04 Feb The Charlotte Ultra Run – A Great Way Of Starting Into Your Ultra Run Experience
Last year I started running Ultra-Marathons. That seems kind of crazy since I have only done two marathons prior to it. On September first I participated in the Iron Mountain 50 Mile Ultra-Marathon and it was a fantastic experience. This past Saturday 2/1/2013 I participated in the Charlotte Ultra Run, a 50k here on the Mallard Creek Greenway. This is the second time this race was held, but the first time for me to participate.
It was pretty darn cold on Saturday. When I made my decision on what to wear I had to weigh between starting temps and temps later on in the race. Since I anticipated to be finished after 4:15 at the latest, I decided to wear my cold weather gear with gloves and sleeves in case I needed to take something off.
The race organization was great. We were able to stay in the local schools gymnasium until the beginning of the race. Everything was organized smoothly and check in as well as medical forms got done without a hitch. At 8 am the gun went off and we started at the same time as the 10 k people. At first it threw me a little bit off since I was not sure who was a 10k or 50k racer, it always helps me to orient myself, but soon I settled into my own pace. The plan was 8 min/miles for 15 miles and then 7:40 min/miles for the second half of the race (in a perfect world).
I started too fast and paid for it on loop 4 and 5 of the 6.2 mile course by slowing down considerably. The course is nice and even and the hills are quite small. Throughout the race personal was checking up on runners to make sure they were okay and everyone was cheerful and supportive. I can clearly say it was a well supported race.
I came with an average of 3 sec per min/mile into the finish line than planned which cost me about 3-4 min overall. I am happy about my result but could have done a better job at sticking to my pace.
I consider the race a great way of entering into the world of Ultra-Marathons because of the ease of the course, the great organization and support and the short distance. I caution runners though: It is easy to look at a 31.07 mile event just like you would at a marathon. If you pace yourself at the same speed as what you would consider your marathon pace you might end up fizzling out over the last 5 miles. Make sure to fuel up appropriately and don’t let yourself be swept away by the excitement of the start and run too fast too quickly. I made a rookie mistake and paid for it.
I think I will sign up again for this race. I had a great time and fully plan to beat my time from last year again this time.
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