Earlier this year I signed up to run my first 100k later this year and I was/am super excited, but a lot nervous since I had only done a few 50k races. A 50k jump is a lot of miles to jump. I wanted and needed to do a 50 miler but we didn’t have a lot of options with Sean’s full 100/200 schedule this summer.
Last summer we did the Summer Solstice Run around Chrissy Field and I did the 6 hour race. It was fun, but a 1 mile loop can get really monotonous really quick. That was an actual loop course which made it really easy, however the weather was unpredictable as you made your way around the loop. Super windy & cold on one side and hot on the other.
So when we looked at the available races and saw Nanny Goat, my first thought was, another loop course? But then as I looked at our other options and more importantly time limits on those races, Nanny Goat looked better and better.
So we both signed up for the 24 hour race. It was the same price for both so I figured the 24 hour race would give me a better option to get my 50 miles in.
I was in Vegas for work most of the week before the race so I wasn’t able to do my normal pre-race hydration routine. I did get a few juices, Chia Kombucha and bottles of water down so I felt relatively hydrated.
We drove up to Riverside on Friday evening, fortunately and surprisingly the traffic was really light. Since it was the holiday weekend, I’m guessing a lot of people took the day off because the only minor traffic we hit was near Temecula which is really odd for a Friday heading up towards LA.
We checked into our hotel and got some dinner from a cute little pizza place in downtown. Yum, yum!
Once we got back, we got out all of our gear, set all our devices up to charge before getting some sleep. I did my Flat Jenny at home so I could make sure I had everything so I was all set gear wise.
A few nice things about this race.
#1 – It didn’t start until 8am so we didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to be there. We slept in until probably 6:15/6:30a.
#2 – We were only 15 minutes away from the race and while it was big compared to the Summer Solstice Race, there was no traffic so we didn’t have to leave early to avoid that. We got there probably around 7:20am and found a spot in the main lot.
#3 – Since it’s such a long race, we set up our gear near the main aid station with a chair, a full cooler and bags full of extra clothes, battery packs, etc.
They require a signed USATF release before you get your bib so we filled those out and then the lovely Jean Ho, who would cheer us on each lap, gave us our bibs. 93 for me and 94 for Sean.
We also got lots of race swag, a logo’d beer stein, a koozie, a goat key chain and a cotton shirt. I got a tank in size small (it fits perfectly) and Sean got a T-Shirt.
Once we checked in, we hit up the port-a-potties and then next thing you knew they were yelling at us to go into The Goat Pen for the start of the race. I didn’t even have time to fill my bottle or grab my headphones but I knew I’d have time later to get everything in order.
The forecast was for sun and about 82 degrees, but it was cloudy and much cooler when we started and stayed that way until about 2.5 hours into the race and then it was like someone hit a switch and the sun was out.
I took it very easy going 5.5 miles for each of the first 2 hours and then when the sun came out I started walking certain parts of the course. This was an interesting loop in that it wasn’t a real loop. You would start out down a nice super flat & well maintained shaded trail section, then turn right to a road/sandy trail until you got to the end where you would make a sharp left turn around a cone with a smiling skull on top. After making the turn you would go back down the road or sandy side until you crossed the part where the loop began, then there was a dirt trail on the left side. Another left turn would put you through the orange groves and then on to the grass, which is where you really had to watch because of the pitted gopher holes that were hard to see. Another left turn left you in shade (pretty much the whole race) and on a section of grass & roots. Once you got past this section you would turn left again and then onto a road/gravel path past some horses in stalls and then into the barn. And there you have it, the loop in a nutshell.
I put on my headphones, my Orange Mud Hydra Quiver VP1 and settled in to listen to a book on tape. For the majority of the race I listened using my Aftershokz.
I found I was able to settle into a nice rhythm and just kept it moving. After the first 5 miles or so I stopped and filled my bottle and put on my Orange Mud VP1. I would drink a lot in the first 10 – 15 miles. I remember telling my fellow Altra Ambassador Sharon that I was so thirsty. During this time, the first 2.5 hours it was quite cloudy and overcast.
Around 10:30ish the sun came out and boy did it get hot! I started eating a lot during this time, I would stop at the aid station tables and get watermelon & orange slices. I kept refilling my bottle with more water. Eventually they would start handing out Popsicles. I think I had about 4 of them over the course of the day.
I had a little routine down, run in certain spots, walk in others and it was working. Every few miles I would walk a loop or two and then start running again. Eventually my feet really started to hurt. I felt like I was getting blisters under on the ball of my feet or like there was a lot of dirt/rocks under that part of my foot.
I was able to use my Carbo Pro/Ultima combo for the majority of the race with a few cups of water. Eventually though, in the last 10 miles, I had a hard time drinking anymore so I know I wasn’t getting nearly enough calories. The nutrition aspect of ultras is still a work in progress for me.
Also during those last 10 miles I stopped a few times to empty my shoes and generally slowed down. But kept the goal of 50 miles and a 12 hour finish in view. The last 2-3 miles I was starting to get cold, I think it was the lack of calories starting to affect me.
And in the end, I finished my race with 50 miles in 12 hours and 6 minutes.
After which I stopped, changed my clothes & shoes, ate a little bit and kept adding on more and more layers. I seriously could not get warm.
Eventually I was at our set-up at the same time Sean came through to refill his bottles. He congratulated me and took my photo before heading back out to finish his race.
Sean would eventually win the 100 mile race finishing in 18:54, a 3h 20min PR. I was so proud of him! He finished 100 miles 1h 40min faster than the 2nd place person!
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this race. It was a lot of fun and I would definitely do it again and go for 100 miles.
If you’ve never done an ultra, this is a great way to do it because you are never more than a mile from an aid station and you will always have people to talk to.