American River 50-mile 2014: a smarter race - It was my 95th ultra since 2006 and 7th consecutive American River, although I had miserable asthma crisis in the first editions which I have been thankful...
Friday, July 13, 2007
RUTH ANDERSON 50KM ULTRAMARATHON
At first, I was entered in the 50 mile option, but due to a training injury I decided to do the 50km option instead. I met a bunch of the UltraHolics gang at the start. After warming up a bit, we all went to the starting line. This race takes place around Lake Merced in San Francisco. Mostly a paved bike path around the lake, but some "trail" option (unpaved jog path next to the asphalt for parts of the run). The gun went off and we started running. I was in a very comfortable pace and found myself with the lead pack (two faster runners were up front). As I was running past Mile 1, I passed someone who looked familiar. It was John Mintz - the runner who took first place in the San Francisco One Day 12 Hour run (my first Ultra). I chatted with him a bit - he was doing the 50 mile option. After a bit I picked up my pace and ended up catching the top 2 runners.
I ran with both of these guys for a bit. They were going for the 100km option. They were both from Europe. One was training for the Basel 24 Hour run (which I was also eyeing at that time - it is a one day race around a track in Basel, Switzerland which is a frequent business travel destination for me. I ended up doing Quicksilver 50 Mile instead (race report below)). After a bit, one of the runners took off at a pace I decided not to match.
We finished the second loop averaging to the second 7 minute miles. The loops were 4.5 miles long. I was in second place at that time, but then the other lead runner took off to catch the first runner. This left me in 3rd place - a position I matained almost all the race.
The laps went by and I felt really strong. I came up on Rajeev who was grabbing a drink at an aid station. I shouted "No loitering." and we started running a bit. He was nursing an injury though.
As I came around the 6th lap, I was beginning to get a bit tired. I passed the race organizers table and told them that I was only doing one more lap (runners can decide their distance 50km, 50 mile, 100km, during the race - but one foot into the next distance and the runner is bound). As I went into my last lap, I was pretty tired. I had pushed a sub-3:20 marathon and needed just one more lap. I had to stop a couple of times to stretch out my legs. I then popped into a port-a-john for a quick stop. When I came out, I saw another runner ahead of me. I caught up to him and we talked a bit. He was going to do the 50 miler, but decided to do the 50km instead. We ran together for a bit but then he picked up the pace. I couldn't hold on. He came through the 50km in first place - around 3:51. I came to the finish about 3 minutes later with a 3:54 and a second place finish. I was very happy as this was only my second Ultra ever and I achieved a second place overall finish and I went sub-4 in the 50km. RESULTS: http://www.run100s.com/results/ra07.txt