Monday, March 17, 2008

Pacific Rim 24 hour Race

I had a fun weekend. I know that I have started my last four logs the same way, but it's true. This weekend Tim Lawson and I took part in the Pacific Rim One Day Race in Longview, WA. Months ago, I looked at this race, and thought it would be fun to run a 100k. But after talking to Tim, I realized that running 24 hours was not out of the question.

That said in November I decided to start training. In addition to my normal marathons, I would do one long run a month. (When I say long, it really means "crazy long")

November 17 - Midnight to 4am - 25.62 miles
December 22 - sunrise to sunset (9 hrs) - 50.65 miles
January 18 - 12 hours - 64.15 miles
February 16-17 - every other hour from 10pm until 7am - 34.48 miles

I felt like this would be good training, because each of these runs were at Summerlake Park, which has a one mile loop, just like Pacific Rim.

On Friday, I got everything together and ready to go for Saturday. I knew that since I would be up for over 24 hours, I would need to get everything ready the night before. So on Saturday, I woke up at 6am, had my devotions and got ready to leave. I picked up Tim about 6:50. We then drove the 61 miles to Longview, which only took about 55 minutes. Once we got there we parked and checked in.

My goal was very simple, Run 100 miles. I thought about running 105 (4 marathons), but just wanted to reach 100 miles. Tim on the other hand, had very high goals. He wanted to run 200k (124.28 miles), on the drive up we talked a lot about our goals and ways to achieve them.

Before the start we started to set up a small tent that we could put our own aide in and to change cloths. But the city of Longview would not allow tents in the city, so we had to put of stuff in the tent but did not set in up. As I looked around I noticed that others would have coolers and tables for their aide. In the future I would bring a cooler instead of a box. Others had trailers or RVs.

The weather forecasted was to be wet. It rained most of the way up, and I was hoping for the best. When the race started (it was overcast and cool in the 40's). I felt really good and just felt like running. I knew that I was in for a long (very long) run. But in the start with the sun peaking through the clouds, I felt great. The first 12 miles I was running fast and having fun. I was hanging in with the two other leaders and was running about a 8:30 mile. But I knew I could not (and should not) keep it going. I saw me and warned me to take walking breaks. So in mile 13 I hung back and stayed with Tim. We ended up running together for the next 51 miles.

As we ran we would take a walking break at the beginning of each mile. We ran 9-10 minute miles for the next 15 miles. When we reached the marathon marker we had a time of 4:03:18, which was nice, but we slowed down after that. In the next five miles, I knew there would be a chance that I could set a 50k PR. So I told Tim that my PR was 4:59:31. So we keep pushing and finished in 4:52:44. I had broken my PR by almost 7 minutes. What a great feeling.

To reach my goals of 100 or 105 miles, I had three goals.
1) Run 50 miles within 10 hours
2) Run 100k in the first 12 hours
3) Reach 100 miles by 7am (sunrise)
Tim on the other hand had higher goals. He wanted 50 miles in 8 hours, 100k in 10.5 miles, and 100 miles within 16-17 hours. So my goal was to stay with him for as long as I could (or as long as I felt comfortable).

In the next 19 miles, we ran a comfortable pace of 11:40 miles. Tim’s legs cramped up a few times. This ended with at the 50 mile mark at 8:33:33, which was about a half hour more than Tim's goal, but a huge PR for us. I broke my PR by 49 minutes. I was thrilled and enjoyed the time.

But Tim was having some stomach problems, and had a trouble using the bathroom. Things were not looking good for him. We slowed down, walking both sides of the loop, but still managed to do 14:23 miles. At about mile 60, Tim told me that he might drop at 63 miles. This would still give him the 100k. When he told me that I knew things were bad for him. This guy doesn't quite easy. He has run 85 miles on a stress fracture and runs when sick and in pain. I felt bad for him.

This left me at 64 miles in 12 hours and I was now heading into the night hours. This is the most difficult part of a 24 hour race. Your body wants to shut down at night, and you are forcing it to keep going. I slowed down, but kept running parts of the loop.

Between 8:30pm and 5am, I was wiped out! In walking I was starting to fall asleep, but my body couldn't run the whole loop. I was drink Mountain Dew, Diet Coke, and Root Beer, also making GU energy gels, but just couldn't get the caffeine boost. Those 8½ hours dragged on, I slowed down to a 16:48 average pace.

But at 5am, I reached the 150k mark (20:10:02 time). At that time, the caffeine started kicking in. I was also motived being only 6.8 miles from the 100 mile marker. I pushed hard to get there and managed to get to the 100 mile marker before 7am. I finished 100 miles in 21:55:02 (13:09 pace). In those 6.8 miles I averaged a 15:28 pace.

At that point the sun was on the rise and I had two hours left. I knew I was going to keep going, but the pressure was less. I ran/walked the remaining two hours. Not only did I reach my 105 mile goal, but also did two additional miles.

I ended up finishing 107 miles in 23:46:24 (13:20 pace). When done I was so happy to be done, and enjoyed the whole experience. Shortly after the race was over they gave awards to the top ten men. I finished fifth place, and received a nice plague. Tim Englund won the race with 121 miles.

Tim and I packed up our stuff and drove home. I managed to stay up for another hour for the ride home. I got home at 11:40am. At that point I took and nap, and relaxed the rest of the day.

I enjoyed the time, very much. Tim wants to reach his goal of 200k at Ultracentric 24 hour race in November. i told him that I would like to run that if I feel up to it. We will see. For now, I'm going to relax this week and get ready for a wild spring.

Check out my splits and other statistics:


Gail said...

Steve, A big CONGRATS on your first 100+ mile race! You did an awesome job!

Sarah said...

Congrats Steve on meeting your goal of 4 marathons! I knew you could do it!

olga said...

Steve, that is awesome! It takes lots of mental power to go on around that 1M loop, I don't know how you guys do it:) Congrats on exceeding your goal!

Steve S said...

Great running this weekend, I knew we were close all day and night, I finished with 105 at 23:30. I was running in the bright green jacket the last 8 hours. I'm sorry Tim didn't feel well. My race report is at

Best of luck in your future runs.

Maniac #510

joerunner said...

Hi Steve! Great report. I've been waiting patiently to hear your and Tim's accounts of the race. It is not suprising that you did so well at Pac Rim giving that great training you had over the winter. Congratulations on a great run! Hope to see you at future ultra's!

Oh yeah, I was the guy in the black jacket and shorts that made way to many trips to the john.

Backofpack said...

I was searching around for your blog today to link to it, and finally figured it out tonight. It's not that hard, I must be tired! Anyway, you don't have your Rumble report up, but it was fun reading the Pac Rim report. That was a huge accomplishment! Congrats! It's been fun running into you at all the races lately. Our next is Big Sur, so I'm not sure when we'll see you again. Have fun!