Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bona Dea 50K Race Report

I was looking to get in a long run this past weekend of about 20 miles.  I found a 50K  race in Russellville this past week and entertained the thought of running it.  I was able to complete some important tasks around work and the house enough to free myself up for the trip over to Russellville to run this extremely flat course.  So, Saturday morning I got up and headed on my way.

I arrived and there were about two dozen people already there and signed up, by race time we would have 37 people running.  There was one aid station setup at the start and we made 3.4 mile loops around the course passing the aid station each time.  The aid station was stocked with anything and everything you could imagine that you would need.  The weather was around 53 at the start and would increase to 70 by the finish (at least for when I finished).  This is an extremely flat course with no hills at all.  The only elevation difference is roughly ten feet.  While this sounds like a dream, 31 miles of this tends to work just one set of muscles and by the end I was praying for a hill to go up and down to work a slightly different set of muscles.
Once the race started the pack split into 3 groups quickly.  There was a lead pack that went out at sub nine minute pace or so, this was the largest group.  A second group formed at around a 10:30 pace.  We had 10 people in the group.  And there was a smaller group behind us.  By the end of the first lap I had settled into a nice pace that I hoped to hold for 20 miles and I had found a running partner.  At mile 10 we were lapped by the first leader and he was flying.  We hung together for four laps until about the half marathon point and she decided to back off the pace.  I too backed off my pace a bit, but slowly separated from her.  Somewhere during these miles I was lapped a second time by PoDog, he’s kind of a staple of the local long distance running and I increased my pace for a half mile to chat with him.  We talked a little about his recent 100 mile race before I dropped my pace back down and let him go.  At mile 20.3 my early running partner had caught back up with me at the aid station.  I left out first and didn’t see her the next lap, 3.4 miles, she must have just been behind me the whole way.  By mile 23.7 she had caught me for good and we’d pace in laps eight and most of lap nine together.  With about a half of a mile left on lap nine she was ready to go and I had nothing left.  She separated and finished three and a half minutes ahead of me.  My finishing time was 6:38:00, shaving one hour and 24 minutes of my 50K PR and setting a new PR for me.  The difference was the course, not my condition, going from the hilly and rocky trail of Sylamore 50K to this really flat non-technical course.

I was able to run the first 20 miles at a sub 11:30 pace which made me feel really good.  However, after that I fell apart and walked quite a bit of the remaining 11 miles.
Pros: I like the small number of runners.  The aid station was well stocked and the workers were knowledgeable and friendly.
Cons: No cons to this race.  The flat is harder than you think and the laps may seem boring, but that wasn't the case.

Course: Bona Dea 50K Garmin Map

1 comment:

  1. Great run and a great report. Sounds like you got to know some people!


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