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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fourth Annual RI 6 Hour Ultramarathon

On Sunday, November 11, 2012, I ran in the fourth annual RI 6 Hour Ultramarathon. This is quickly becoming a favorite race of mine - like RTB.

My goal - as in past years, was to do at least as well as I did the previous year. Given a good training build up during the past few months and last year's performance, I didn't think it would be too hard.

I started quite easy on a mild November day but the heat started to become an issue by 11 AM. Sixty degrees may not sound too hot to run in, but when you're getting to marathon distance with the intent of going much farther, it does matter. I started to get a little cramping due to dehydration - I was sweating more than I anticipated and drinking too little to compensate. I grabbed my running bottle for a lap and that eased the cramps.

Food intake was good this time. No stomach issues or lack of appetite. I stayed content throughout the race.

As I crossed the start/finish line to end my 13th lap and start my 14th - which was potentially my last and all I needed to equal last year's distance - I saw my wife and mother pull in to the parking lot beeping and waving at me. I yelled a quick "hello" and "1 more lap" and then started on my 14th lap.

On my 14th lap - the one to complete 37.8 miles and equal last year's distance - I kept saying this was it. My wife and mother were waiting to see me finish - a nice ending to the day. Looking at my watch, I could maybe have enough time to make it past the start/finish line to the first split timer at the 50k mark - an additional 1.35 miles. Although I was well past 50k at this point, the timing mat is still there and crossed on each lap and we were told by the race director at the start that partial laps to either the 50k or marathon split timing mats would count. But I kept talking myself out of it saying I would finish 14 laps and be done.

I crossed the start/finish line to end my 14th lap just shy of 5 hours, 42 minutes. I walked to the aid station and the volunteers asked if I was going to do a partial lap to the 50k split mat. That did it. I had 18 minutes. Even with my slow pace, I could do it. Jen was walking to me to congratulate me and instead, I quickly told her, "get in the car and meet me at the entrance of the park." Then I turned and started running.

I think part of me didn't want to run the extra 1.35 miles - literally half the course - and end up having to walk back to the start/finish line. I liked the idea of finishing at the start/finish line and being done. But with an unexpected taxi service in the form of my wife and mom, it seemed perfect.

There is a slight crest at the 50k timing mat and I crossed it at 5:54:08 completing 39.15 miles. My wife had parked behind another truck, so I didn't see her car right away, but then I saw her, waved and walked (painfully) towards my ride. Some congratulations from them and a quick explanation and thank you from me and we were on our way back to the start/finish for the post race activities.

The official results place me 5/43 with an official total mileage of 39.173 miles in 5:55:55.5 (although that time is wrong).

The table below documents my miles and times (by my watch).

RI 6 Hour Ultramarathon: November 11, 2012
Lap SplitCumm.
Lap PaceAvg. Pace

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