Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Speed Goat 50K

So some of you have probably heard of the 50k trail run, and may be thinking this is just another 50k trail run... Well that's what I was thinking until about mile 7. I suppose I should have read this section for Karl Meltzer's blog/race page.

"8) There is still almost 12,000′ of climbing. If you think this race is only a little further than a marathon….you are DEAD WRONG. Or perhaps you’ll like the Dead Last Award…. There are no other 50k’s on the planet this tough…"

Anyway I can agree that this was much more difficult than the other things I've run this year, even though its distance wasn't that long. Here is the short and dirty. (Topo photo's taken from http://slc-samurai.blogspot.com/ for a topo)

Start at Creekside at Snowbird Run up to the tram, while taking detours to make sure and run up and down section of most lifts, finishing your climb coming down from gad 2 to little cloud then climbing up Road to Provo to the tram. (Aid station 1) then descend to the saddle above the tunnel and up baldy for your 11, 500ish foot high point, then down sketttttchy terrain to the bottom of mineral basin, to include spotters, and 2 fixed lines to keep you from tumbling. (somewhere last year someone fell and they had to carry them out) Then continue down rutted 4x4 roads to the bottom of mineral (aid station 2) far enough down yet? No!

Climb a ridge then drop down 5 miles (yes thats correct, 5 more miles) into American Fork Canyon, then across for 1 mile for a total of 6 miles to the next aid station. (this was probably the best one, cold towels, dancing paddle man, Popsicles) then climb all the way back up to the bottom of mineral (probably the most painful part) Get your cup of champagne, and then do the 2 mile climb out of mineral which really wasn't too bad because at least you can SEE the ridge your going to.

Aid station 5 get some goodies, through the tunnel and down 3K feet to catch a trail that takes up back up 3K via the tram ridge to the tram. This is where I saw the dude who would run 100yds then lay down for a few minutes, then repeat. I don't think he was going on a full tank of gas. Then after an agonizingly slow and steep decent hit the last aid station at the tram and go for the 6 miles back to the finish! Also a place where I saw some people getting pretty wacky!

I had some tough times with hydration and electrolytes. Mostly I think the hydration. I didn't sleep at all the night before due to working late so I started taking Red Bull and soda at about mile 15, this turned out to be a really bad idea. I was just taking a shot or two at the aid stations, but my stomach revolted and after a while I was having difficulty taking anything in which lead to the dehydration. With that, I also started to heat up so much which then caused nausea and I wanted to vomit, but didn't. It was a hard race. I came out of the blocks pretty fast and after reaching Baldy decided I wasn't going to be able to hold the pace for the race, so I slowed considerably while getting passed by a good 5-6 people, but I'm sure this saved me from DNFing. All in all, not too bad. Clearly I need to do some more speed work and VO2max work to speed things up. The distance really wasn't too bad, just the altitude. I finished the race in 9hours 10 minutes and 54 seconds in 90th place out of 152 finishers and estimated 48 DNFers. As apposed to the Sherpa and Samurai that finished, which this was their first race ever. (http://slc-samurai.blogspot.com/)

As far as the race goes, not really very well organized, some of the things promised didn't happen. Aid stations where poorly stocked, and no Gu anywhere! That was the worst thing for me because I didn't bring enough containers to get from drop bag to drop bag. Gu is my primary food source during races and I couldn't carry enough, so this was a big problem. Usually the aid stations had watermelon, oranges, PB and J, and if your lucky some candy. Not really a good selection in my mind. I can only eat PB and J for the first few hours then its a no go. Fruit is good but lacks any real complex carbs or long term food, which is what these races are all about. Race info is also really difficult to find.

How about a topo or altitude profile? I know one is out there, but I couldn't find one for this blog. I got a pretty cool shirt, a pair of socks, and a really cool bottle opener finishing medal that I can't figure out how to open bottles with. When we where done we waited almost 3 hours for our drop bags! Maybe that was ok if their was music...or something, but there wasn't. Not even really chairs to hang out in. If this wasn't
THE Speedgoat, it probably would be a flop, but I guess people will come for the name even though it aint cheap, but the food sure is! Great time, I'd do it again... Just remember to bring your own chow!

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