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139 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my 3rd HAT run and I really feel like I'm learning to<br>
run the thing. As I've said all along, this 50k race is harder than<br>
the JFK 50 miler (although does not take as long) because of<br>
all of the climbing and sometimes mud. This year they changed<br>
the course, apparently adding 1.5 miles of distance and a lot<br>
more elevation gain. Last year this race was a mudfest after a lot<br>
of recent rain, but this year it's been a bit dry, so the ground was<br>
in quite good shape. I didn't really have any goals for this race<br>
as I didn't know much what the new course would bring (although<br>
I knew it would be harder to some degree) and I had been very<br>
much lacking in the trail training department (although, I feel<br>
I'm in tip-top shape for road marathons at the moment). I knew<br>
I would be feeling the hills. It was clear and sunny out, somewhere<br>
in the 30s, but there was a brisk, ice-cold wind that I knew I would<br>
feel throughout the race. Still, I went with a short sleeve shirt<br>
(my U Texas bike shirt - consistent with the NCAA tournament<br>
going on now, celebrating Texas's win last night in the sweet<br>
sixteen), shorts, and gloves. I'm sure many were disappointed that Mr. Twinkie<br>
didn't show up. Given the cool weather and plentiful aid stations,<br>
every 5 miles or less, I didn't bother carrying a bottle, or anything<br>
for that matter. My approach has become pretty standard, using<br>
a mix of heart rate, pace, and general feel to guide myself, running<br>
fast on the downs to keep HR up, puttering up the ups to keep<br>
HR under control, and keep a smooth pace on the flats (which there<br>
are very little of on this course). I would drink Coke when available,<br>
gatorade when there was no Coke, and eat a mix of potato chips,<br>
fritos, other snack mixes, and a piping hot batch of french fries,<br>
which they had at the aid station at mile 25 or so. For a while I really<br>
didn't notice the change in difficulty of the course, but after mile 20,<br>
it became apparent because the extra hills just ate away at me.<br>
Fortunately, they seemed to eat away at others moreso, so I spent<br>
most of the last 10 miles passing people. One thing I did notice about<br>
the new course was that the stream crossings were a bit more challenging,<br>
without a nice clear path across and they were slightly deeper and wider,<br>
with many slippery rocks to contend with, followed by bushwacking at<br>
the end to get back onto the trail. The water was cold! Most of the<br>
race was fairly noneventful and I was able to keep a mostly even<br>
pace throughout without ever feeling the slightest burnout. In the<br>
last 13.7 mile loop, I did have many falls, however, one pretty hard.<br>
Each time I got back up, I lost a bit more pace - when you're tired<br>
and you're trying to keep a rhythm going, it will go out of whack pretty<br>
easily. GPS crapped out at mile 20 (I'm quite sure now that my receiver<br>
itself has issues, but it's out of warranty, so I'll live with it), so I had to<br>
go on without much idea of how much distance was left. I had my<br>
last year's time in mind (4:49) knowing that I was pushing a bit harder<br>
this year, holding pace better, and probably in slightly better shape,<br>
so I used that as a guide as to when I might be finished. What I wasn't<br>
aware of was that the course was longer and that the added elevation<br>
gain was withering some away as well. With about 2 miles to go, I<br>
passed the second woman who was running her first ultra, then she<br>
passed me, and I passed her one more time. In the last half mile,<br>
I passed the first woman, finishing about 15 seconds ahead of her.<br>
I came across in 4:55-something, over 5 minutes slower than last year,<br>
perhaps a bit disappointed. However, I came to find out pretty much<br>
all the times were slower than last year, sometimes by 20 minutes or<br>
more, so it sounded less disappointing! Also I came in 27th out of<br>
400+ starters, compared to last year's 31st, so I called the day a<br>

· Registered
126 Posts
Great run and report! This year was my 2nd Hat Run, and I agree, the course was tougher this year, but I managed to beat my last years time by 6 minutes, finishing in 5:06. I wish now that I'd worn a watch! I'd have loved to go under 5:00. Oh well, next year I'll do it. Anyhow, congrat's on a great race! Next up for me, Bull Run.--------JHolt <img alt="icon_salut.gif" src="">

· Registered
139 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would say you would have beaten last year's time on last year's course by quite<br>
a bit more! Clearly, you're in much better shape now! See you at Bull Run Run!<br>
(Still trying to decide if I will be Mr. Twinkie or go with the Texas Longhorns shtick<br>
at BRR.)

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24 Posts
Wow - nice job Jesse. This race is tougher than I remembered, especially with the course change (that second road part was NOT expected) and I was glad to be done with it. It was heartening to hear at the finish that a lot of folks thought it was harder this year. Man, after today I'm really sweating BRR although I think this course is tougher. Good luck at BRR.

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154 Posts
Congrats on a great race. I'll be tackling my first 50k in May, Forest Park in Portland, OR, through Pacific Coast Trail Runs. I already get the nervous sweats just thinking about it. <img alt="uhoh2.gif" src="">

· Premium Member
15,296 Posts
Jesse! Good job on the HAT run, one of these years it will fit better in my race schedule! You did great given the harder course and extra distance.(didnt your report say extra 1.5 miles?) Good job and good luck at BRR.

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405 Posts
Jesse --great report and awesome job to finish 27th overall!! Impressive that you were able to run so well after just practicing on roads! But it's muscle memory as you had done the race 2x. Other runners were probably wondering where the twinkie guy was! The course sounded pretty tough, especially with the extra 1.2 mile --isn't it better sometimes to not know how much longer you have? congrats on a great race!

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139 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah, it's interesting about that 10 kft. I looked my friend's downloaded and<br>
corrected (mapped to a precise elevation map) GPS data and it was actually 5000 ft<br>
of elevation *gain*. I think what they should have said was 10000 ft of elevation<br>
*change* (i.e., including the downs). Don't get me wrong - that's still a lot for a 50k,<br>
but I knew I wasn't feeling it like at Mountain Masochist or Promise Land, both of which<br>
had closer to 10000 ft of gain.

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331 Posts
A cupala things.<br><br>
1. I raised the elevation numbers about 3-4 weeks ago. Tim, the RD said he had measured the loops twice and it was 10,000 of climb and not 5 and 5. That said and no instrument other than almost 60 ultra races, I can't believe it's 10k of up. Remember old people lose all sense of feelings after a certain age.<br><br>
2. I've read that the race is 1.5 miles longer. My question, did they find the course still short even after they added the extra one mile a few years or was the race alleged to be 32.5 miles. In either case is this rumor or factual. It maybe be in big block letters on the web page and I failed to read it.<br><br>
3. From looking at the times and talking to some other veteran runners the course seems about 15-20 minutes slower. My best guess is the slowness is in the trail elevation and not extra miles.<br><br>
All that said, all finishers can say we ran the same miles and elevation. As pointed out by others the race was worth every cent. Sure the goodie bags was nice but to me the organization is what really counts. The two aid stations were manned to the hilt with a good selection, and lots of people to wait on you hand and foot. I think they would have set up a linen table and offered a sit down meal if you asked.<br><br>
My time for this year was slower, albeit more climb, longer miles or, ahem, me just being slower. In either case I had a fantastic race(again) and the chance to spend a few extra minutes on the course. I may owe them some extra money. <img alt="tongue2.gif" src=""><br><br>
I did pick up 41 places in the last loop and snagged a 2nd in the post menopausal. It doesn't always go to the fastest but to better pacing. It's all about pacing and not the size of the cajones. <img alt="glasses9.gif" src="">

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331 Posts
I like this team work, you lie and I swear to it. Maybe we should run for president? <img alt="icon_salut.gif" src=""><br><br>
Let's see McCain is a socialist, Obama is really orthodox and Jewish and Hillary does 1-8 as a charter member of the Emperor's VIP club. <img alt="uhoh2.gif" src=""> We can split president duties, one gets mon/wed/fri and the other tues/fri/sat. Sunday of course is race day.

· Registered
77 Posts
A couple quick things (still gotta get out and run tonight):<br>
Jesse, great run and good seeing you at HAT. How do you figure the stream crossings were different - I'm pretty sure they were at the same exact places as last year? Maybe it was that some fallen logs redirected our progress across the streams a bit.<br><br>
Doug, I've taken a look at the GPS data from a couple sources and it looks like the difference in elevation gain can only explain a small portion of the time difference. In all, the new course maybe adds a couple 100' in climb. The big difference is in the miles run.<br><br>
If anyone's interested, I've posted <a href="" target="_blank">my HAT race report</a>.<br><br>
Happy trails,<br>

· Registered
139 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Good Q about the streams. Not sure. For some reason it just seems as though<br>
there wasn't as clear a path across this time. Not that I was worried about<br>
getting wet, but my concern is always to see a place to go through where I'm<br>
not likely to slip on the wet rocks and this time it didn't seem so obvious.<br><br>
Did you see any downloads with GPS corrections and overlay on elevation map<br>
where the elevation gain was any greater than 5 kft?
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