Tuesday, July 27, 2010

El Scorcho 50K 2010

El Scorcho is a 50K race that is run at midnight in the middle of July in Ft. Worth. It is run in this park on this 5K loop. The course is flat and most of it is on this crushed rock trail. It is mostly dark but the footing is good and I decided to run it this year without a light. It is usually about 85 degrees at the start and it cools to around 80 by the end. This year it was maybe 1 or 2 degrees cooler than that. I ran it last year and after 7 loops and 21 miles I quit. I came in this year with a different mindset of finishing was my first goal even if I had to run 9 min miles. I end up with a few of those but I am very happy with the results. I have so many friends that run this race although most run the 25K. I even had some amazing friends that come out there to cheer us on and miss a whole night’s sleep. I didn’t taper much for this race as Chicago is still my goal race. Still had 78 miles for the week and I felt somewhat fresh for the race. The 25K starts 10 min after the 50K so at the start we know anyone passing us is a 50K runner.
10 Nick Polito M/41 10 8:38/M 4:28:05
5K 25:32 8:13/M 3.1 25:32
Started the first lap with Jayna, Shaheen and Chris Wong. The plan was to start out at 8:30 pace and hold it as long as possible. I was the constant nag the first 3 loops telling everyone to slow down and save for the later miles. We had 20 or so people take off past us right at the start. I knew we were all top 10 finishers and I told the group they would not hold that pace. The bigger problem was when 3 females past us in the first mile. The two women running with us had won the 25k (Shaheen) and 50K (Jayna) last year and they are use to chasing down any women that passes them. Two of the girls that past us I knew from last year and I knew that they would fade. One was an unknown.
10K 25:52 8:20/M 6.2 51:25
Still easy running and we were working to find a good moderate pace. We were already running into walkers on the second lap around. We had to get into a single file line to get past some of the large groups of people. For the most part people were good about getting to the right side of the trail. It was 10’ wide in most places and you could usually run off in the grass to pass if you wanted. After the second loop at 6.2 miles I took a GU from our pit crew. A special thanks to our wonderful pit crew. Namely Brian, Jayna’s husband that got my Gels and refilled my handheld with Gatorade.
15K 25:46 8:18/M 9.3 1:17:11
Still going strong. I always have been one to speed up when I go thru areas with lots of support but Chris and I was getting left in the dust every time we got to the start where all the people were staged. The two girls were almost sprinting thru this area.
20K 27:48 8:57/M 12.4 1:45:00
About halfway around this lap I let the group know that I need to drop back and run 8:30 or I would be dead at the end. After mile 12 my stomach really started to hurt and I had to make a bathroom stop. That’s why my pace on this loop looks so slow. After a 1½ min stop I felt fine again but from here on out I was going to be on my own.
25K 26:22 8:29/M 15.5 2:11:23
Back to another solid loop. Just had to keep telling myself not to worry about all the miles ahead and just keep as close to 8:30 pace as I could. I could see all my 25K friends that had finished as I came around. I took my second and last GU at the halfway point. At this point I stopped using Gatorade and just stuck to water from here on out. I was afraid that it was too much for my stomach.
30K 26:37 8:34/M 18.6 2:38:01
Dan a friend of mine had won the 25K and he ran this loop with me for a cool down. Unfortunately I was going too fast when he joined me as my friend Josh who finished 5th in the 25K join us but his legs had tightened up too much from the wait and he had to peel off after a ½ mile or so. For the record they are both faster runners than me. It was nice to have someone to talk to. It is really hard for me to run for 3 hours with no one to talk to.
35K 27:04 8:43/M 21.7 3:05:05
I am running by myself again but by this time no one is going to pass me and the crowds are starting to clear out as the fast 25K runners are all done. Pace is slipping a little but I am OK as I mentally know that I am trying to save something for the end. Turns out I could have pushed a little harder but in the end it didn’t matter. There is one part on the course where there is a turn around and I could see that I was about 5 to 6 minutes behind Chris and Jayna. I thought about kicking in a tempo pace to catch up to them but once I did the math doing 3 miles at 6:30 at this point would have taken a miracle. I got smart and just stayed within myself.
40K 27:37 8:53/M 24.8 3:32:42
This is where I stopped last year so this was a large mental barrier.
45K 27:56 8:59/M 27.9 4:00:39
This is the last time I was passed. The winner of the 50K looped me around mile 27. He said something nice to me and I tried to hang with him but he was still doing an 8:15 pace and I was around a 9 min pace. Here is where I was having trouble concentrating on pushing the pace. I had the physical energy but I was mentally drained from the entire time running.
50K 27:25 8:49/M 31.0 4:28:05
The last lap felt so good. I was not really struggling although the legs would only turn over so fast. After half way around I kept thinking I was probably out of the top 10 but if a few people had DNF I had a chance. I would find the next person that was running and run them down. It felt like a tempo run but it was more in the 8:40 range. Once I would catch them I would ask them if this was their last lap and they would say they had 1 or 2 more laps to go. I don’t think I passed any 50K runners on their last lap. Finally, my watch said 31 miles and I was still a ½ mile out and I slowly started to get faster. By the time I got to all my friends I was in a full sprint or at least it felt like a sprint. I was probably the only 50K runner with a kick. It was a blast and I crossed the finish line with in my “A” goal of 4:30. A race guy asked me if I finished the 50K and he told me I was top 10 and handed me 2 medals and a really cool backpack.


  1. Huge congratulations again, Nick. Love how you were smart and ran within yourself, can't see you pulling off such a great result without having done that. Here's to many more crazy great races to come, Ultra Man! :-)

  2. Awesome job Nick! You did great to be able to push it in like that at the end. Congrats!!

  3. Way to go NP! You are such a STRONG, DEDICATED and STRATEGIC runner. I am so grateful to have you as my training buddy. You have come so far and continue to amaze me with the minutes you shed off your time. I can definitely see that sub 3 for you in Chitown! -JMH

  4. Great job, Nick! And a wonderful write-up too. Congrats on your amazing finish.

  5. Congratulations!!! Awesome. My brother's girlfriend Ali also did the 50K.

  6. That's funny Nick, it happens to you so seldomly, you don't even know how to spell passed!