Monday, May 24, 2010

CRUD 8-Hour Race Report

The CRUD 8-Hour Trail Run was held for the first time this past Saturday.  Here is my quick summary:

This is a great event that I will do again and encourage others to run next year!

And a short video from race day is on YouTube at:

The race is run on a 3.1 mile trail loop in Jubilee College State Park in central Illinois (in Brimfield just west of Peoria).  Mike and Adam are the race directors--same guys that took over the Farmdale 32 mile race last year.  They did a great job at Farmdale and an AWESOME job at this inaugural event!  I can honestly say this is one of my favorite ultra races--and it was my 69th marathon/ultra so I have quite a comparison group. They created a great race atmosphere and attended to all the runner needs.  Here are a few details that I particularly liked:

  • Entire course was trail (no road sections)
  • The last 45 minutes was 1-mile loops on tough trails (not easy grass fields)
  • Chip timing was cool (no need to "check-in" each loop, splits posted)
  • Nice home-made finisher awards
  • Cute signs along parts of the course ("Good Nap Spot")
  • Soy burgers for me at the end!
I finished the 8 hours with 35 miles.  A little disappointing for 8 hours, but good for this day and trail conditions.  I ended up 5th out of 35 soloists. I was the first master runner (no award for that division--what's with that Mike and Adam?).  The day was warm (mid-80s for a high) and the trail was very sloppy---lots of mud and water!  Over the 8 hours, the heat and humidity wore you down...and the ever increasing and slippery mud made it extremely difficult to stay in any kind of running rhythm. Not to mention the 3-4 hills you encounter each loop.  I ran the Gnaw Bone 50K the weekend before and finished 31 miles in 6:22...during the 8 hours of CRUD, I only managed 35 miles.  I was slower here than at Gnaw Bone!  Gnaw Bone has more hills and rugged terrain, but this CRUD trail is not an easy course.  If the weather was cooler and the trail dryer, people would have accumulated many more miles.  I was hoping on 40+.  Maybe next year.  I think 50 miles is possible under the right conditions.

I'm starting to really like these timed events.  Everyone finishes together so there is more camaraderie and more socializing.  The RDs know exactly when everyone starts and finishes and thus can plan for awards, food, drink, etc.  The repeated loops don't bother me--although they might if they were on a 400m track.  On trails (even "Howl at the Moon" type trails) you get enough variety to keep things interesting.  I suppose my favorite part of timed events is people passing me, and me passing others, all day.  You get to see old friends, make new friends, and just cheer your fellow runners on.  It's a good feeling.  Howl at the Moon 8-Hour has been my favorite race (just signed up for my 10th), but this new sucker has great potential to become...dare I say new all time favorite event? 

I would highly recommend this event to others.  There is a 4-person relay and solo division.  I'm not a big fan of the relay folks, but with the event being small (total of about 80 runners with both solo and relays) it worked out OK this year.  If the event becomes much bigger then I would really limit the number of relay runners. 

Suggestions for the RDs:
  • Provide different colored bibs to the relay teams to distinguish from the solo ultra runners
  • Change the shirt to a short sleeve version (who wants long sleeves as we head into summer?)
  • Add a race category for tall, skinny, bearded, former RDs--or at least add a master (over 40 years old) division!
A big "thank you" to the race directors.  I had a fun time and Mike and Adam did a wonderful job as RDs.  This was a fantastic first year event.  I hope it continues for years to come.  They should think about having another race on similar trails at Jubilee State Park--maybe a fall 24-hour or 100-mile race?


Ragfield said...

Well done, Chris. The heat and humidity were nasty over the weekend. I'm glad i wasn't running for 8 hours :)

Anonymous said...

It was a great day and without folks like you we wouldn't do it.
I ran the course yesterday and did not find ONE piece of trash!
This is what makes each and everyone of you so special.
Here is a great video link:
We can't wait until next year and yes I understand the shirt but how many long sleeve shirts do you get??
There is no doubt a 100 miler may happen watch for details and thank you so much for coming and giving us a chance!!
Take Care,
Adam and Mike

Chris said...

Mike & Adam,
I've now added the YouTube video into my report. Thanks. The shirt was fine--actually really liked the color and design. Just don't want a long sleeve one as we head into summer. OVERALL, you guys did a FANTASTIC job with the entire event!

Ian said...

Way to go Chris. Sounds like a great race and liked the video the RDs shoot (and you posted). See you ran in your CL shirt from the first year. I wore mine at the Des Plaines River Trail marathon on Saturday. That too was a good race with some nice water sections due to flooded trails.

Heidi said...

Great seeing you there Chris, you were doing well!! I agree that it is a wonderful event, I will definitely be back next year. I ran in a relay and had so much fun. Those trails were brutal, and I suspect Mike and Adam placed a lot of cow patties in the soup next to that corn field (at least it smelled that way....)

Chris said...

Yep, there were some awful smells from a few sections of mud and water. It wasn't natural! Or maybe it was all part of Adam and Mike's master plan. I plan on coming back in 2011 with a bunch of friends from central Illinois.

Brad said...

Nice job out there Chris. I loved the event too and also agree that some pretty solid miles could be put up with cooler temps and a dryer trail. I know I'd love another shot at it. I think it could be a very fast trail. I feel like it was easier than any 3.1 mile section of CL. Next up for me is the Devils Lake 50K. Good Luck with your 7 day stage race.

Scott Keeps Running said...

Just happened upon your blog -- sounds like a fun race. Congrats on the strong finish.