Saturday, August 15, 2009

I'm an Ultrarunner!

As my time here in Nevada is winding down, I had one final weekend to enjoy. Earlier this week I saw a listing of races for the weekend of the 15th, and one was the Hotter than Hell 12 hr/6hr race. Turns out it was only about 3 hours from Fallon. I've always wanted to do an ultramarathon, but I've never devoted the time to training for one. I thought this would be a good opportunity to see what would happen on minimal training.

So, Saturday morning, I got up at 3:30, drove west on Hwy 50 nearly to Sacramento. I signed up for the 6 hr race and started running at 7:30. The course was around Cameron Park Lake, a 1.25 mile trail. My A goal was 30 laps (37.5 miles; 12 minute laps) and my B goal was a 12 minute mile (15 minute lap)- hence 24 laps (just short of a 50 K). We started running, and I fell into a comfortable groove with a HR in the 120's at 12 minute laps.

A view of the lake from my picnic table

(where my gear/food/beverage was stashed for the next 6 hours)

I fell into a comfortable groove for about 3 and 1/2 hours before joining Lainie, current female series leader, and her pacer Mark. They helped keep me on track for most of my remaining laps. I hit the marathon split (lap 21) in 4:12, and I was right on pace for 30 laps.

Just before the start of my longest run ever

The next lap, however, was the wall. I ran a 26 minute lap including lots of stretching and sitting. The lap after that was 17 minutes. My 30 lap goal was not going to happen, but I had plenty of time to knock out a 50 K (25 laps). I joined back up with Lainie and Mark, and we knocked out the 2 laps I needed pretty easily- making me an ultramarathoner! I ran one more for fun, and then I decided I just wasn't up for squeezing one last lap in.

My first ultramarathon- 50 K- 5:21:10. It was awesome, and I can't wait to do another.

Oh, and I finished 2nd overall (to Lainie- 40 miles). It earned me a free pair of INOV8 Roclite 295s.


  1. Great, Ryan!!! I am super-impressed! I keep thinking I want to get motivated to run, but I'm a little bit afraid to run alone here. I guess I'll stick to my bike. Love you! Mom

  2. Great job, Ryan! Congrats. Glad that Lainie was there to keep you moving--she's great.
    I wish I could have been there, maybe I'll see you at the next one in Tahoe?
    2nd in your first ultra--that's just great!

  3. That's awesome! What was the lap distance 1.25 miles? You should have totally done another one to get the next distance in! (wouldn't be your sister if I didn't harass you a little!) :) It makes me want to try since the marathon didn't bother me. Next spring when you get back, we should do one. Congrats on your placement! Crazy that you woke up at 3:30 to do it, but sounds fun. I remember reading about those races in Runner's World, now I know someone who has done one.