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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been intrigued by set-time events for the last year. I’ve had a hard time wrapping my mind around running a 50 mile ultra, but running for 12 hours somehow seems more doable. I have tentatively added the Ultracentric 12 hour (Dallas in November) to my 2008 race calendar, but thought it would be wise to try a 6 hour first and decided if I even like the set-time format. With that thought in mind, I signed up for the Des Moines 6 Hour Trail Ultra on March 1st.<br>
My drive north to the race start was miserable. Heavy rain and wind made visibility next to zero. Early in the morning I had packed my car with every article of clothing imaginable. I had a raincoat, thermal coat, vest, tights, long-sleeve shirts (both heavy and light weight), shorts, three pairs of gloves, two hats, three pairs of socks, two pairs of trail shoes and one pair of road shoes. I also had my Nathan hydration pack and a hand held water bottle. I packed a drop box full of Sports beans, pretzels, Ensure, Gatorade, BodyGlide and BioFreeze. I was prepared! I learned last year that trail ultras can vary greatly and not to assume any level of difficulty or support. I reached the race start and parked in a soggy, muddy meadow just as the clouds parted, revealing a glorious late winter sunrise. Given the present conditions, I decided my bright orange Brooks running skirt, black Brooks long sleeve Runderwear shirt, Black Maniac singlet, gray Brooks Cascadias, and orange/pink paisley Dirty Girl gaiters would be just right (topped off with gold hoops and champagne diamond studs, of course). If the weather changed, I’d pass by my car every 4 miles and I could change.<br><br>
Right before the race start, the race director explained the race. Everyone would run a 4 mile loop, when the clock ticked down to one hour remaining runners would be allowed to continue on a 1.1 mile short loop for the remainder of the race. Only completed loops would count and you could drop at any time. Loops completed at the time you stopped would be your official result. After one lop was completed (either long or short) there would be no DNF’s, just shorter distances in the results. I already decided I liked that format. There was no pressure to complete any set distance.<br><br>
I ran the first loop slowly. I didn’t know what to expect for terrain and didn’t want to waste energy I may need later in the day. The first 2 miles wound up and down through a wooded ravine. The footing varied greatly: sand, mud, nicely packed dirt, rocks, roots and logs. There were a few steep inclines and gentle down hill sections. The next 2 miles twisted and turned through an old housing development. All the houses were gone, but ghostly stairways would peek out of overgrown shrubbery. Remnants of foundations would jump up out of the mud and grab unsuspecting runners. Roads from nowhere would appear from underneath blackberry brambles then conclude in a jumble of broken concrete. These obstacles proved to be much more treacherous than the roots and rocks of most trail races. At several points there were drop-offs that had to be navigated. I took special note of which drop-offs had dangerous footing at the bottom, and which ones provided safe landings. I completed the first 4 mile loop in 45 minutes, grabbed a granola bar and started out on lap two. I felt a little more confident, ran the flats faster, walked the up hills with more purpose and started to come up with pet names for the obstacles. I finished seven 4-mile loops before I was diverted onto the short loop. I managed to complete 2 short loops before crossing the finish line in 5:58. I racked up a total of 30.2 miles. I’m not sure how I placed, but only 6 people ran the entire 6 hours. Most dropped out after completing the marathon distance.<br><br>
I really enjoyed this type of race and am looking forward to trying a 12 hour later this year, although I don’t know if I can wait until November.<br><br>
Update: results are out and I finished 2nd woman, 5th overall. 75 people entered the race, 17 people attempted to run the whole 6 hours.<br><br>
-Dove
 

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Congrats Dove on your first 6 hour endurance run. Sounds like you had fun. Of course thats the main idea of running. I know you will do well at the 12 hour race too. See you at Eugene this year?
 

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Congrats. Loop/time ultras have a feel all its own. I like the aspect of being able to see other runners I would not likely see in a 'normal' race.<br><br>
Best wishes for your upcoming training.<br><br>
I am jealous of your region's vast number of ultras.
 

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This does sound very cool. When I saw the title, I thought you were going to Iowa! I do like the idea of running by time (but not running a small loop over and over again). I think I could even run 6 hours in Dallas, except there's a road race about that same time there, White Rock, which I'm thinking of running. I think I want to try on a pair of those Brooks Cascadias cause I'm gonna need some new trail shoes. Anyway, great job and I'm glad you wrote up this report.
 

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Nice run Dove,<br>
Good description of a somewhat unusual corse.<br>
Thanks for taking us along for the ride.<br>
jjj
 

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Yeah Dove! (love your new avatar!)What a cool race! Like Opie, I'm not sure what I'd think of the 4 mile loop, but it sounds like a great race concept to see how much you can get done in a certain amount of time, vs how fast you can cover a certain distance. Looking forward to how you do in the 12 hour race... that's a long time to be out there!
 

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That sounds like a lot of fun. congratulation on finishing the enitre 6 hours.
 

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Dove - great report. I wish you the best going after the 12hr run. You'll be fine.<br>
I 2nd the "you are blessed" to have access to so many trails/races in your neck of the woods.<br>
-cr
 

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Great report!! And the fashion report, you ROCK <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Dovalina -<br>
Nice goin’ on a challenging, tricky course just the way we like it, especially on a conveniently-distanced four mile loop to get used to it.<br><br>
I’ve never done any of the occasional 6/12/24 hour runs but the no-DNF aspect is making ‘em a for-sure for me this year too.<br><br>
With regard to other area 12-hour options, there’s a 12 hour run around the Redmond watershed on 5/17 that a lot of Maniacs combine for a double with the 5/18 Capital City Marathon.<br><br>
In fact, based on your rr, I’ve e-mailed the Dizzy Daze RD whether or not the 12 hour cutoff for the 100K might be an option for 50K’ers who might think they might be able to go a little further but not all the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Tet,<br><br>
That would be wonderful if a 12 hour option was offered at Dizzy Daze (though I'm not sure how wise it would be for me just 3 weeks before Boston).<br><br>
Looking forward to seeing you at Green Lake!<br><br>
-Dove
 

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Nice race Dove. Congrats on your finish place. Very impressive.
 

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Dove, I like your new avatar too! This sounds like an interesting event with lots of positives but I have to wonder if you got bored at all by the seeing the same 4 miles.<br><br>
Congrats on doing so well! Think you'll ever get to Montana for a race?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Choovie,<br><br>
Because the course had so much variety and tons of twists and turns, I didn't get bored at all. It was amazing how much the forest changed throughout the day: new branches on the ground, mole hills that appeared between laps and listening to the way the sounds of the forest evolved as the day progressed. It was all very serene..... then a jet would come thundering overhead (did I mention the race was held at the end of the SeaTac runways?)<br><br>
I may very well get out to Montana some time in the next year or two. I would love to meet you.<br><br>
-Dove
 

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Nice race Dove! Enjoyed your report. I am considering a 6hr event this year and your report/experience bumped the odds up quite a bit. Agree w/ Choovie & others on the new avatar - very nice! (Need to figure out one for me I guess.) Wishing you continued success on your upcoming races.<br><br>
Skip
 

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Thank you Dove for a very interesting RR. You have alot of mental toughness as well as physical strength to do so well on this race. You are inspiring!
 

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Sure, you could <i>make</i> a loop ultra boring if you put your mind to it, but you don't. Think positive. That's one reason you're such a fantastic runner, Dove.<br><br>
Twelve hours, hmm? You've had half a taste. Hope the full meal is just as delicious.<br><br>
Now go rock Boston.<br><br><i>"Runderwear," eh? Cute name. Never heard of it.</i>
 

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Good job!!!!! Thanks for sharing your race report.<br>
I have always wanted to do a timed run, i just have to find one convenient with my schedule.
 
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