Let's Get Lost
Running an ultra is hard. Do you want to know what’s even harder? Crewing for one. Crewing involves donating time, energy, money and sanity to making sure someone else achieves their goals. The donation comes without glory, and at times, without appreciation.
It’s safe to say that pacing an ultra is just as selfless as crewing for one. At times, our pacers will complete a full ultra themselves, running 50 to 60 miles, only to receive no finisher’s award, no t-shirt, and no glory. A pacer handles their runner carefully when they are at the worst, often bearing the brunt of negativity and hostile emotions.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a crew for your next big event, take a moment to put yourself in their shoes. Here are several things to consider when you’re drafting your dream team.
Pay for Their Hotel Room/Transportation
If your favorite pacer or crew member is travelling from a long distance for your special event, it’s only fair that you help cover some of their transportation costs. After all, they’ll be donating potentially their entire weekend to your success. At the very least, treat your crew to a free meal or cover their campground fee.
Most of the people in your life likely won’t be able to shell out an extra $1,000 for a weekend away where they barely get to see their friend in the right state of mind.
Remember Your Manners
It’s Mile 80. You’re beat. You’re worn out. You’re ANGRY. Guess what? Your crew probably is too. They’ve been stressing over trying to find parking at aid stations, diligently lugging your gear around and are likely more sleep deprived than you are. So be nice.
We all know THAT runner. The one who takes out every ounce of aggression on their crew members and pacers, making snippy comments, sulking when they don’t receive their <blocks/gels/snacks/foam roller> the moment they ask for it.
News flash. Unless you’re a petulant child, there is absolutely no excuse for this type of behavior. The key to happiness is appreciating what you have. Focus on how fortunate you are to have such wonderful people in your life to support you, and you’ll feel your hostile mood lift instantly.
Having a hard time climbing out of your personal black hole? Remember the mantra: do unto others as you would have done unto you. It’s not perfect, but one day, you may be in their spot. Treat them the way you’d like to be treated.
Discuss Your Expectations
Where should they meet you? When do you want your pacers? What kind of things will you want at night/when it gets cold or hot? Are you doing your event just to finish, or are you pushing for a certain time? It’s important to discuss your goals and expectations with your crew well ahead of your event.
Print maps to different aid stations and mark out stop areas along your route. If you’re out in the remote wilderness, stock up on whatever snacks and supplies you and your crew may need before you’re out of cell range. If you don’t communicate your expectations and wishes, your crew will have a tough time meeting them.
Crewing is a tough job. So is pacing. What tips do you have to ensuring a successful crewing experience for both team members and runners? I’d love to hear them.
How many gadgets do you need when you step outside for a run? GPS watch? Check. Fitbit? Check. Ipod? Check. Headphones? Check. Heart rate monitor? Check. Balancing technology and enjoyment of the great outdoors is tricky. On the one hand, technology can provide much needed motivation to conquer a tough workout. However, the same gadgets which offered inspiration can quickly turn into our worst enemies.
Have you ever headed to the gym on a freakishly cold winter afternoon, only to find you forgot your headphones? The thought of running on a treadmill sans distraction for a planned two-hour run can seem virtually impossible. It’s crazy to imagine that years ago our parent’s generation did just that, if they even had the luxury of a gym membership.
What about incessantly comparing your run to others on Strava? The high volumes of data and otherworldly photos of your peers seemingly gliding up the side of a mountain may have you second guessing your ability to take on a new challenge. Or at the very least, feeling crummy about your less than stellar suburban sidewalks.
In comparison, Strava offers runners a unique opportunity to track and monitor their progress over time while they work towards achieving new goals. With a high volume of data, it’s possible to see patterns and the effects of different workouts and training regimens.
The extra fancy tools— such as GPS watches and heart rate monitors— offer amazing features such as warning us when we’re pushing too hard or providing return routes back to our destination. Unfortunately, they can also turn a leisurely run into a game of numbers. It’s far to easy to monitor our splits and chase the time on a watch rather than listening to our bodies.
Phones offer another distraction altogether. Without a phone, it’s impossible to capture the perfect running selfie— because, without that, you know, the run didn’t happen. FOMO can begin creeping in way too easily if we’re away from our extra appendage for too long. Checking in via text or listening to voice mails while out and about makes it impossible to unplug and fully enjoy the running experience.
Satellite phones, however, are excellent tools to have on hand in case of an emergency. Runners tackling remote events or out on training runs in areas with limited to no cell service can have the piece of mind that in the event of an unexpected injury or accident, help is only a phone call away.
All of the back and forth begs the question, when is enough, enough? Where is the tipping point to when your running experience is actually being hindered, rather than being helped? While it might sound cliché, the key is to listen to our bodies.
If you spiral into a panic when your latest run didn’t record on Strava, it may be time to take a break. If the thought of unplugging for even a short run sounds impossible, it’s possible that you’ve got a problem. All of the fancy gadgets we have at our disposal were developed to make our running experience better. If at any point, you begin to dread running, take a step back and evaluate the way you use technology in your training.
Instead of relying on social media or other virtual running groups to stay motivated, try visiting your local running club or hosting a group run in your area. Interacting with others who share your passion can help foster new friendships while providing you the motivation to achieve your goals, sans technological gratification.
Another bonus of running with others is that you may find yourself pushing harder than you would alone. In a group setting, you’ll likely find a wide range of paces. Instead of relying on last week’s split to make the mark, you might find more incentive to run harder to keep up with a certain pace group. Additionally, it’ll be easier to slow down and relax on rest days when you’ve got a good conversation partner.
Above all, running should be fun. If you aren’t enjoying your experience, reevaluate it and try to determine if technology is the root cause. Taking a break might be just what you need to fall back in love with your passion.
How do you use technology in your running? Do you have any tips you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them.
It’s that time of year. The polar vortex is in full swing. You’re probably mustering up all available courage to pull yourself out of your warm home and brave the great outdoors.
It’s not so bad. Winter has the potential to be a beautiful season if you embrace the cold and dress appropriately.
On that note, here are a few of my latest shenanigans.
Running more mileage may help you become a better runner, but it can also lead to burnout, fatigue, and overuse injuries. Targeted strength training will help you build up the stabilizing muscles you need to maintain your form and maximize your overall running efficiency.
No, I’m not suggesting you quit running long distances or shunning the great outdoors. I’m stating that by revamping your training plan to include targeted workouts, including strength training, you can prolong your running career and improve your overall performance. Here’s how strength training will benefit you.
Improved Running Form
Your legs may be as strong as tree trunks, though they will only carry you so far if your core and upper body are lacking. A weak core means you lack the ability to drive those legs forward at their full potential. Focus on incorporating exercises into your routine which build full core strength, including your obliques, lower abdominal and back muscles, as opposed to just your front abdominal muscles.
You’ll Reduce Your Risk of Injury
While some injuries are due to nasty slips, trips and falls on the trails, other are due to weak upper bodies and limited core strength. As you log more miles in an ultra, your shoulders will want to slump forward, crunching your core, and adding additional strain on your already work IT bands. When the IT band is strained, it can aggravate your knees. As you compensate for the pain, you’ll put stress elsewhere on your body and may end up with injuries in other areas.
To mitigate this, focus on including upper body exercises which focus on more repetitions, rather than weight. For example, do three sets of 30 repetitions of a shoulder set with a low weight. This may seem excessive, but you’ll simulate the similar experience of hauling water bottles or a pack for an extended period of time.
You’ll Improve Your Balance
Hip strength is key to maintaining your balance on technical trails. Watch an elite runner navigate technical terrain. Their feet move rapidly while their hips and torso remain relatively level. If you don’t have mountains in your backyard to train on, don’t fret. Targeted exercises in the gym can help you build the hip strength and stability you need to keep yourself moving forward.
If your schedule is already jam packed, you’re probably waffling at the idea of throwing something else into the mix. Stop that right now. You don’t need a gym to do strength training exercises. Most of them can be done at home.
Are you a stay at home mom with a baby? Carry your kid while you do squats. Travelling excessively for work? The chair or bed in your hotel room can double up for bench dips, jack knifes or mountain climbers.
Struggling with long days in the office? Ask for a standing desk. Every hour, take a five-minute break to do three sets of fifteen lunges. At the end of your day, sprint up the office staircase a few times to get used to quick bursts of high intensity workouts.
Struggling just to pay your rent? Fill empty milk jugs or juice containers with water and use them for weights. Soup cans double up too if you’re struggling with heavier weight. You don’t need a gym or a lot of time to see results. Adding ~30 minutes of strength training twice a week into your routine will be enough for you to improve your performance
Do you do any strength training? What are your recommendations? I’d love to hear them below.
Aid stations are a welcome oasis after you’ve spent hours slogging along in an event. They represent the light at the end of the tunnel. Hot food, soup, coffee, snacks, warm clothes and best of all, an opportunity to rest. Any ultrarunner knows the glory that is the aid station. Be wary, however, for the aid station may also be a siren in disguise.
Do you remember the tale of the sirens? Beautiful, half woman, half bird creatures sang sweet songs to sailors to lure them to shores of their rocky islands. Those who fell victim to the siren’s song would crash along the shore and suffer an untimely death.
Stick with me here. I’ve noticed plenty of runners fall victim to the trap that is the aid station, spending up to 30 minutes at a time eating, resting and overall wasting precious time. Yes, you read that correctly. That’s not a cumulative total. That’s their time PER aid station. Even in a 100-mile event, this time can add up putting you dangerously close or even past the cutoff.
Here’s how you can maximize your aid station stops and minimize your wasted time.
1. Organize Your Drop Bags
This sounds intuitive. If you know exactly where your things are, you won’t waste time digging in a bag searching for them. This strategy works great for your crew too, since it’ll help them find exactly what you need when you can’t quite think straight.
2. Use the Potty Before You Eat
OK, yes, gross. It’s better to get this out of the way before you stop to pick up snacks or change. You’ll avoid the potty dance and won’t face the precarious challenge of balancing your ginger ale on top of the toilet paper dispenser.
3. Don’t Sit Down
I repeat. Don’t. Sit. Down. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, avoid this pitfall, especially later in an event. Once you sit, you’ll be hard pressed to get your bum moving again.
4. Eat Last, Not First
After you’ve used the potty and checked in, change any clothes, throw out trash and make any other adjustments before you start to eat and focus on your nutrition. This will give your heart rate time to slow down and maximize your chances of keeping down food.
5. Keep Moving
Before you reach an aid station, begin to mentally assess your own condition. Knowing what you need when you get in can help minimize the time spent staring blankly at volunteers or analyzing the menu. After you’ve addressed your needs, grab your goodies and get out. It’s called relentless forward progress for a reason.
With all of that being said, it’s possible to rush out of an aid station too quickly. Doing this can set you up for failure later in your event. Take a few moments to accurately assess your needs before heading out.
What’s your preferred aid station strategy? Have you fallen victim to the siren’s song? Share your stories in the comments below, we’d love to hear them.
Date: December 2nd, 2017
Price: ~$215 for the 100 Mile and ~$145 for the 100K
Terrain: Trails/Fire Roads
Turnout: Limited to 300 People
Weather: High 20s to Low 50s
Cutoff: 20 Hours for the 100K and 32 Hours for the 100 Mile
The Devil Dog 100K and 100 Mile Race takes place in early to mid-December each year in the Prince William State Forest. The course consists of nearly 20 Mile loops on mostly rolling single track with a few fire roads in between.
Overall, the course doesn’t involve a lot of technical terrain aside from a few roots and rocks in the past few miles of each loop. Trekking poles may be helpful, especially later on when your legs start to feel wobbly.
For me, the 100K didn’t go as planned this year. I was fighting a nasty cold and feeling a bit burned out from a long bout of traveling. I debated taking a DNS but decided I’d give it a shot and see what happened.
Unlike last year, the weather was great. Be wary of this event: the weather the first year involved a nasty ice storm and glare ice over nearly the entire course. It warmed up to the 50s later but it wasn’t until after a chilly night. Pack a pair of yak traks or kahtoolas just in case. No, I’m not kidding. A number of people faced injuries from slipping on the ice in 2016.
I started out trying to run as much as I could and realized about 10 miles into the first lap that things weren’t going to go well. I decided to hang on anyway and see what happened. To cut a long story short, I suffered through two laps before missing the cutoff and calling it quits.
One word of advice: don’t push it when you’re sick. Just sit it out and give yourself time to recover. I felt good that I gave the event everything I had at the time, but spent the following day fighting a fever that had me laid up in bed for two days and not running. Not worth it.
The aid stations are spaced out about every 5 to 8 miles along the loop with a few small water stops in between. You’ll probably be able to sneak by with water bottles and no pack. I prefer a pack so I can keep my hands free on trails and stash goodies/trash easily.
Overall, the aid stations were well stocked. I was a bit disappointed that the final aid station (Camp Toofy) didn’t have any electrolyte tabs. Plan accordingly. They did carry soup (vegetarian option available), pretzels, candy, potatoes, and other snacks though.
Be wary of restroom placement. At the main aid station, the restrooms are just past the aid station. This means when you leave, you’ll need to find somewhere to rest your snacks or gear while you do your business. If you’re using a crew, consider hitting the bathroom first and then backtracking to the aid station to grab your goodies.
Heated bunkhouses and hot showers are available at the start of the event for the weekend. You’ll need to reserve your spot in advance. We opted for this option and were pleasantly surprised. The mattress pads were comfortable and there weren’t many folks in our bunkhouse. You’ll need to bring your own bedding though. Bring ear plugs and a sleeping mask too in case anyone stays up late. You’ll need to be in the parking lot by 7:30pm the night before the event as well. Bonus: it only costs $15 per bunk.
Multiple hotels and restaurants are available in the area. The event is right outside of Washington D.C. and comes with D.C. traffic. Leave yourself enough time if you’re heading in around rush hour. Rent a car with an EZ pass or bring cash for the tolls.
I recommend trail shoes without too much lug. While there aren’t too many technical parts, the trail still has a number of rocks and roots. This year leaves covered a lot of the obstructions, watch your foot placement.
Bring waterproof drop bags. This year was dry, but the first year wasn’t. The last thing you need is to have your drop bags and extra clothes soaked if it starts raining. You can drop them off the night before or the morning of the race.
If you can talk someone into joining you, bring a crew or a pacer. You’re allowed to have pacers for the final lap of the 100K and the last three laps of the 100 mile race. The volunteers are great, but they were very busy and couldn’t always give each runner their full attention. A crew is nice, especially when it starts getting cold.
Pack a bright headlamp. The first year, I tried to use one that went up to 100 lumens. When other runners came up behind me, their brighter lights cast a shadow and I couldn’t see my foot placement. It’s difficult to see the trails with only a 100 lumens light. I used a 300 lumens light this year and found it to be much better.
Ultimately, I will be back to run the full Devil Dog 100 at some point in the future since I have unfinished business, but it won’t make my list of regular events. The price tag is just too high to justify it. The event is one of the few available in this area for early December. I’d definitely recommend checking it out at some point.
Did you run the Devil Dog 100K or the 100? How did you do? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.
“…It’s the most, wonderful, er, expensive time of year…”. Holiday Season means it’s time to open up your wallet and shell out for gifts for your family, friends and significant other. Instead of grabbing another gift card from your local sporting goods store, pick out a gift that’s sure to leave a lasting impression.
One word of caution— the casual runner may be slightly confused by some of these items.
1. A Human-Sized Hamster Wheel
Does your runner love timed events? Special order a human-sized hamster wheel. Most timed events involve running endless loops for a certain period of time, some of which are only 1/3 of a mile long.
You read that correctly. Runners regularly pay money to run in circles for hours. I don’t mean a couple of hours. I mean up to 24, sometimes 48, sometimes 72 hours. Trust me, if they run these things, they’ll get it.
2. Hat With a Built-In Beard
Hat’s with built-in beards are an inexpensive alternative for those of us who lack the capability to grow copious amounts of facial hair. They also allow us to channel our inner Rob Krar and dream of running really fast. When your runner opens their gift, tell them it’s a friendly version of the balaclava.
3. A Personalized Bobble-Head
No explanation necessary.
4. An Intervention/Therapy Session
I’m sure you know one at least one runner that goes absolutely berserk when they don’t run for more than 48 hours— as in, literally switches personalities and becomes a hostile, unrecognizable version of themselves.
This will either make your runner laugh or you may get slapped. Use at your own discretion. Explain that it was either this or anger management classes. If they get angry, retreat and throw gels and waffles from a safe distance.
5. Photo Collage
Aim for photos at least one mile before the finish but over 80% of the way through the event. You know, when they’re trying their hardest. If you’re feeling nice, gather a collection of finish line photos when they’re REALLY trying their hardest.
Ultrarunners regularly run into GI issues that send them sprinting off the trail to the nearest bathroom, tree or rock. Casually explain that with Depends, they’ll at least be able to make it between aid stations before having to stop, which will help them reach their PR’s faster.
7. A Bicycle
The average number of miles completed per week by ultrarunners varies from 50 to 250 miles. Running that far takes a lot of time and energy. Explain that bicycling is still an eco-friendly mode of transportation, it’s just more efficient.
Band-Aids can be lifesavers during long runs. They prevent painful, bloody blisters from rubbing against socks. They prevent painful, blood nipples from rubbing against shirts. Your runner will likely tuck these into their next aid station box.
What did you get your runner this holiday season? Fuel? Clothing? Shoes? Share your thoughts below! I’d love to hear them.
In my last post, I began a discussion of how to overcome your fears and achieve your goals. This series of posts will help you hop on a path to do great things in your running career and beyond. If you haven’t read my first post yet, I suggest you scroll down and check it out before tackling this one.
What are you afraid of? Be honest. Is it getting lost on a mountain run? Maybe you’re scared of giving it everything you’ve got and not achieving your P.R. Or, maybe the idea of trying a new event terrifies you because you don’t want to lose out on a first-place trophy if things don’t go well.
If you can’t pinpoint your fears, you’re going to have a hard time surpassing them. It’s the same situation with your goals. Last week, you sat down and defined what you wanted to accomplish. Now, you need to figure out what’s holding you back. Here’s how to start.
1. Whip Out Your Journal Again
Write it out. Write down every fear that you’ve had in your life. Write out what you think is holding you back. Get it all on paper. Do this first before you try to start to release the negativity from your life. You’ll feel lighter and more relaxed.
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed again while working on this. It’s part of the process. Take a break if you need to and come back to it tomorrow. Whatever you do, keep going!
2. Develop Your Mantras
Now that you know your fears and have a better grasp on your dreams, you need to rewire you brain. Yes, you read that correctly. You need to rewire your brain. Don’t believe me? Check out the Power of Habit, written by Charles Duhigg.
In his book, Duhigg discusses the habit loop. Fear, negative thinking, and anxiety for that matter can become habits. A simple cue can tip us off to following the routine of negative thinking so we receive some perceived reward.
To fight this habit, you’ll need to change the way you think. The best way I have found to do this is to develop mantras. I repeat them when I run. I write them down daily. And I repeat them to myself when I start to spiral.
For example, say your goal is to conquer you next 100 mile run under 24 hours. If you continuously tell yourself that will never happen, there is a very good chance it won’t happen. The quality of your training will suffer, your mental fortitude will decline and ultimately, come race day, you’re more than likely to be disappointed.
Flip the situation. Believe in yourself. Write down your goal and what you hope to accomplish. Focus on it regularly. Tell yourself this is what you are going to do until you believe it in your heart. Repeat it each time you think start to walk down the rabbit hole of negativity.
3. Practice, Practice, Practice
Changing habits doesn’t happen overnight. The studies vary considerably, but experts argue that changing a habit can take anywhere from two weeks to eight months. Don’t get discouraged. Instead, look at each fearful thought as an opportunity to practice your mental skills.
Over time, your mantras will repeat in your head instead of those nagging fears and doubts you’ve been harboring over the years. Eventually, you may need to rethink your mantras or update them to keep them relevant. This is fine too. Regular check-ins with how you’re feeling are always a good thing.
If you’ve tried these techniques and are still struggling hard, reach out for help. We can’t always do it on our own. Reach out to a qualified therapist in your area to help you work through the emotions that are preventing you from moving forward.
Eventually, you’ll notice that your fears are beginning to dissipate and your goals are clear. In my next and final post, I’ll discuss how to move forward once you’ve hit the milestone of putting your fears into perspective.
How do you manage and overcome your fears? Share with me! I’d love to hear them.
Have you sat in quiet envy while a friend or coworker talked about making a life change to pursue their dream? Or maybe, it was a fellow running buddy talking about attacking, and accomplishing a new goal. It’s easy to make excuses. Maybe you’re too busy with work, school, kids or life. Maybe it’s not a good time. I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
It’s never a good time. It will never be a good time. When you let fear control your life and decisions, the perfect time will never come.
What scares you the most? I’m scared of failure. The idea of falling flat on my face terrifies me. I loathe making mistakes. Each time I do I beat myself up until I walk out emotionally bloody and bruised, chastising myself for each wrong turn I’ve made. Do you do the same thing? I hope not, but from my experience, I know I’m not alone.
Overcoming your fears is easier than you think. In this next series of posts, I’m going to discuss the steps you can take to overcome your fears and take the leap towards achieving the goals you’ve dreamed of. Starting now. Not tomorrow. Not next year. Not once the kids are out of the house.
Right. Now. You ready? Let’s dive in.
Step 1: Figure out what you really want
This sounds silly. You know exactly what you want, right? Honestly, probably not. Sit down and write out a list of your goals. Is it running an impossibly fast personal record? Shaving off 10, 20 or even 50 pounds? Are you looking at completely reevaluating your life?
Until you clearly define your goals, you’re far from accomplishing them.
Are you feeling overwhelmed? That’s okay! It’s part of the process. Start setting aside personal time every day, be it five minutes or an hour, to think about what you really want and to journal. This doesn’t have to be a piece for the New York Times or an essay, it’s an informal practice you can use to start to process your feelings and desires.
Let your feelings come and go. Anger, frustration, sadness and elation are all just part of the process. If you’re feeling stuck, it’s probably because you’ve got a host of emotions you’ve been pushing down and avoiding. Not only is this unhealthy, but it also can lead to stress and extra frustration you don’t need in your life.
This is the first step in letting go of the excess junk clouding your vision. Over time, you’ll be left with a clearer mind, which will in turn will help you decide what you really want.
When you develop this list, shoot for the stars. Don’t limit yourself. Write out your goals, despite whether or not you think they’re possible.
Take some time to practice this strategy. In my next post, I’ll focus on Step 2, which is how to overcome your doubts.
Do you have strategies for clearly defining your goals? I’d love to hear them. Share below in the comments.
Hamsterwheel 6 Hour: Race Report
Date: November 4th, 2017
Location: New Boston, NH
Distance: 4 Mile Loop
Cutoff: 6 Hours, 12 Hours, 24 Hours
Difficulty: 1.1/5 <-I added an extra 0.1 for the Hamster Hill.
I’ve been on a bit of a timed event kick lately, and this past weekend was no exception. My partner and I decided to sign up for the Hamster Wheel 6 Hour so we could each squeeze in a long run before crewing for his mother who was running the 24 Hour. I crewed the event last year while the two of them ran the 12 Hour and was excited to get out and see the course.
We ended up staying at the Jack Daniels Inn, located about 30 minutes away from the event start. They offered breakfast in the morning and had a discount for race participants. It can drop into the 30s at night in November, I wouldn’t recommend camping unless you handle cold weather well.
At 8:00AM we pulled into the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds and meandered towards packet pickup. This is a pretty small event with only 70 runners between all three times so we weren’t worried about lines. After receiving our race swag (a pillow case which I mistook for a white flag), we laid out our tarps and began preparing for the event.
When we took off, I recognized a few folks from Ghost Train two weeks earlier. My legs weren’t quite 100% so I hung back and took it easy. The majority of the folks on the course were chatty and friendly. To begin, runners head out on a gravel/dirt trail for 1.5 miles. At the turn-around, there is a water jug. Next, runners head back for 1.5 miles and then head up the infamous “Hamster Hill” which magically grows with each lap.
After a gentle descent, runners complete the four-mile loop before deciding whether to head out again. The course boasts one aid station at the start/finish. Even if you’re power walking you shouldn’t need a hydration pack for this one. The weather ranged this year between the low-30s and the mid-50s. If you’re settling in for an overnight run, bring layers. The cool weather can take its toll.
Although the terrain is relatively flat (aside from the Hamster Hill), the trail portion of the course has several divots and holes. I accidentally stepped in one of these on my last lap and luckily missed a rolled ankle. This is probably because I stopped paying attention to where I was going. After that incident I decided my long run was done for the day and called it quits after 20 miles.
Trail shoes probably aren’t necessary for this terrain, anything too luggy would be uncomfortable. I used a Salomon crossover shoe but probably would have been fine in Asics.
One neat feature of the Hamster Wheel is that runners can go out for their last lap all the way up to their finishing time. That is, if you come in at 5:58, you can go out for another lap. This prevents folks who finish just after their time cutoff from having their last bonus lap not count.
I highly recommend this event. It’s reasonably priced, well run and has a friendly crowd. The course has the potential to be FAST as its mostly flat. I admit I didn’t sample any of the aid station fair but with only 20 miles under my belt I didn’t really need much fuel. From what I heard the aid stations were well stocked and had an ample supply.
At the start/finish it’s easy to find a piece of real estate close to the course. We set up just upwind of the port-a-lets. This is very convenient as crew doesn’t need to run back and forth to try to track down runners.
Will you be running the Hamster Wheel next year? If so, I hope to see you there! Did you run it this year? Let me know your thoughts! I’d love to hear them.
It's fine, I ran today.
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