Saturday, June 19, 2010

Niagara 50K Ultra

Completed my 4th 50K OUS race of the season! It was a warm but magical run at the falls today. My time was 12 minutes slower then last year but given the heat today I don't expect that there were many PBs!

When the race started at 07:00 am the temperature was already at 23C and rising! My race plan was to go out at a 5:30 pace and hold it for as long as I could. I knew it would be a challenge with the rising temperatures. The first 5K lots of people were passing me , I had to really hold back trying to stick to the 5:30 pace, as I was being passed a little voice in my head said " run your own race". The trail follows the Niagara River all the way to the Horseshoe Falls. The first 11K were through Vineyards and Wineries then into Queenston. Passing the 11K mark I was averaging a 5:23 pace, a little fast but it felt good so I didn't feel a need to adjust my pace. The climb up the escarpment was a very gentle but it went on for just short of 2km. I didn't fall off pace too badly gaining 150 meters while maintaining a 6:02 pace. At he top of the climb the legs had a pretty decent burn on. After the climb we headed across the Sir Adam Beck Generating Station. The temperatures were climbing but so was the wind , a very strong but quite welcome breeze. It was also beginning to cloud over. The breeze with the cloud cover made for some pretty reasonable conditions. Heading into the tourist area is just plain fun. It really took my mind off what it was I was doing. I caught myself speeding up from time to time and had to put the breaks on. The turn around is an aide station just past the Falls. I made my 3rd stop for Heed and this time I Gelled , my second of the day. Heading back was fun , I was hamming it up with the tourist , gave the Peace sign as I was getting in the videos and pictures that folks were taking ... just lots of fun! After the adrenalin rush of the falls the fatigue started to set in around 30K. Race plane was 4 X 4 Eload Caps at 20, 30, 40K and I stuck to it. I was drinking lots and at 30K I did my third Gel. When I start to get tired I can usually hold pace for another 10K , it just feels like I am slowing! Gelled again at 35K and took 500mg of Salt. The first really big challenge on the way back came at 38K where the long gentle drop down the escarpment. Last year I cramped really badly and never really got over it. This year I figured the Eload and Salt would keep the pain away but as I descended the cramps came on. The decent wasn't fast , a 5:30 pace but when I hit the bottom I did my first walk of the day logging a 7:15 and 8:18 K. The next 10K was a combo of walk run walk. I did more Gels , another 500mg of salt was was drinking Heed Coke and Water. 40-44K I was passed a couple of dozen times but I didn't care , I just wanted it to be over! The last 8Ks were 6:10, 5:59, 6:38, 7:36, 7:09, 6:53, 7:15, 6:13, and 6:05. When the going is tough each K seems to take forever then suddenly your at the finish , its such a great sense of relief to be done. I was a little disappointed that I was slower then last year but I didn't think a PB was in order because of the warmer temps.

I finished in 4:52:51, 12 minutes slower then last year. I was 40th out of 159 folks , 13 out of 49 males 40-49, 33 out of 116 Males.

In the past I have had some problems with feeling faint after the race. This time I elevated my legs allowing the pooling blood to drain . I did this for 10-15 minutes and found it to be quite effective .... no problems! Washed down 3 Advil with an Icy Cold Beer then headed home.

All and all a great day , lots of fun moments but I wished I could have skipped the last 10K!

1 comment:

Anne said...

uugg i was thinking of running in that heat and was pondering your sanity. See you track practice hanover Thursday?