Monday, October 8, 2012

Glacial 50 Mile Pre-Race thoughts

Glacial 50 mile is one of my favorite ultras.  If you need Hollywood or a circus, you better enter a different race. 

It has 7 aide stations 6.7-13.3-20-25-30-36.7-43.3 that are crewed with great volunteers - stocked with sports drink, gels and some minimal ultra food.

The trail is a 3 / 4   if you read ultra-running magazine, 3 = with moderate hills (2,500-7,500 elevation change ... closer to 7,500 than 2,500) - not huge but constantly rolling and 4= above average for technical (Rocks and Roots).  The technical nature of the course is slightly magnified because many of the leaves will be down already by Sunday. 

If you have run Ice Age 50k / 50 Mile in May - Most people agree you can add about 10% to your Ice Age time ~ if you are in the same shape and weather is similar.

It is 4% road, 96% trail.  The trail is 80% Wooded dirt trails and 20% grassy areas.  This time of year there are no stream or water crossings except over bridges.

If it is hot - Many people make the mistake of carrying only 1 handheld ... But this year it will be cool, so you could get away with it.  I am on the fence between wearing a camelback (No handhelds) or carrying one handheld.

After 1 week of recovery from BLS 24 hour race and 4 weeks of struggling with achilies tendon injury, I have lost some fitness and gained some weight (10+ pounds).  My goals for this race have changed.  Originally I wanted to win and run sub 7:30.  Now I want to:  1)  Not aggrivate my achillies tendon, 2) enjoy a day in the woods with only moderate suffering 3)  Beat a few of the people I like to beat ... There are 3 un-named people I would like to beat :)  4)  Hang out and enjoy some time post race with said 3 people and others.

The weather is looking great but precipitation is questionable - Great temps low 40s - upper 50s.  This technical course will get a bit tougher wet.

My hope is to stay smooth with moderate effort back to Butler Lake (36.7) feeling good (Without trashed quads) and hammer the last 13.3 miles.  I do not think my personal course best (7:50 in 2006) is in jeapordy ... But if the rain holds off, maybe under 8:15.

I only recognize 1/3 of the names on the start list - But if he shows up I would think Chris Rubesch from Duluth would be my favorite to win.  This big horse is hoping for a top 10, top 5 if things go well.

Good running to all!


  1. Well, we've run both races and for the most part together. You know it well, but hitting the dirt is almost a given on this course if you catch a rock/root. Wish I could be there. My guess is that you will bide your time and pick off the carnage that goes out to fast in the cool morning hours. Good luck and stay upright!

  2. Thanks

    I hope you have a great 24 hour at St Pats!

  3. Mike, been fending off toe/achillies issues. Not even sure if I'm going to start St. Pat's. I may start and see where the trail takes me.

  4. As a side not - 9/9 I hurt my achillies (Still hurts, but getting better) and I ran the 6 hour race 6/22 and since it was on nice soft trails it actually held up pretty good.

    You could always go and see what happens?

  5. I agree! More than likely I will start. It is only 15 minutes from the house, literally! I know this 3 mile loop by the back of my hand. Roots in all. Only one hill to speak of which I'll hike up it. The rest is flatter terrain. However, that doesn't make it any easier as the loops go by. Good luck at Glacial. Let the fast guys go out (wait a minute, you are one of them) and do their thing. Once you get to Butler Lake inbound you'll have an idea of who is slowing down at the front.