Tuesday, August 3, 2010

H.U.R.L. 50K - Race RUNdown (Montana)

Inspiration Points...
1. HURL! The name of the race has the word HURL in it... Mostly an acronym for the running groups name, but I'm also hoping indicative of the difficulty! I need a good solid challenging race-- it makes the normal ones so much easier.
2. New Distance! I've done well over 50K and I've done plenty of marathons, but I've never raced an official 50K distance-- that I can remember? Hmmm. BTW that's just a spit over 31 miles.
3. I <3 Trails!... Another trail race, and this one is part of the trail ultra series, so I'm hoping to get points!
4. O-H! Go ahead and say it... I-O! I'm the first runner from OH to participate in the race!

MT Race RUNdown...
H.U.R.L Ultra Marathons ~ Sunday August 7, 2010. (#37) 7:00am Start for the 50K, 5am start for the 50 Miler! NEW for this year@!!! There is a 23K (~14.25 miles?) and is low key on advertising. If you want to join, but don't want to go the full distance, check out the website and sign up! 
Helena, MT ~ Crystal Creek Campgrounds
Registration Fees: $60 early ($80 late) Availability in the 50K, 50M and 23K!!! Sign up now!
Year Running: These races have been going on since 1989, but have changed dramatically over time due to forest fires, and race re-organization. The 50K wasn't added until 1997. Recorded results (online) available back to 2006)
Races Available: 50K, 50 Miler, 23K
2010 Expected Field: 52 Runners signed up for the 50K by July 29, 2010.
2009 Field:  51 Starters, 46 finishers
... Females: 18  ... Age Group: 5 (0-39)
2009 Avg. Finish Time: N/A
Certified Course/BQ Certified?: Unknown.
Cutoff Time and Early Start Option: Cutoff time 9pm for all races. No early start.
Weather Update: They're been updating the weather forecast and they're expecting rain and thunderstorms throughout the week-- never good for trails. Current weather forecast calls for rain on Friday, making for a slippery trail! Saturday should start in the mid-50's and get up to 83. That probably sounds hot to the Montana runners, but after the 50-miler in the 90's I'll be thrilled at this!!!

MarathonGuide Rating: N/A-- not a marathon distance
This is looking to be a fairly challenging course with significant elevation gain and loss. The highest point of the course is 7,920 ft. Web description: "The current 50 K course consists of approximately 25 miles of single track trail and 2 miles of unimproved jeep road and 4 miles of dirt Forest Service roads."

Race 411:
Race Director is #1 Reading up on the race, this director is supposed to be great! From my experience he's pretty fantastic-- securing my marathon bib #37 (for my 37th state) and sending out email updates to all the participants starting this week. He also made sure to email me and let me know he received my registration, and was readily available for any questions I had before I signed up.
Hammer Products! I'm not a huge fan of the hammer gels, but I love HEED (their electrolyte drink)-- both of which will be on the course.
~Aid Stations- The air stations (as with most ultras) will be stocked with goodies-- chips, cookies, crackers, PB&J, soda... yummm-y!
~Dinner! Your entry fee includes, dinner at the post-race celebration at 7pm.

Race Plan:
There are a few plans I have rolling around in my head, but there are some definite goals I have...
1) Do NOT get lost!!! All of the trail races I've run, I've gotten lost and off track for at least a half mile, adding mileage onto my race. Not cool-- esp out here where it's a lot harder for them to find runners in such gigantic woods. Oh and there are bears... nuff said. 
2) Take it Easy- I have a road race in Alaska next week where I would like to do well. Hopefully I don't do what I do in all trail races and go out like I'm about to break the womens AND the mens records. 
3) Course Records? The open course record for women is 5:41:13... that doesn't seem so hard, or does it?
4) Do NOT get lost!!! Have I mentioned this already? Ok good.. just making it clear!!!

Throw Back! Bring it back now ya'll...
Reverse the Countdown!
This is my 37th marathon-state, meaning I have 14 to go including this race. What was going on around state #14!?!? I was running The Erie Marathon at Presque Isle  on September 13, 2009! Yep-- I'll have run over 23 marathon states (plus and extra OH) in 11 months. I traveled with the local galloway runners (pictured right).

This was the race I threw a little (ok major) tantrum in the middle of the race because I knew I wasn't going to hit a BQ time and I thought it would never happen. Poor Dave C. pulled me through the race... and the tantrum. We took the second half very easy and ended up with a time over 4 hours! :( No problem-- I'll be going back to PA for redemption this fall in the Philadelphia Marathon! Speaking of redemption... I DID finally make (and by make, I mean smash) my BQ time and have done so 4 times this year! :)

This time in 2009...
Last year was when I really started ramping up my marathon schedule and overall mileage. What was happening around this time in 2009? I was in between state #11 (San Francisco Marathon) where I paced, and State #12 (Park City Marathon). Doesn't that seem so long ago???

Meet up Info: I'll be meeting up with 2 maniacs (Jeff and Joni) who are both from Billings, MT. If you're in the area of Helena, let me know and come join us for one of the races!

Happy Racing!


  1. awesome on being the first ever OH runner! I've started using Heed and it seems to be doing the trick for me as far my cramping issues and I love the totally subtle taste as well. Guess its been tried and true for you!
    Good Luck this weekend!!

  2. Girl you are such an inspiration! Good luck out there, I'll be routing for you!!!!

    P.S. Don't forget your compass!

  3. Sounds like a challenge - good luck!

  4. WOW. I can't wait to hear about this.

    You rock!

  5. I had that race on my radar...but I just couldn't swing it this year. Good luck!

  6. Good luck! (and don't get lost) :)

  7. Wow! Sounds great! Trail running rocks! :)