Skyline 50K 2017

In Running, Race

Gun time: 4:46:43 (9:13 min/mile)
Overall: 19/197.
Male: 17/117 M20-29: 4/9.

First ultra! First race with my local team at LMJS.

First impressions:

1. Lots of experienced runners. Before the race started, conversations around me revolved around recent 100 milers and other ultras. Though this might’ve been the first ultra for many (like me), it was clear that everyone there *knew* how to run and race.

This definitely helped me by convincing me that I needed to walk hills early, which I wouldn’t have done before. I was also close to about 3-4 other runners for almost the entire race, which helped with pacing. (This would’ve also helped if I were more badly injured when I crashed into brush on a downhill hairpin turn.)

2. Great weather, running conditions, and amazing aid stations. During the SF Marathon two weeks ago, I packed too much stuff. This time, I decided to carry almost nothing. This was *almost* a mistake — if it had gotten warm earlier than it did, and if there was even one fewer aid station. Apparently I was one of perhaps three people not carry any fluid, not even a handheld bottle!

I was close to distress only when the sun came out while I was running with little cover between the last two aid stations.

3. I was surprised that I didn’t hurt too badly, though I pretty much ran out of gas after 26.2 miles (I allowed myself to check my total distance only twice — incidentally at 19.95 and 26.2! Habit from recent marathons?).

For the last couple weeks, I’d tell people: “It’s only 5 more miles!” while knowing that every mile compounds pain and risk. There was a guy that I was racing relatively closely for the last 10 or so miles. He ultimately beat me by about a minute; I didn’t have much left at the end (the way it should be).

4. During my Woodmonster race report, I concluded that it would probably be my last trail race of the year. I was wrong. In fact, this race pretty much took the Lake Chabot Half *and* Woodmonster (minus the actual Woodmonster segment), stuck them together, and added more.

Will Skyline be my actual final trail race this year? Now I don’t know. The remaining PA USATF ultras this year have just one more 50K; then there’s a 50M, two 100M’s, and the 28.4M Quadruple Dipsea. We’ll see.

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