Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thoughts Heading Into Black Mountain 24 Hour Race

I will be running the Black Mountain Monster 24 Hour Race for Awesomeness this weekend.  I like running events that support a cause and this is definitely a worthwhile endeavor with proceeds going to the Red Cross, The One Day Program, and local Summer Camp Programs.  With the course being about an hour from the house, $50 registration fee, tech shirt included, and just an "awesome" time, this one is really a no-brainier for me.

Seriously, from reading over race reports from prior years this event seems to have all of the ingredients to become a very popular race.  It features a very runnable 4K loop, live music, excellent staging area for camp/aid, bon-fire, indoor movies, and seems to be very friendly for families to roam around as runners compile miles.

There are several different ways to run this event.  They offer a 12 or 24 hour solo run option.  Also a 12 hour solo night run option.  Or you can run the event as a relay team.  I will be curious to see what the ratio will be for ultra runners : relay runners.  Either way, it should be a nice boost to get a herd of new runners on the course heading into the night portion. 

I've never ran any type of race like this so it should be interesting to say the least.  I've always enjoyed loops because you can focus solely on running without having to worry about navigation.

Saturday promises to be hot with highs near 90 with humid air.  Here is my strategy going in.
  • Setup a ice water cooler with white hand towels inside.  Keep a cold one under my visor and alternate them during each loop.  I picked up this tip from the GUTS crowd at Landsford Canal two years ago and it works great.
  • Try to drink more calories instead of eating them.  I always seem to have better runs in the heat when I stay away from a lot of solid food.  If pizza shows up I'm definitely eating it, but I'm gonna try to drink cold calories to stay in the game - especially during the day.
  • 2-3 SCaps / Hour.  20-30 oz. of water / hour - maybe more if the pipes aren't running well enough. 
  • Attempt to maintain 13-15 min/mile pace from the very beginning until the end.  This means starting out stupid slow.  Nice fit for me. 
  • Transition to cushy road shoes after 12-15 hours.  The dogs will love that kind of break. 
  • Bring several changes of clothes to help prevent chaffing.
There is a strange twist to this race that is going to make the whole experience unique.  The event begins at 10:00 AM on Saturday so this means that it ends on 10:00 AM Sunday.  The sun is rising now around 5:30 AM so this means that I will still have 4:30 hours of running after the sun comes up on Sunday morning.  I'm sure it will be easy to quit then, but I'm going to try and prepare myself now to keep moving through that challenge.  I don't have any concrete mileage goals, only to move steadily for 24 hours.

Nearly all of my running friends will be at this one which always gets me fired up.  Can't wait to get out on that loop with everyone and have some fun...

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