Saturday, August 30, 2014

Last Man Standing Race

Next week I'll run in an informal "Last Man Standing" race at our local forest preserve trails. We'll start at 8am, run the 5-mile trail loop, and then line up again to repeat the process every 55 minutes. If you run fast, you rest in-between 55-minute starts. If you run too slow (can't make the 55 minute cut-off), you are out. Keep running 55-minute 5-mile loops until only one person is left! Simple. I suppose the real strategy question is how hard to run each loop. Do you run fairly fast and have lots of rest time or run slowly and barely finish each loop in the 55-minute time allotted?  If you run well, you can rest, drink, eat, change socks/shoes, whatever. If you run slowly, you'll conserve energy, but not have any breaks. So many choices.

The 5-mile trail is gently rolling grass/dirt with not much elevation change. It's wide and well-groomed. Pretty easy. If I run hard, I can finish in 40 minutes. If I run easy, I finish in about 45 minutes. If I walk the hills, and go easy on everything else, I finish in about 50 minutes. Hot weather will slow those times. My plan is to start out attempting 50-minute loops and try to maintain that until I'm done. When will I be done? Not sure. I'll get at least 5 loops (25 miles), but hope to run 6 loops (30 miles). I might manage 7 loops (35 miles). That would likely be my limit. How far will others go? Not sure. It's a fat-ass style run with no entrance fee, no support, no prizes. An ultrarunner's dream. Winner simply gets the respect and admiration of their peers. Nice.

I didn't run very well at the Howl at the Moon 8-hour ultra in August...this is my chance to turn things around and get back on track. Perfect opportunity for a group long run too. With the Tunnel Hill 50 miler in November, this is a much-needed extra long run. And, if I can grab 6 loops, I'll notch another ultra on my march toward 100! This will be #94. Can't wait.


David said...

Okay, that's a new one! I'd do run/walk (the hills) aiming to be done in ~54 minutes each lap. My rationale is that you wouldn't run a marathon by repeatedly running 1 mile at 5K pace and then sitting for a minute. Rather, the best run marathons are typically done at a nice even pace. I think you'd want to do the same thing for your 55 minute loop race.

Chris Ⓥ said...

I agree. Even splits, with just a quick 1-minute reserve to change water bottles and grab food.

Finn O'Mara said...

How did you get on ?

Chris Ⓥ said...

30 miles and the win!