Monday, October 31, 2016

Tussey Mountainback 50 Mile Ultramarathon Race Report

I ran my first "ultra" yesterday at the 17th annual Tussey Mountainback.  There's no way I could have done it without the support of my loving wife, Erin.  She helped me get out and train when I wasn't feeling motivated and she drove my support car during the race.

If you want to get data on the 12 stages of the course, my times, the elevation changes, etc., then check out this google spreadsheet.  Upshot:  my goal was 9 hours, but I finished in 7:48:03  If you want data on the results, click the link above for all options or see overall ultra (not including relays).  Upshot: I placed 22/92 overall, 8/23 in my age group, and ran faster than a lot of relay teams.

This race was really great for a number of reasons.  It was the USA Track & Field 50 mile championship so there was a lot of talent present.  For one, it's a hometown race and always benefits a charity.  For another, it brought Erin and I together with some of the best friends we made in State College when we joined On the LUUse 7-member relay team (Erin drove) in 2013 with Jenny & Travis Tennessen, Dave & Suzan Brinker, and Kelsey & Charlie Spanjers.  That team finished in 7:24:03, so I ran the 2016 race faster than that team if you only count the time I spent running which is fair because relay teams don't take any time for transition.  Kelsey, Charlie, and I ran on the 3-person "slow pokes" team the following year while Erin drove again.  That team finished in 6:41:09.  I planned to do the race last year, but didn't register because I hurt my achilles tendon and found training with an infant harder than I expected.  This year, Erin drove again and Suzan joined my support team (along with her daughter and my son).  Things are way different now compared to our first relay in 2013...the Tennesens and the Spanjers moved out of town and we ALL had babies.  I think this race was a driving force in uniting us.

Training went really well.  I found a lot of things that work for me from apparel to nutrition to gear.  In the process of training for this race, I have topped my all-time record for number of miles run in a calendar year (and I surpassed 2002's old record of 1128 miles in October!).  I'm currently over 1200 miles for the year.  I think I'm going to cut back on the mileage for a while and I'm definitely not running again next year (expecting another baby!).  I'm going to volunteer at the race in 2017 since I'm not running it.