Sunday, September 13, 2009

Haliburton Forest Trail Race

The Haliburton OUS race is a must do if your run Trails in Southern Ontario. The event takes place in the Haliburton Forest, bordered by Algonquin Park to the North. The race is legendary for its rugged terrain , natural beauty and wild life!

There was a 26K , 50K , 50 Mile and 100 Mile events. I tossed around the idea of doing the 80K but decided to do the 50K instead. I am comfortable with this distance and wanted to add a bit of speed to the run before I started going longer. I looked at results ahead of race to get a feel for the course. Most years anything under 6 hours would get you a top 10 finish. My best day prediction would be around 5hrs30min.

The race starts at 6:00 am so I had no choice but to drive the 280km the night before. The trip took about 3hrs30min arriving at 10:30 PM. I wasn't sure where to go but when I pulled into the parking lot there was about 20 cars with foggy windows , I knew I was in the right place! I was driving my Durango so I had lots of room , I had an air mattress and sleeping bag and was able to fully stretch out. After a quick snack I crawled in around 11:00 for a short sleep , alarm was set for 4am. When woke up I had a couple of Oatmeal to Go Bars , OJ and a Yogurt. Picked up my Race Kit and Coffee at 5:00 am then it was time to get ready!

At 5:40 the Bagpipes started calling everyone to the pre race activities. There was a role call for the 100 milers , a prayer and then we all walked a couple of hundred meters to the start / finish. It was still dark at 6:00 am and we were off. First 30 minutes were on a gravel road so I decided not to use a light , many were. Bumped into lots of folks that I know at the start , wished Stephan and Kinga Miklos good luck with there 100 Mile Race and caught up with Kevin from London doing the 50 miler. My strategy was to go out at a reasonable pace and then pick it up later, running with someone going longer kept me from going too fast. I chatted with Kevin for the better part of an hour then I picked it up a bit. About 10K in I bumped into the legendary Doug Barber , ran with him for a bit until we met up with Ron Gehl. At round the 20K mark heading for the 50K turnaround I started to pick up the pace a , ran some of my fastest Ks between the 20 and 30K marks. Nearing 30K it started to cramp just a touch so I downed some Electrolyte Replacement pills and it seemed to work. I slowed it down a bit after 30k but I was still running everything with the exception of the steeper climbs. I held a pretty constant pace through through 40K and wasn't feeling too bad. Did a GU2O at 40K to beef up the electrolyte's. The stomach felt a bit queasy and I was starting to dehydrate . I was trying to keep the fluid intake up but I really didn't feel like drinking any more! Past the 40K mark I was beginning to really fatigue but managed to keep pace. The last 7K was on a gravel road and I kept thinking about how I could pick it up a bit at the end! Last 5k on the trail were 7:00, 8:06, 8:09, 7:30, and 8:06. When I hit the road I was able to pick it up, last 7K were 6:27, 5:38, 6:07, 6:54, 6:22, 7:12 (big hill) and the last K was the fastest but I forgot to turn my Garmin off for nearly 2 minutes while I was on all fours being sick!

I always judge my race on how many folks I pass vs how many people pass me in the last half! From about 25 to 40K I passed a few but no one went by me. With about 10K to go I was passed by two runners, one who was just edging me out and then another who blew by me stating he got lost and added 6 miles to his run ... he was really fast. In the last K I gave up another 2 positions...I was giving it my all trying to keep up with these guys but it just wasn't there!!!!! After the race I learned that the guys that passed me in the last K were doing the 26K race .... d'oh!
My Garmin data said I covered 47.79km +2877/-2879m with a total time of 5:36:52 , minus the 1min43sec that I forgot to turn the Garmin off it put me in at 5:34:53. I haven't got my official time or position yet but it should be close to my estimated Garmin time.

Offical reults ...I will post them when I get them!

Garmin data.....


EJ said...

GREAT RACE RON!! Don't you just hate it when you forget to turn off the Garmin? Sounds like you ran the race you planned to. Sorry to hear about the on all fours afterward but that just shows that you gave it your all chasing those 26k funny: )
Hope you recover quickly.

Unknown said...


Nice race! It was my first 50K. I was the one who gave you the bottle of H20 at the end when you were "evacuatin"
Hope you are feeling better!

Derrick said...

Congrats Ron! The hot weather certainly contributed to a sharing stomach contents with the trail.

Trevor Oseen said...

Nice Work!