Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Huff 50k

Well, this was it.  My last race of 2012.  The Huff 50k.  Indiana's hardest trail run and I was using it to cap off a great year of running for me.  I would have never thought at the beginning of 2012 I would be doing this race.  Heck, I didn't even know it existed.  I was still new to the running world only starting running May 2011 just to loose some weight.  It all clicked when I completed my first Marathon in St. Louis in April.  From there I was on a mission to do more.  I wanted more and needed more.  It was race day.  I had heard horror stories about last year's Huff.  Having to wade through ice cold water.  Click here and you'll see what I'm talking about.  This years course was said to be in a lot better shape than last year.

Melissa had decided to go with me and do the 10.5 mile loop option while I would be doing the 50k (31 miles).  I had done a couple Ultra's earlier in the year including a 55.5 miler but nothing on trails this difficult.  As you know I would prefer a road over a trail any day but over the last few months I have been slowly being converted to the trails.  I really enjoy the peace the trail brings.  No worries, just you and nature.

The course had a fresh blanket of snow on it from that morning and it was around 20 degrees at the start of the race.  It never made it out of the 20's for the entire race.  I would be doing 2-15.5 mile loops.  Starting out the first few miles was really congested with all the runners trying to establish their position but once it thinned out a bit it made for some great trail running.  The fresh snow made for some great footing.  The trails were very hilly and narrow in some parts which made for some great technical trail running. 

1st Loop:  1st mile was a 11:44 pace as I tried to make my way through the pack.  Mile 2 10:11, Mile 3 10:00, Mile 4 9:51 (I was starting to settle into a comfortable pace at this point), Mile 5 9:45, Mile 6 9:50, Mile 7 9:20, Mile 8 8:54(I got a little stretch of road here), Mile 9 10:09, Mile 10 9:50, Mile 11 9:56, Mile 12 10:13, Mile 13 12:05(stopped and ate some cookies), Mile 14 10:17, Mile 15, 10:48.  I finished the first loop in 2:33 for a 9:49 per mile pace. 

2nd Loop:  Mile 16 10:38, Mile 17 10:13, Mile 18 10:43, Mile 19 11:01, Mile 20 10:38, Mile 21 11:20, Mile 22 11:48, Mile 23 11:38, Mile 24, 12:40, Mile 25, 12:15, Mile 26 11:44(Full Marathon time of 4:42), Mile 27 13:36, Mile 28 14:43(More cookies and M&M's too), Mile 29 13:32, Mile 30 12:53, Mile 31 9:48.  Finished the 2nd loop in 2:59.  The second loop was a lot slower because with all the running on it the snow had been compacted and turned into a sheet of ice.  Should have put my ice skates on for the second loop.  It made for some very hard, technical trail running.  That put me with a finishing time of 5:33:09.  Goal going into this race was to finish in under 6 hours.  I finished 80th overall and 14th in my age group.  Very proud of my showing in this race and this race will definitely be on my list of races every year. 

Melissa finished her 10.5 mile loop in 2:06 which was good for 13th in her age group.

The race had great aid stations, was well orginized and lots of yummy soup at the end.  It is definitely a race worth looking into.  If you are looking for a fun, technical, challenging trail run this is the one for you.  This also gave me a preview of what I would be running on when I run my first 100 mile Ultra at the Indiana Trail 100 on April 20th.  It is in the same park with a slightly different course.  Can't wait till April!!