Yesterday I ran my first 50 miler (I'm sure it will not be my last). It was the Autumn Leaves 50 miler. I have so much to say about it.
I left my house at 4:45am and drove to Champoeg for the start at 6:00am. It was cold and dark. The loop was changed so it was just 4.9 miles and a 1.2 mile out-and-back was added. The first full loop was all in the dark. At one point, myself and another runner got off the course, but found our way back quickly.
But going into the second loop I ran with Karen Wiggins for about a mile, which was nice to chat with her. Later in the third loop I ran with Marilou Russell. I also saw so many Maniacs along the course like Eric Barnes, Bret Henry, Rick Smith, Gail Philips, Robert Lopez, Marc Frommer, Little Leslie, and many more. Since there is a stretch of about 1.5 miles in the middle of each loop, I saw them many times.
I started slower and then got into a groove after the sun came up. For the first half I felt great. After five loops, I had run 26 miles and did it in 4:32:35 (10:29 pace). I felt like it would be nice to keep up the pace. But I knew I would be slowing down at some point. My goal at that point was to try to keep it up as long as possible.
Since I did the early start I was parked in the lot near the start, which is long the course. So after each loop I could stop at my car for aid. It's a nice race to be your first 50 miler, because the aid is very good. In each loop you have three stops at two aid stations. I of course did not stop at each possible stop. But it's nice to have.
After seven loops I was still feeling good, but at that point my times dropped. I was averaging about 52:36 per loop, but in the last three loops I averaged 1:01:13. In loop #8, I ran in 57:17, which I did not walk, just ran slow. But in the last two laps I was running/walking. Loop #9, was 1:01:58, and loop#10 was 1:04:24.
I was happy to finish in under 10 hours, and was trying to finish in under 9:30 if possible. Which I did. I would highly recommend this race to any ultra or marathoner. If you get get your head around doing either 6 or 10 loops. It's very well organized and just a great race. Here were my splits:
1 - 12:04 (1.2mi) - 10:03 pace
2 - 56:19 (5.15mi) - 10:56 pace
3 - 53:17 (4.95mi) - 10:46 pace
4 - 49:38 (4.9mi) - 10:08 pace
5 - 49:12 (4.9mi) - 10:03 pace
6 - 52:03 (4.9mi) - 10:38 pace
7 - 52:43 (4.9mi) - 10:46 pace
8 - 53:51 (4.9mi) - 10:59 pace
9 - 57:17 (4.9mi) - 11:41 pace
10 - 61:58 (4.9mi) - 12:39 pace
11 - 64:24 (4.9mi) - 13:09 pace
I ran a total of 50.5 miles, which is partly my fault for getting of course a little, but the race distance was a total of 50.2 miles. I look forward to my next 50 miler (maybe this spring).