With a tough race schedule leading up to this race I planned to use this as a training run. I would go off feel and if I felt good go after my time for last year. (5:27) It was a bit warmer this year. Around 65 at the start and probably around 75 at the end. The course was a little different this year as we didn't have to climb the stairs after the first loop.
Mile 1-5 Murrel (46 min/9:20 pace) Ran this section nice and easy. This first 5 miles is very runnable. I was maybe around 20th place. I had plenty of runners around and it takes this first 5 miles for the runners to find their position in the race.
Mile 6-10 Twin Coves (1:39/10:30 pace) This was the toughest section. This is where the rocks are located. Some areas have to be walked. I also stopped for a potty break where I cut my ankle on some vines. A little blood is good in a trail race.
Mile 11-13 Twin Coves (2:04/8:30 pace) Once I hit this aid station I knew I was getting close to the turn around and I would have a chance to see the front runners. Once I saw them they looked very worn out. I think the front pack took off way too fast for a warm day. I was glad I made it to the last mile before I saw them so they went more than 20 min ahead so far.
Mile 14-18 Murrel (2:51/9:30 pace) I finally caught back up to some friends at this aid station. I was running very strong and my nutrition was working well. One gel every 20 min and water. One salt tab every hour starting a 2 hours.
Mile 19-22.5 Jackson (3:37/10:00 pace) I got back to the turn around and I thought I was running well. I had passed a few 30K runners and even caught up with Laz close to the beach. My GPS was useless because it kept losing signal so I was just estimating 45 min between aid stations. Total time was still good to work off of.
Mile 23.5-27.5 Murrel (4:28/10:00 pace) As I took off I passed Josh and he said I was just out of 10th place and I just had to run some people down. I felt confident I could run strong and catch anyone that had slowed. It is hard to know if you are passing a 30K or 50K runner especially if they are walking at the time which many people were doing at this point. I was thinking if I could make it to Murrel by 4:20 I would have a shot to break 5 hours. After a few side stiches I got there at 4:28 and figured my sub 5 was out.
Mile 28.5-32 Jackson (5:16/10:20 pace) I felt better after leaving the last aid station. The pressure was off to break 5 and I figured I would be done around 5:15. I am pretty sure this section is a little longer than advertised at 4.4M. Just before I got to the beach I caught up to Paul Smith. I figured this would turn the last mile into real hard work. I was pretty sure he was hurting worse than me so I picked it up. He latched on to my tail so I just kept picking it up. Once on the beach we were running a tempo run. I decided to let him latch on and then once we hit the road I would lay down a 6 min pace if I had to. I started to accelerate on the road and within 100 yards I could tell he was going to let me go. I kept a strong pace till the end and even attacked the stairs as best I can.
After I finished I had a couple of drinks and visited with all the other runners. We shared our experience with the bikes on the trail. The bikes were tough as they were all over the course. I got frustrated a couple of times as I was trying to keep going and pulling over for the bikes was cause me to have to get started all over again.