Sunday, October 18, 2015

Wild Duluth 50k Race Report

Wild Duluth 50k Race Report
So this is about 19 months late (May 2017)...can't say why I am doing it now or why I didn't write something sooner - just life and priorities.
I do have notes from the race - so that's something at least.
Race was on 17 Oct (2015) and finished in Duluth, MN at Bayfront Park. This was my first trip north of the Twin Cities and we made it a little bit of a family getaway (wandering downtown, finding a beach, etc). Arrived in time for packet pickup Friday evening and saw some friends leaving the restaurant as we got there. Another class parent (Tanya) was running the 50k - her first! Made our way to the hotel, got my things prepared, and went to sleep.
It was a cool 34° (woudl eventually get up to the upper 40's) as I walked to the finish area, where the 100k runners were starting at 6am and where we would take the bus from. Bus ride was unremarkable, and we had plenty of time in a field to wait for the official 50k start. Saw Tonya, took some photos, and lined up for the 8am start.
Tanya and me
I started out with Tanya at a very comfortable pace, and stayed right behind her until the first aid station. It's always takes me a while to feel decent, and this was no exception - I felt it was a bit too difficult, but it was a very runnable section and it was good to spend it chatting with her.
View right before powerline 'gorge'

Powerline conga line
At the first Aid Station (5.4mi, in 1:09), I grabbed a quick bite and left Tanya, heading out on the next 5.6mi section. (course descriptions are always hazy immediately after the race, and is practically non-existent that many months later!). I do know my pace was about the same and I still had some people around me. Aid station 2 (11 miles in 2:22; 1:12 for the 5.6mi section).

Good climbing, some very technical sections - at times, was very difficult to run, but some wonderful views. Did get to see my cheering section at the (almost) halfway point, AS3 at 15.3miles (3:27).
Always puts a smile on my face to see my family

Stuff face  - then keep moving!

So off again on a short 2 mile section to Spirit Mountain and I knew I wouldn't see them again until the finish. Still wouldn't say I was running well, but wasn't feeling bad either. Just kept a 15:15 min/mi pace or so.
Next section (17.3-22.5) was the slowest section for me (4.9 mi in 1:17) and put me at AS5 in 5:15.
Picked up my pace a bit after that...saw Tanya's husband Marcus as the next AS (Mile 27.9; section was 4.9 in 1:25 for a 15:00/mi pace; overall in 6:41).
I found some good running partners thru here for the last 5k and we stayed together for the most part as we came back down to town.
Made very good time and felt very good. Once we hit the concrete and pedestrian bridge, I slowed a bit, but could see the finish area.
My family was waiting, more smiles all around, and a very happy finisher!

I finished in 7:20:46 (very similar time-wise to my first 50k, Chattooga, in 2010). 49/151 overall, so around my typical 32% ranking.
Saw Tanya finish too:

Post race family photo:

Walked a good bit afterwards and the next day before taking a scenic drive home to St. Paul. 2 days later, my legs were still a little sore to the touch, but were much better the day after that and started running again after 3 days off.