10w ago: 9:29:05 50k PR, hot #trailRace @ScenaPerform #Skyline50k
Thanks @bryanting @aeables @dtran320 @vivekgowri pics&support, @corrinemalcolm training me back to an ultra start+finish 3y after #ECSCA.
#run #trailRun #trailRunning #ultraRunning #trailRunner #ultraRunner #50k #50kTrailRace #50kFinish #50kFinisher #ultraMarathon #2022_219 #20220807 #WorkHardDreamBigDoCoolShit #latergram #nofilter
This was my second ultra race finish, and sixth ultra-distance run. Since last year’s Rodeo Valley 30k (https://tantek.com/t5E81), I signed-up for seven races, started six, and finished five (including this one). I’m behind on a year of race posting so for now here’s a mini-report and story of a 50k in 10 photos.
Mini race-report: decent fueling, very good hydration, hottest race I’ve ever run, first time using ice in a neck buff & under my cap, left knee-pain (IT band) struggle in the last 7-8mi, had to fast-walk the last 4mi. Thankful for Vivek Gowri crewing me at the Skyline Gate aid station (17.2mi) making sure I had/got what I needed (no sunburns!), Amanda’s so thoughtful mini cheer sign (📷5) she snuck into my dropbag, and the two of them plus David Tran for running me in the last mile-ish which helped push me to a sub-9h30m time. Thanks also to Bryan Ting for both recommending this race to me and being at so many spots on the course to take race photos. Seeing friends along the way turned a hot & hard race into a fun time.
Photos in time order:
📷2: There’s a certain calm in the ritual of arranging all your race gear & fuel the night before. This was my second race where I packed a drop bag, with extra water & gels I might need if temperatures rose higher, or I took longer than expected. Having trained with nearly everything in that pile at some point, and run the course trails over a couple of days a few weeks beforehand, I went to bed knowing I was prepared.
📷3 by Bryan: Knowing I’d be close to the course limit, I opted for the early start option, an hour before the normal start, just ineligible for any competitive medals. It was dark when we arrived, but you can see how much it lightened up (even with cloud cover) for the 6am early start.
📷1 by Bryan: I kept a steady pace up to the second aid station, stopping only briefly at mile 4 to use the bathroom at the golf course next to the first aid station which wasn’t set up yet. Right before the second aid station, Bryan Ting was camped out taking race photos, and captured me focused on my run.
📷5: From there on it was steady work making it up and down various trails as it warmed up in the first half of the race. Made it up to the Skyline Gate station where Vivek was waiting with my drop bag, and handed me a surprise race sign card that Amanda had made for me.
📷6 by Vivek: It was 85F+ at Skyline Gate, so I sat for a few minutes and took time to calmly hydrate some more. I grabbed a couple of spare gels from my drop bag, and after Vivek helped me re-apply sunscreen, I stood for a moment before jumping back on the trails.
📷7 by Bryan: The push up to the last aid station was a tough hike in the open sun. I saw Bryan again taking photos and focused on a steady run-shuffle up the trail.
📷8 by Vivek: Vivek, David Tran, and Amanda found me on the paved path around Lake Chabot with ~1.5mi to go and captured my determined struggle. Plenty of energy left, I was more annoyed by the pace-limiting knee-pain that started in mile 25 and became too painful to run at mile 28. They chatted with me to keep me distrated, and told me I looked good (amazing how much that helps). I kept a steady fast-walk, gently run-shuffling on the rolling downhills as pictured.
📷9 by David Tran: Running ahead, David took photos & video of me. With the finish area in sight, I swung my arms and pushed past the knee-pain into a run, first on the remaining asphalt then across the lawn through the orange cones toward the finish.
📷4 by Bryan: Stopping my watch as I lept over the finish line, eyes on the finisher’s medal offered by a volunteer. Happiness and relief as I completed my first ultramarathon race since 2019.
📷10 by Bryan: @ScenaPerform’s Skyline 50k brought friends & community together like no other race since @TheNorthFaceECS races. A bunch of us 50k finishers recalled our adventures during the race while rehydrating & snacking on Impossible burgers at the finish area picnic. Bryan saw us gathered and we lined up for a group photo which perfectly captured the moment.
I’ll be back to run this race again.