Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekly Spotlight: Dan Hernandez - Ledesma Rails to Trails 50K

Weekly Spotlight: Dan Hernandez - Ledesma Rails to Trails 50K

Update: We ran a random number generator to pick our winner for the free entry, and congrats to Kerrie F for winner the Comp Entry! Thanks again to Dan for all his efforts (along with Michelle Daniels!) for putting together what will become another GREAT Ultra event!!! 
My very first Spotlight is on Savannah, GA's newest Race Director, good friend, and Mr. "Savannah Running" himself Dan Hernandez and his Ledesma Rails to Trails 50K. The event takes place on Jan 12, 2013 in Savannah, GA and features a 50K, 25K and 5k. The first time event is to benefit the Savannah Rails to Trail with much needed Trail Maintenance and upkeep. Dan and I first met on Twitter almost 3 years ago and has been a runner, a volunteer and a photographer at several of our events over the years.

1. How did you come up with the Race idea?
I’ve wanted an ultra in the Savannah area for several years but I did not know how to go about putting one together.  Then, last Spring I ran into Tim Waz at the Shamrock 5k in downtown Savannah and asked him about doing an ultra in Savannah with the proceeds benefitting the Rails to Trails restoration which has been eroding at an alarming rate.  That started the ball rolling.  In the middle off this past summer, Michelle Daniels, began raising her concerns about the rapidly deteriorating Rails to Trails with the Chatham County Commissioners.  That’s when she and I teamed up in trying to find ways to raise awareness about the Savannah Rails to Trails.
By late August, Tim and I began serious discussions about bringing an ultra to Savannah for the sole purpose of helping in the restoration costs and maintenance of the Rails to Trails.
Here is where it gets even more interesting, - We approach Fleet Feet about putting on a race benefitting the Rails to Trails and what do they recommend?  Yup, you guessed it, doing an Ultra!
2. What is the estimate cost to get the Rails to Trails property repaired?
I do not have the expertise to answer that question but one of the Chatham County engineers told me the problem areas of the trail could be fixed from $25,000.00 to $30,000.00.  Mind you, this is a maintenance fix that would more than likely have to be addressed again in the near future which this engineer actually admitted to me.    
In 2009, the Rails to Trails was built up and restored at a cost of approximately $400,000.00.  In less than three years the trail is back to where it was before the 2009 restoration, unfortunately.
3. What kind of role has Social Media played in the role of advertising this first year event?
The short answer?  An immensely significant role!
I do not believe this race would be happening if not for Social Media.  Social Media has allowed us to effectively promote this race without any significant financial cost.  
Through social media we’ve been able to reach runners that have registered for the R2T 50k from as far away as New York, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Virginia, Tennessee, Puerto Rico.  
In promoting this race we’ve effectively used Facebook, Youtube, dailymile, twitter, Pinterest and web blogs.
4. What is your running background?
I’ve been a dedicated runner for the last twelve years.In that time frame I’ve run numerous 10ks and half marathons, 2 ultras, 1 marathon. One of my big highlights in running came in 2008 when I ran my first ultra marathon, the Boulder 100.  I placed second overall with a finish time of 24:07.  It’s funny but I made the leap from half-marathon to 100 miler.  I then, did the marathon afterward. The upcoming Delirium 24 hour race will be my next quest for 100 miles.  This time I hope to complete 100 miles in less than 24 hours.
5. As a first time Race Director what has been the largest lesson you've learned? 
Oh my gosh, how much I have learned!!  It’s difficult to decide on just the one biggest lesson learned because there are so many things I’ve had to learn and learn fast!  But, if I must answer what the one biggest lesson learned so far, I would have to say it’s the importance of being organized.  There is so much to putting together a race but it will not happen if you do not organize every aspect of the race.  You have to compartmentalize every aspect of this race and be ready to answer any and every question a potential sponsor(s), runners, government entities etc. ask.  And, believe me, you will be expected to know what you’re talking about and how you are going to make it happen.  
6. Where can runners find more details on the event?
There are several online sources where you can get information on this event.  
  1. Lowcountryultras is hosting the LSM R2T on it’s website:
  2. We have a Facebook page that gets updated daily:
  3. Fleet Feet Savannah also has a page for the R2T Ultra:
  4. Lastly, the registration site, ultrasignup.com

 Thanks Dan, we appreciate you giving us the additional insight on the race and look forward to the event!!! If you'd like more information on the Ledesma Rails to Trails 50K, please visit one of the links above.

FREE STUFF!!! Dan has agreed to donate a comp entry into the 2013 Ledesma Rails to Trails race to one lucky reader. Be sure to sign the Guest Book and tell us why you want to race for free!!!! I'll be pulling one lucky winner on December 8 at 8:00pm.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sticking to it...

Another week of very solid training! Nothing exciting again, other than the fact that I have been able to continue pressing the miles with almost ZERO discomfort to the outside of my right knee. The weather has begun to drop, with lows in the mid 60s at night and highs maxing out in the mid 80s.

I'm heading out to Turks & Caicos this week for a week trip and plan on running a 50K on Tuesday morning. I feel that my body is up for it, so we'll just see what happens!

Another Episode of Ultra Running #Waz200 is now up. Check out the latest product I review: Goat Head Sole Spikes

Running with Waz: Episode 2

See ya on the road!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Back in the game

So after 5 weeks of consistent training, I raced today for the first time since April (Francis Marion Dirt Dash 1/2 Marathon - 1:49:26). That was 6 months of nothing more than 2 or 3 miles at a time, maybe once or twice a week. Over the last month I have already logged 350+ miles and have been feeling very strong again.
My training plan over the next 10 months puts me with over 4200 miles of training and racing as I lead into my next goal of racing and going after the course record at the Viaduct Ultra Marathon (Current record 73:48 200 miles)

Between now and next July I am going to begin recording highlights of my training and racing with a video blog of the journey.  

Enjoy! See you on the trail!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

So negative... yet positive!

Kinvara 3
     My training plan of late has had nothing but mileage for each day. No other goals, no labels such "tempo" or "Zone 3"... nothing but miles. When I headed out tonight, the rain began to fall slightly, and the air was pretty cool. Just to get to the end of my driveway is a perfect half mile. As I turned onto Hwy 462 (kinda like the highway from Pet Cemetery) the roads were clear and for the first time ever I did not have to run on the shoulder. A quick first mile got me off the the main roads in a very comfortable 8:06 and then I was free!
The back roads around my house are simply that, BACK ROADS! When people drive past me, as I run practically naked with my long hair bobbing behind my headlamp, the looks are of utter confusion as to "way is that boy always runnin'..." But outside the strange looks, the road are fairly empty and everyone is always considerate (or afraid) as they pass.
Mile two came quickly, just pass Cherry Hill Cemetery, in 8:06. Now to a long time competitive runner, seeing a negative split simply becomes a challenge! The game was on! Over the course of the next few miles I continued to press out faster and faster splits, in a game of "how long can I hold on". My weekly log called for 7 miles this evening, so at the 3.5 mile point I turned around and headed back home.
The rain continued to fall, heavier now, and the miles were clicking away...7:47... 7:32... 7:13. Now I know that my no means did I set any records on the roads tonights, but once again a run of redemption and validation reconfirmed my return to running. Next week it may be time to add some labels to my workouts. See you on the trail!

7 Miles: Cherry Hill Road  8:06, 8:01, 7:57, 7:47, 7:32, 7:13, 8:24 (cool down)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Like a runner...

Sunrise on my way to
get Dry Needling
     Over the past year I have not logged in many miles and the miles that I do have in were mostly done with an amazing amount of pain and discomfort. I raced twice this year: 1. Delirium Ultra 24 Hour Endurance Race: a disappointing 92 mile finish missing out on a kick-ass Belt Buckle after pulling off the trail for 4 hours because of the cold! 2. The Palmetto 200 Relay race which ended with me becoming the van driver while my team picked up my slack from not being able to run past the mid-way point of the race.
     After the 200, I began seeking out treatment for my injured knee. My treatment began with Active Release Therapy and then I switched over to a more aggressive Dry Needling technique. The basis of Dry Needling is easy to explain: insert a wire filament into your flesh to activate the muscles trigger points to aid in breaking up scar tissue from over use AKA: Ultra Running. There is NOTHING fun about it, it is extremely painful and takes a few days to get back on your feet again after each treatment. IT HURTS... A LOT!!! 
The sun sets in my backyard
     After my third treatment (and not being able to barely walk for 3 days) I noticed on my first "long run" of 3 miles that I had zero discomfort in my knee any longer. I continued to go through my daily stretching routine (something that I have NEVER done as a runner) and realized that I was ready to begin pressing my distance further and further. Over this same time period I began having to travel some with work again. Sleeping in hotels is something that I have never been able to do so I replaced some of those early hours with longer and longer runs. After 5 straight days, I was running strong and was able to keep pressing the miles. I had my first real "return to running" this past Saturday when I met up with my good buddy Paul for some miles on the trails on Pickney Island. This would be my first group run since February of this year. IT FELT GOOD! So good that I decided to stretch it out like the old days and I felt something for the first time... Something that I missed.
     I felt the Earth passing under my feet as my feet lightly made contact with the ground over and over again. I felt my heart and lungs expand and could feel the power flow through my body. I felt the cool marsh air against my sweaty flesh, cooling my core as I pressed harder and harder. I felt like a runner. A runner that could just go out and do what he enjoys, what he loves, what he's good at! Run when and where I wanted to. How far or how long I wanted to. At that point I was a runner again! The photos in this post are from a few of my runs over the last two week and one of me after my run on Pickney... that's the look of a happy runner. See you on the trail!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Soft Tissue Damage and Active Release Technique

Towards the end of March, I was out for an easy mid-afternoon run when I felt something “tweak” on the outside of my right knee. Not thinking much about it I continued running. Within a half mile I could barely put any pressure on my leg and I ended up walking back home.

After a quick Google search I smacked on an ice-pack and kept it elevated for a few days with a steady flow of Motrin. After the third day I decided to run again. My typical easy 9 miler turned into a very short and very painful 1 mile limp. This wasn’t good! I now had less than 3 weeks until my next race, a 200 mile relay meant for 12 runners that I would be taking on with only 3 other Ultra runners. A few more days passed before sending out the “hey guys, do you want to replace me?” warning flag. I was met with 3 solid, “naw man, let’s do this!”.
My knee held up well for the first 15 miles, thanks to being heavily taped with KT Tape. The pain level increased from a “3” to a very sharp “9” on my next short 2.7 mile leg. I had just completed a marathon and was in the most pain I had ever felt from running. Now this was NOT good!

After returning home I took a week off before going out and trying to run a mile. Big mistake! Now not only did my knee hurt while I ran, but my calf, IT Band, Knee, EVERYTHING hurt all the time. I went back to my good friend Google looking for answers. After finding nothing but words like “scope”, “surgery” , and “running retirement” I switched over to Twitter. My cousin Jason, is the Co-Founder of “Competitive Edge Performance” in Tampa Florida and quickly responded with three words I have not heard before “soft tissue damage” and highly recommended that I look into the Active Release Technique or (ART) to begin the recovery process. Once again, back to the Google!
I found that Active Release Technique treats soft tissue Injuries, relieves pain, and restores normal tissue function. ART is a new and extremely effective approach to treating soft tissue injuries and the resulting pain. It is a patented method of treatment developed by Dr. Michael Leahy and is utilized by more than 3500 certified providers, including medical doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, and athletic trainers worldwide. The technique is very popular with professional athletes and teams (NFL, NHL, NBA, etc.) and is used regularly by amateur and professional athletes alike, not only to help with rapid injury recovery, but also for improving their athletic performance. In recent years this method of treatment has begun to gain recognition among the general public as well, as more certified practitioners utilizing ART have entered the healthcare arena. (source:

I quickly began treatment with Dr Titus out of Savannah, GA and felt the effect of the therapy after the first day. So what does the treatment consist of? It is a series of massage techniques that focuses on the muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves in the affected areas to combat the overused muscles.
Typically soft tissue damage will occur in over-used muscles in one of three ways:
  1.        Pulls, tears or collisions
  2.     Micro Trauma (small tears)
  3.     Hypoxia (not getting enough oxygen)
Each of these can cause the injured area to develop scar tissue in the affected area. Once the scar tissue binds up, it ties down tissues that should normally move freely. As the scar tissue continues to build up, muscles become shorter and weaker, additional tension on tendons causes tendonitis, and nerves can become trapped. ART directly focuses on these key areas to return the runner back to the road.

The personal response that I have had after two treatments has been significant enough to have me post about my treatment and has turned my outlook around to the point that I am mentally in the Fall race planning mentality now. I highly recommend looking into Active Release Technique to any and all Ultra Runners that that are experiencing an over use injury. Just get on the Google and look it up in your area!

See you on the trail…


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Running Full Circle

It occurred to me tonight that my FIRST memory of running was in the second grade, as we were "forced" to participate in the Presidential Fitness Challenge. A quick loop around the baseball fields at Westside Elementary set the ground work for the next 30 years of my life and began a true love for running.

This past weekend, Jake also had to participate in his first Presidential Fitness Challenge... slaughtering the required time and other events, only to come back and ask to run the course again!!! We never know what the future holds for our children, but we always hope for the best and if he continues to run and be active, I know that he'll continue to make great life decisions and live a much richer life!

I personally pull energy from my kids as I run. Talking to them and asking them to "push daddy along" or just continue to chant "Come on guys, we've got this" during some of my darkest moments and it always pulls me out! Having them "with" me while I run is the single best piece of motivation I could ever have.

Hopefully they will draw inspiration or motivation to push themselves harder from my crazy running habits or even follow suit. I can't think of anything greater than one day being able to head out on a long run with Jake or Izzy and just talk away the miles.

I wonder if 30 years from now, Jake will be watching his son or daughter come around the final turn in first place and have his heart fill with pride and over flow with love. Hope he'll tell me all about it the next time we get together for a long run.

Monday, April 9, 2012

What have I been up to?

It's been a few months since my last post and quite honestly, the only thing I have written about lately are my race reports. So, what have I been up to? It would be best to rewind to a year ago and get caught up!
In Feb of 2011, my wife and I opened a local running speciality shop in Bluffton and poured our heart and soul into getting it off the ground. Mean while, I was also starting another company (my real job) Revenue Strategy Solutions, a remote Revenue Management company for Hotels. Both companies took off extremely well in 2011 and could not have been happier! Fast forward to the end of 2011. Holly and I made a decision and choose to sell the Running store as we were spending way too much time away from the kids and my running had taken a serious back burner due to being in the shop every weekend!
Within a month of solid training, I had taken off another huge chunk of time out of my 50K personal best and was THRILLED with where my training was headed. Holly and I decided to take another huge step at the beginning of December and moved to Ridgeland, SC. We didn't "just move" we found our DREAM HOME! A log cabin that sits in the middle of 800 acres on a private lake with plenty of room to start our own VERY large garden, citrus tree etc. We moved in on Dec 31, 2011 and have never been happier!
We had to make a tough decision about what we were going to do with the kids school, now that we were 35 minutes away - one way. We opted to put them in a local private school beginning next year, Thomas Haywood Academy (Go Rebels!) Izzy tested into 5 year old Kindergarten (she just turned 4) and Jake will be in the second grade. Both kids love the school and we are looking forward to a summer full of "camps" at THA including Art, Science, Sports and Cheer leading. Izzy is wrapping up her last "season" of ballet and is looking forward to playing soccer in the Fall. Jake is kicking ass and taking names on the baseball field right now!
Life is pretty good on the Waz front!
Back to running... So, last summer I launched "Lowcountry Ultras" when we put on our Cremator Ultra 50 Miler and it has boomed in the last year. We, through out the next few paragraphs will refer to several GREAT friends, with out them I would not be able to do what I love on the running front! My "crew" with-in Lowcountry Ultras is made up of my wife Holly, my two best buds Paul and Gary, and two completely random but awesomely amazing 3rd party acquaintances turned into excellent friends, Kayla and Joe. Again, without these guys Lowcountry Ultras would not exist!.
Our second race, the Delirium Ultra 24 Hour Endurance race took place this February on what turned into the coldest night of the year. With temps dropping down well below 24 degrees with an 11 degree windchill factor! Holly, Paul, Gary and I ran this race while Kayla and Joe held the race together as "Race Director" and "Joe". Joe is the man to get anything, fix anything or get in touch with anyone! The race itself sold out in less than 30 days and was full of awesome race swag, beanies, hoodies, kickin' medals and a lot of great people!
The day we wrapped up the Delirium I went straight to work on the second annual Cremator. We moved the race to Beaufort this year after having issues with the course on Hilton Head and Bluffton. We now have a straight out and back 25 mile loop that the runners will do two times. Gary will be the head-dog in charge for this pony show, and Paul will act as my Crew Chief.
In addition to the Delirium, we are also picking up another local event, the Bad Marsh 50k Night Ultra. This was a part of East Coast Ultras races, but Becky decided not to have the event this year as she and her husband get ready for their first baby. We did not want to see the race die off, so we picked it up and added it into our series. It's on an awesome 4.5 mile looped course and is on the same course as my current 50K PR. I'll be the RD for this race!
Personally, I'm getting ready to run the Palmetto 200 this weekend from Columbia, SC to Charleston, SC. It's a 200 mile relay that is meant to be run my 12 people. I am doing it as any "Ultra" with only 3 other runners, Marie, David and Ed. We should have a pretty good chance of winner the "Ultra" division... IF... my knee holds up.
A few weeks ago I was out for a run and I felt something... pull or pop. I could barely put any pressure on it and walked back home. I took the next few days off, icing and just trying to stay off it as much as possible. A few days later the knee began to bruise. With the race coming up, I wanted to get training if possible so I would go out for shorter runs 2, 3 miles at a time. it wasn't until this past week that I was able to run 10 miles. It's still bothering me slightly, so I need to run very smart this weekend as I continue to train up for Cremator in July. We'll see how it holds up!
Other than that, the only other racing I'm planning for this year are:
Palmetto 200 April 13-14
Cremator 50 Miler July 21
Arkansas Traveller 100 October
Mad Marsh November
Harbison 50k (we plan on running an extra loop for training)
Delirium 24 Hour
See you on the road!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Delirium Ultra 24 Hour Endurance Race Recap

The creation of the Delirium Ultra 24 Hour Endurance race began in April of 2011. Once the trail was dedicated, my original thought was "there HAS to be a race on this trail". Over the next few months I tossed the idea around in my head but did not begin working on the actual race plans until August 2012. When I pitched the race to Holly (my wife) her first thought was, are you going to get anyone else to come run it? I knew that I could get Paul & Gary and maybe a handful of other local Ultra Runners to come out and try their hand on the trail with us.
The approval process was fairly easy with the assistance of Matt Green with Buckwalter Place and Julie Bulger with the Town of Bluffton. I'm not 100% sure on the next fact, but we quickly announced Kayla as the race Director (can't remember if I asked her or she told me that she was doing it). Either way, she was the best person for the job and would later be Teamed up with her RD partner in crime Joe Devito (aka The Man!).
We officially opened up registration on October 1 and quickly sold out of 50 spots within 30 days. We late added another 15 and again was without an open slot by Thanksgiving!
Along with Kayla, I had Paul, Holly and Gary helping out as the months ticked away and race day approached. Before I knew it it was the week before the race and things were starting to fall into place with the awesome Team that I had.
I hulled out the Lowcounty Ultra's Camper Friday morning PACKED TO THE GILLS with race swag, finish line tents, blankets, food, water and everything else we would need for the 24 hour event. Paul was the first to arrive, followed by Gary as we quickly got the course marked and the finish line set up. Kayla arrived and gave us all the thumbs up before I had to dash off for a "Daddy and Me" Valentine's Day Dance with my beautiful daughter, Izzy. A quick wardrobe change in the camper and I was ready to go. Kayla and Paul headed off to set up Packet Pick up while Izzy and I danced the evening away!
Once the dance was over I kissed the family good-bye and headed back to Station 300 to help close out the evening. Once we got the light positioned Paul, Kayla, Gary and I sat around and chatted in anticipation of the following days events. I was the first to call it a night and headed in to finally figure out my own race. This was something that I had given very little attention up to this point. Once I had something that resembled a decent plan, I climbed into bed and Paul and Kayla soon there after called it a night too. Gary went home to sleep in his own bed (smart man!)
Morning came sooner that I would have liked after not getting much sleep, between dealing with the filling up the generator, pre-race nerves and just the fact that we had all out race gear sitting on the side of the one of the busiest roads in Bluffton.
It was cool morning, but not freezing. All in all, we have had a very mild winter here in the Lowcountry, and over the last week we have seen the temperature forecast drop a few degrees everyday. We decided that we were going to stop checking it as it was only bad news.
Packet pick up went smooth, Richard helped with the parking, we had a great team in place once Joe (The Man) drove up. We had a few quick words from the 21 Guns Team about their mission and was sent on our way by Lisa Sulka, the mayor of Bluffton. I was the last person to start the race as I wanted to catch the start on my video camera. I waved goodbye to everyone, gave Kayla a quick high-five and a fist bump to Joe and started out a long, slow journey.
The first few laps were just a blur. We had 65 runners spread out over the 1.7 mile looped course so I was able to see the extent of what we created just after the first lap. From the very beginning I was sure to keep eating and drinking. Early on in the race I was using a 10oz Amphipod Held-held bottle and would top it off after every 2 laps and would grab food on ever circuit. PB&J's were hitting the spot early on.
Before I knew it I had run my first 31 miles and was feeling good. My goal was to run 100 miles in 22 hours and at this pace I was slightly ahead of schedule. I wanted to make sure that I wasn't pushing to hard early on, but any wiggle room I could muster up without draining myself would be worth it later. The field began to slowly shrink after 4:00pm as the 6 hour race was now over. Holly decided early on that she was going to run 30 miles regardless of time and she did in fact finish her first Ultra! I saw the big red truck pulling out as I was beginning yet another lap, so I did not get the chance to congratulate her before she left. The wind up to this point had been brutal. Practically blowing people off the bike path over the .4 mile stretch at the end of each lap. I decided around 5:00pm that I would begin the long process of getting ready for what would be the coldest night of the year.
Kayla helped me transition out of my low cut socks and into my Swiftwick compression socks. I slipped on a pair of tights and threw on a lightweight jacket. My body was still feeling good at this points and I was doing an even better job of balancing my fluids and nutrition intake.
I cruised through the 50 mile mark just after 9 hour and felt like a million bucks. Night began to settle in the laps suddenly felt like they were starting to get longer and longer. I was able to meet up with Paul and Gary on a regular basis along with the other amazing runners out there, but sometimes it felt like you were the only person left out there.
At midnight I was at mile 66 and all the pieces were right where they needed to be. I had 10 hours to make it another 20 laps. I should still be able to make it without any problems... Until the temperature really began to drop. But 1:00am I had on every layer that I had with me. It totalled: 7 layers up top (A tank top, short sleeve shirt, 2 - long sleeve shirts, a vest, a jacket and a hooded sweatshirt) and 2 pair of tights and a pair of jogging pants on below. The temperature dipped down to 26 degrees with a bitter cold windchill factor of 11 degrees.
At 2:45 and after 83 miles I had to stop. My hands were frozen and my body was shaking uncontrollably. I decided to lay down for an hour and told Kayla to come wake me up. I did not get undressed, just laid down in the camper. In a blink of an eye, Kayla was telling me that an hour had passed. "I'm done" was all I could tell here. I knew what the words meant but I hurt and hurt bad. My body told me that I was done and that I was stupid for going back out in that cold. Kayla tried to talk me out of it, but there was no turning my head around at this point.
Kayla came back at 6:45am and I tried again. I got up. Got dressed. Walked barefooted to the bathroom because I was afraid of my shoes at that point. Everything felt okay once I started moving. I put my shoes on and headed back out onto the course. I knew that I would not be able to make the 100 mile mark at this point because my "run" was a better version of a slow walk at this point. Paul, Gary and I knocked out a few more laps together which was a great way to close out this adventure together. The clock was ticking down and I wanted to ensure that I got every lap as possible. At 9:52am I was able to start another lap. At this point I would be the last person to cross the finish line and I would end up very close to my goal of 100 miles. I finished with 91.8 miles after 24 hours of running (20 hours if you count my 4 hour removal from reality) and of course I had a mix of different emotions about that.
First, Excitement, it was further than I had even gone before and we had just put on a great event. Second, disappointment, I let my self quit and I didn't meet my goal. Third, relief, the race was over, I was still walking and nothing really felt "bad". I was an emotional wreck as Adam and Dan from 21 Guns, presented a medal to the wife of one of the fallen soldiers in which they were running in memory of over the last 24 hours.
One of the best parts of the race was the decision to have a pancake breakfast right when the race ended. My mom was manning the griddle and it was awesome to have her make those for me when I finished. Once the other other runner's packed up, it was time to shut down the Delirium Ultra 24 Hour Endurance race for another year and head home to begin the recovery process. The race was in fact a huge success and we are looking forward to making it even better next year. I was just glad that I was able to experience the race as both the creator and a participant. I choose the date based off of the Farmer's Almanac and they said that Feb 11th would be the coldest day of the year... and they were right!!!
Thanks for all the help and support to my amazing family and friends! I love you all.
I opened up registration for the 2013 Delirium Ultra 24 Hour Endurance Race on Monday night February 13th and we already have 16 people signed up for next year. We have had some great feedback on improvements for next year and look forward to seeing everyone again at the starting line!!!
February 9, 2013 10:00am - Delirium Ultra 24 Hour Endurance Race
See ya on the trail!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Harbison 50K Race Report

This past weekend I ran my first Ultra of the year in Harbison State Forest just outside of Columbia, SC. The race was the second annual Harbison 50k put on by Dan Hartley. The race was top notch. Very organized, the course was well marked, the volunteers were great and the swag was pretty awesome!
Going into this race I planned to take it easy and just get the miles in as I ramp up for my Delirium Ultra 24 Hour Endurance Race on Feb 11, 2012. In the back of my mind I knew that I would end up pushing it a little harder than I should have and would end up racing the entire course. But I was going to try my hardest not too!!!
We ended up turning the race into a mini road trip with Paul "the hammer" and Gary "DJ Ice" and were spoiled by a huge three room suite at the downtown Hilton, thanks to my long time friend, Tony Tam. The trip up was uneventful and after a quick tour of the course and lunch at Mellow Mushroom we headed back to the room to watch "Unbreakable" and "Pre". Nothing like a few good Running flicks to set the mood for the upcoming race. We had a short pre-race meeting downtown at the Half-moon Outfitters, getting last minute race instructions and our race packets including our awesome shirts and Harbison 50K Pint Glasses.
I was the first to bed when we returned to the room and the last one up in the morning (but I needed the extra rest after moving all week). We headed out to the course at 6:00am and woke up to a nice 48 degree weather. Shorts and a tank would be my clothing choice for the day! No layering needed.
Another quick race recap by Dan at 7:20am around the camp fire sent us down to the starting line for an on-time race start (which is always a big deal for me!) The course would be two 15.5 mile loops with the first 9 being made up of single track rolling hills and the next 6 miles (including the nasty Spider Woman Trail) being much more technical and a lot more elevation.
The Aid Stations were stocked with everything you could want/ need during an Ultra. I ran with my iFitness belt with two 8oz bottles on the back of my waist and an extra 12oz Amphipod bottle
on the front. I started off with 28oz of Coconut Water (pineapple flavored) and drank that plus another 8oz of water during the first loop. (This is important later)
I started my second lap after 2:25.00 by topping off my water bottles with more Coconut Water, grabbed a few Strawberry Fig Newtons, two rice cakes and a banana. By the time I reached the woods again around mile 16 my bladder was full and needed to pull off the trail. No luck. I quickly began to run again before the urge struck me again. This time I was going to go as I did not want to have to stop again with only 16 mile under my belt. The sight made me weak. What should have been a "light yellow" was more "sweet tea-ish" and I felt a pain in my bladder like never before. This really scared me and I quickly went into a systems check mode. How much had I drank - more than enough - are you sure - yeah - two bottles, plus one with one refill plus everything I had the night before - I should be fine- then why does it hurt - are my kidneys shutting down - okay...just walk. Just drink.
I walked to the next Aid Station and sat down on the ground and began to drink. I was really scared, but I was on the start of a loop and would need to walk out anyway. After two full bottles (32oz) of water I left the aid station and tried to run by my bladder still hurt with every stride. My game plan at this time was to pull out of the race when either Paul or Gary came up on me, surely they would say that it was the right thing to do. I'm glad that I never saw them.
The next five miles were the longest of any race. It felt like I was going backwards the whole time. Every chance I got I would try to jog a little, just to get to the 20 mile mark. Finally I made it back around the loop and no longer felt the pain in my bladder. I was able to start running and I was still able to drink nonstop thanks to the Aid Stations that were popping up every four miles or so. The next 11 miles were not the greatest but I was going faster than my goal pace for Delirium and I was getting in some good hills too.
I crossed the finish line in 5:28:16 according to my watch and quickly grabbed my highly deserved and desired Hamburger and downed some Sprite-like drink from Kroger for the added sugar and fluids. This was 1:00pm, it 10:00am the last time I went to bathroom and wasn't until 7:00pm that I would go again. Needless to say my body was overly dehydrated.
By the time I got back to the car, checked my phone, Paul "the Hammer" was coming in to finish his first Ultra Marathon! You could just tell by Paul's face that he was thrilled to finally have the full distance under his belt. Smiles from ear to ear! (or beard to beard). He crushed it in 5:38.00
I had a text message from Gary saying that he was at mile 24 and that he was done. I knew that he would beat himself up (more than I would) if he were to pull out now, but at the same time he had to walk in to make it back to the finish. I sent him a quick text back telling him just to take it step by step and we'd be waiting. Gary then ran the next 7 miles in and finished the race looking great and proudly got his finishers medal and our second Pint Glass - the "Bison" Mug (a misprinted first run of glasses that should have said "Harbison" - all runners that finished the race got the second "collectors" mug!
After a quick shower back at the Hotel, we packed up our gear and headed home. Paul and I sacked out before we were even on the interstate, I think Gary stayed awake the whole time, but I guess we'll never know!
I finally got my "color" back under control by the following morning and didn't have much discomfort other than a sore tail bone (not really sure where that came from) 48 hours after the race was over and I feel fresh and the legs feel great.
I have a very short 32 days left till my next race, which is my own creation, the 2012 Delirium Ultra 24 Hour Endurance Race on Feb 11, 2012. My goal to run 100 miles in the 24 hours and I think the training that I have been able to get in over the last few months along with my racing I am right where I need to be. Now if I can just stick to the plan again and keep my fluids under control I may be alright!
Thanks to Paul and Gary for putting in countless mile in the dark and to Holly, my wife, for staying home with my two beautiful children while I run countless miles with Paul and Gary! I couldn't have gotten here with out you guys!