Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Elite v Average: My Ultra Running Anniversary at TNF 50 Miler Bear Mountain

This past Saturday I celebrated my 1st year running ultras and I did so by running TNF's 50 Miler at Bear Mountain. I was about half way through my typical post race write up when I read Geoff Roes's Race Report. I decided to change it up a little and provide a comparison of elite vs average (at least give me that).

Race Reports: Geoff Roes's v EricG's

GR: Going into the Bear Mountain 50 miler this past weekend my biggest concern was how little sleep I was likely to have in the 48 hours leading up to the race.
EG: My biggest concern was kicking a rock and smashing my face or having surgery again.

GR: On travelling to the race; 8 hours of flying time from Juneau to Newark and eating crappy food at airports, 4 hour layover in Seattle.
EG: 20 minute drive to Bear Mountain and a nice home cooked pre race dinner.

GR: For the first 15-20 miles the pace felt more to me like the start of a 100 miler than the start of a 50.
EG: I was really pushing hard the first 27 miles running as many hills as I could.

GR: I never really felt very tired all day but I also never really felt like I had a much faster gear. I just kind of plugged along at my steady pace and eventually I was done.
EG: I was always concerned about my pace and shortly after mile 40 my breathing was labored and I could not get my heart rate down. I was afraid I was about to crash and burn which forced me to walk for quite a while until I gathered myself with about 6 miles to go.

GR: I'm sure I could run this course a fair amount faster than my 7:06 finishing time, but this past weekend I don't think my body wanted to push any harder than I did.
EG: I finished in 11:34 and thought I was going to die. I still think I can break 10 hrs on this course and I plan on it next year:)

GR: In many ways this race felt more like a training run than a race. I never really felt like any other runners put any pressure on me to run a faster pace than I wanted...
EG: This was one of the toughest races I have ever run. It took a lot for me to keep pushing myself and encouragement from my pacer and crew was needed.

GR: My legs weren't even sore when I finished.
EG: I have been hobbling around like an old man for days and nearly come to tears when walking down stairs.

GR: I was even able to drive over to the aid station at mile 40 and run a mile or so with my friend Dan.
EG: 4 days post race it took a Herculean effort for me to knock out 3.5 miles.

GR: Bear Mountain is a super rocky course but there isn't a whole lot of climbing. I don't think there's a place anywhere in the race when you are climbing continual for more than 2 or 3 minutes.
EG: This course is very technical with crazy hills. I felt like I was going up or down most of the time.

GR: I feel really good about how strong my body felt and what this means moving forward with less than 7 weeks until Western States.

EG: I have never run this many races so close together and I hope I recover in time for DC in 3.5 weeks. I have been hoping to do well there.

GR: In all this was a really great weekend trip. Got to see most of my family (I had a contingency of 15 family and friends at the race); got to see my friend Dan finish his first ultra ever; and was able to pay for my entire trip with the $1000 prize money for winning the race.
EG: This was a great event. My family was there and Tony came out to pace me. Then I got to watch Tani finish her first post baby race on Sunday. It cost me about $15 in gas between the 2 days and there is no prize money for 55th place.

I want to thank Tony Portera for coming out to pace me the final 23 miles. We had a blast and I know I would have been slower without him. Sorry about the ankle Tony!

Thanks to my brother and sister-in-law for coming out.

And of course many thanks go to my always present wife Tani, not to mention my daughter who gave me that final push across the finish line. I could not do it without them.



  1. congrats on a job well done. seeing the comparison between you and geoff really put things in perspective on how strong those guys really are

  2. That is hilarious. Some of the elites are a totally different level (or planet?)...but many may have started where you are and just kept pushing forward. Great perspectives!!

  3. such a great race report. Hilarious and much closer to my own reality. Cnograts

  4. An additional note my husband would like to add... is that "running 50 miles is by no means Average". So true, so true.

  5. Thanks everyone. Glad you enjoyed the read. I thought it was hysterical and wanted to share it. Based on everyone's geography I may have to find a race north of the border one day. Peace

  6. Great angle Eric. And you got a comment from the elite himself! Nice.


Related Posts with Thumbnails