Monday, July 27, 2015

Dirty Girls 24 Hour - July 25/26 2015

 What a blast this race is.  It just keeps getting better year after year.  The small filed and setting with folks camped out around the start finish makes it one the of the best races of the OUS series.  New friends made and old friends.    No matter how much effort I put into this race report it will never do the event justice.

 Race day started at 5 am a half hour before my alarm after a really lousy nights sleep.  Note to self.... DO NOT ,  DO NOT  dine out the night before a race.   I know to stick to "normal food" the night before.    A lousy sleep usually translates to a good performance.   Waking up before the alarm allowed me a brief but enjoyable Coffee in the Hot Tub.

 Arrived in Mansfield at 7am an hour before the start.  Got ready and then chatted it up with lots of my " Ultra Friends".     It was the biggest field yet for the 24 hour race with 47 of us doing the 24 plus we had the 6 hour  and 12 hour folks 75 for a total of 122...WOW!   Started on time at 8am and after the cha cha line in the first single track we all spread out quickly.

 Weather forecast was for a rather hot day unsettled conditions with a chance of afternoon T Storms and an almost guaranteed chance of at least a shower.    Well it was HOT  but as it turned out there was barely a drop of rain and no Storms.   I knew heading out that this was not going to be a day that I tried for a buckle  achieving 120 km in 24 hours.   I like running in the heat but I really have to slow down to enjoy it otherwise the heat rules and I loose.   I was thinking that I would like to get to 100K .   that was goal A and B was 80K enough for metal ... love the bling!   For some time I was planning a different sort of fueling plane and that was to stop every lap ,  sit down in my "Zero Gravity Chair " have a Beer and some food then grab a 0.5 Litres of Water to go.    Run plan was more or less always walk the first K ( mostly uphill ) finishing the water.  At the 4K aid station it was Gel time and 2 glasses of water then run back to the start finish.      Now all I had to do is repeat , repeat ,  repeat ,  repeat .......

 There was tons of interest in my fueling plan and plenty of skeptics and I have to admit I was one of them not really sure of what I had committed too.   As it turns out I was OK , actually way more then just OK.   It was hot ,  really hot someone overnight said we had a humidex pushing 40C.   Hydration was spot on! I figured I consumed 10-12 Litres of fluids 7-8 of which were water.    With a Gel and S Cap every lap my electrolytes were perfect.   Usually I never get enough calories.  Sometimes they get in but don't get processed.  Liquid calories seem to be easier to absorb so the Beer was perfect.   Never felt like I was low on Calories and believe me I know when I run out of fuel!   One unexpected surprise of my rather unconventional plan was lowering my core temperature.   Not only was I adding carbs I was also cooling my core every lap with just shy of a liter of Ice Cold fluids.  At both Laura Secord and the North Face 50K's it was HOT and my core temp was way high for a long time.   Not the case a the DG 24 and I know that for 2 reasons.  First off when my core is hot hot hot for a long period of time 24 hours after the event I get the "Rash of Scarlet Fever" and I  got it for LS and NF but not DG.  Second I know by the temperature of my breath when the core is HOT and there was only 1 lap that I headed out that I though the core temp was up.  In addition to the cold bevy I also was horizontal in the shade so that also aided in my cooling.   I was in no hurry to drink the beer and my stops were anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes in length.    Yet another positive was my Feet ,  yes my  feet benefited greatly from being elevated regularly.  Usually at the long DG race it feels like someone was beating on the bottom of my feet with a 2X4.   This time there was no foot pain util the last lap.   Now I do give some credit to the Hokas ... they rock but I am sure that putting my feet up helped a ton.   There was a mental aspect to the fueling plan and I cannot tell you how much I looked forward to ending a lap knowing there was a cool shaded chair and an Ice Cold Beer waiting!!!    So I was really happy with how the whole Beer thing went however if I was "racing"  the fuel plan was a lousy idea but being hot and not really wanting to go for it it was perfect.    The only "Mentally TOUGH" part is I could have walked every lap ,  not  taken such a long break and more or less did the 80 km in the same time.

 One of the absolute hands down best part of doing theses sorts of races is the folks that I get to hang out with.  Old friends and new found friends always.   Its hard to pick any event on Southern Ontario that I don't bump into someone I know.   Patrick Rose paced me after dark.   When I dawned my lights I threw a Blue Tooth Speaker in my backpack and we streamed Okemos Brewing off the Internet rocking the forest away for a few hours.   There are so many sub stories to tell ... moments with old friends on the trail .   One special surprise was Grant Monet coming out for the 12 hour night ... the only OUS race he could squeeze in all season.  And then there was the 19 year old, Lizzy  going  going for the buckle on her third ever and longest by far Ultra ,  she made it with time to spare.   Any day I bump into Doug Barber is always great ... a running legend and  neighbor.    Can't say enough about Diane the RD and Henry.  I was teasing Diane about the "Pig Tails a Flying" sign was missing.   She has these really cool creative signs describing each section .... things like "Single Again" , "Dirty Boys Muscle Duo" .... so on and so forth.   I fell like I should mention everyone that I talked to ,  swapped stories or heard words of encouragement but I would have to write a small book to include everyone.

So I decided to pull the plug with 4.5 hours to go at 3:30 am logging 10 laps in 19 hours 29 minutes .  Skipped Beers 9 and 10 because I decided to drive home when I reached 80K mark.      I had a family dinner to attend to Sunday afternoon so the thought of a shower and my own bed won  me over.    Made it to bed as night turned to day and passed out for few hours of much needed sleep.

 Many pictures were posted so many that I will do a picture post in my next blog entry.   Thanks to everyone who shared them.

Cant wait until next year and I am hoping that maybe just maybe the 48 hour race would return.


Lap     Time 
 1     1:20:16   
 2     1:34:41   
 3     1:39:33   
 4     1:44:24   
 5     1:52:36   
 6     1:53:18   
 7     2:05:20   
 8     2:30:15   
 9     2:19:33   
10     2:29:50  Walked this lap.  

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