners. I ended up finishing the race with a new 50k PR of 4:54

I recommend this race to first time ultra runners or anybody looking for a new 50k pr. Be 
prepare to run in the heat.

(Photo taken by Justyn Cox and Kim Boshela)

-Keep Running