Sunday, October 23, 2011

2011 Capitol to Courthouse Ultra Marathon (relay)

I wanted to run the Capitol to Courthouse Ultra Marathon but since it was a week after my 100 miler, I did not sign up ahead since it was doubtful that I would be recovered enough to run the 39.3 miles (marathon and a half).  Hugh wanted to run as a relay, but I didn't want to commit until I knew I was okay to run.  My run on Thursday went okay so we planned to run as a team, but did not get signed up before online registration closed.  I hoped Darrin would let us register race morning.  The race started in Jefferson City at the State Capitol building.  We met at the Capitol Plaza Hotel and then walked over to the start shortly before 7 am. There were individuals running the entire distance as well as relay teams that were composed 2 members or more.  The course went from the Capitol to the Katy Trail and then turned onto the MKT trail to Columbia where it finished in front of the Boone County Courthouse Columns.

Melanie sang the national anthem and then the runners were off.  The temperature at the start was probably low 40s so a bit cool, but supposed to warm up to the 60s by the time I would start running.  Hugh planned to run to Easley which was the first 5 legs of the relay 22.5 miles and I would run the last 4 legs 16.8 miles.  We were allowed to split up any way that we desired.  Dan and Jenny were a 2 person team and had a bike and ran every 5 miles while the other biked.  I really didn't have a plan until I met Hugh at Easley so to kill some time I went to Hartsburg where one of the aid stations was set up at 13.6 miles.  I watched some relay teams come through and waited for Hugh.  I rode my bike out a bit about when I thought he would arrive.  He tried to talk me into taking over for awhile at Hartsburg, but I told him he only had 9 miles to go and to slow down if he couldn't keep up his pace.

I headed towards Columbia and decided to go to the store to get some Powerade and then headed to Easley to meet Hugh.  I expected he would arrive around 10:21 so got there a few minutes early and he was there at 10:22 so took him 3 hrs 22 min 16 seconds (9:00 pace) for his 22.5 mile portion.  I took off and planned to just see what kind of pace I could hold.  I had not run a fast pace in awhile and coming off the 100 miler was not sure what I could do.  My first mile was 6:35 pace and I shortly passed Dan and Jenny.  The trail is entirely flat so pretty easy to hold a steady pace, but I wasn't sure how long I would be able to keep up this pace.

I didn't see many people the rest of the way, but did pass a couple girls running the relay and the first place male solo runner.  I skipped the first aid station I passed since wasn't thirsty yet, but by the time I hit the second one I think I was a bit behind on hydration.  I had a gel just before I got there and then a small cup of water to wash down.  The next aid station did not come until Scott Blvd. (11.5 miles for me) and by the time I got there I very thirsty.  I had manged to keep the pace in the 6:30s to 6:40s up to this point.  I drank an entire bottle of water and then felt a little sick and needed to use the restroom.  My next mile was 8:49 with the short break.  I almost got back on pace with the next mile at 6:51, but slowed down after.  Katy cheered me on at Forum Blvd.

I was very much looking forward to being done and glad I was not running the entire distance.  Mile 15 - 7:16, Mile 16 - 7:33, and the last 0.8 - 7:30 pace.  I finished my 16.8 miles in 1:57:45, 7:00 pace.  Our overall time for 39.3 miles was 5:20:01 so our combined pace was 8:09/mi.  We ended up winning the first place Masters relay team since the other teams that beat us all had at least 1 person under age 40.

This was a fun and well organized event and looking forward to being a part of it next year when it will reverse the course and run from Courthouse to Capitol.  The results are posted here.

Hugh coming into Hartsburg

After finish picture in front of Boone County Courthouse
First place Masters Team finishing award with spike and tie from the railroad.  Our course was run on an old railroad that has been converted to trail.





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