Sunday, June 15, 2014

Niagara Ultra - June 14, 2104

 Returned to Niagara on the Lake yesterday to do my 5th Niagara 50K Ultra.   This is the fastest 50K I have ever done ,  4:40 and it will certainly be the fastest 50K for 2014.  My goal was to run a 6:00 pace breaking the 5 hour mark.   I felt somewhat confident that it was a reasonable goal.  Mother Nature  co-operated 100% ,  cool temps ,  stiff breeze and overcast... this year heat would not be an issue!   Picked up Grant at 3am ,  the trip was a breeze pulling off the QEW at 5:30 ... quick stop at Tims for breakfast then off to the race for 6:00 am.

 First 1/2 of the race was uneventful ,  felt great ,  gelled every 7K and made sure I took in enough water.  Arrived at the turnaround just under my goal pace at around 2hrs27min.   I was pacing by feel on the way out so I had no idea just how close I was to my goal pace.  Arriving at the falls I thought I was a little closer to 2hrs20mins!     Heading back I  fired up my Garmin  ( battery is only good for about 3-4 hours ) and started watching my pace.  ( Note to self ... need a new Garmin!)  I was reasonably solid from 25-35K averaging a 5:00 pace although it was starting to feel like a greater effort.   I didn't want to fuss with gelling and drinking on the fly so I decided to pause at the 35,  40 and 45K  aid stations for a Gel ,  Water and Coke.   Each stop added about a minute to my time but I now had a plan to run solid aid station to aid station whilst maintaining a "solid pace"  .  35 to 40K we drop down the escarpment.  Tried not to make up time on the gentle drop ,  heated up a bit exposed to the Sun on the construction detour but started to get it back when we hit the more or less shaded path again.   40-45K I was a little back and forth on the pace trying to find the maintainable zone.     Final 5K were really solid logging 6:28, 6:35, 6:34  and 6:34 and I even managed to pick it up a bit finishing the last K at an avg 5:24 pace.

Finished the race in 5hrs7min49sec  loosing most of my time in the last 10K.  Although I struggled a bit to find the next gear I did continue to run eventually  settling in a 6:30 pace.  This is the largest 50Ker I have ever participated in.   I finished 53rd out of 172 finishers ,  41st out of 97 Men and 7th out of 15 in the 50-55 age group.   Overall a great day with a good solid result.

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