Sep 21 2015

NorthCoast 24 Hour USATF National championship Race Report. I placed in the top 25%

North Coast 24 Hour Overall Results (pdf)

20150919-DSC_0165 In the end I ran 86.7 miles placing 44 out of 186 (top 23%) of some of the USA's top long distance athletes. Going into this race I have had a mountain load of stress from trying to find a place to move in a few days, and figuring out what to do about job situation with the toll it's taking by working nights and permanent weekends and barely managing to survive on what the government pays. I'm thankful, but in the end it's not working, something needs to change, and in addition moving houses in any situation is super stressful, especially when barely scraping by paycheck to paycheck. Physically running was actually going alright, I was getting some good mountain miles, and somewhat a high mileage volume when not job searching, but I know the quality of training wasn't as good as it could be, to be a top USA 24 hour athlete. I am so thankful for two supporters for allowing me to compete in this race and paying my way to it, because each race adds so much knowledge and experience to being a better competitor.IMG_2683 IMG_2682 IMG_2689 IMG_2594 I knew this was one race I needed to be at, for it's absolute caliber of top level athletes, and most likely a couple runners might even be selected for the USA 24 Hour National Team provided they surpass 140 miles. And from North Coast's history, it looked like many on previous USA teams had run in Cleveland. I always learn so much from Bill Schultz, and enjoy seeing how the top athletes perform.

Flying in the day before, I enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of Cyrus Taylor and was so happy to have him help me out getting to and from the race and having delicious and healthy food to eat! I did get good sleep and had all my stuff ready the night before, and was an easy set up once I got out to the park. I'd set up at the race with Gregg Ellis and didn't really have much to do but wait for the race, and hope it didn't rain too hard.

When the horn sounded I just ran, and kept about a 10-11 min/mile pace, and walked the uphill portions every time they came. Each lap I'd take something to eat or drink (as learned by watching Yiannis Kouros and what he says) I just kept this up for hours and hours, taking in calories, running steady, walking a couple times a lap, and also stretching every 5-10 miles. Jeremy Ebel told me to stretch to keep the stride from getting too short after too long. The rain came and went a couple times, but the wind never ever stopped.  It was heavy and hard for a very long time. But still everyone pressed on. At the 12 hour mark, I’d run 53 miles, and by 14 hours 15 minutes I’d run 100km, a new PR for me. Bill mentioned there was a massage area, and I’d been having some hamstring pain so went to see them to get worked out and stretched. My hamstrings, and hips and glutes, all the tendons/ligaments/ everything that connects in the inner thigh, above the quad, and above the hamstring all hurt pretty bad. If I stopped running or walking, it was very hard to maintain balance because these tendons/muscles/everything wouldn’t stabilize very well.  IMG_2627 IMG_2677Once I got running it was ok to move in a forward motion.  Not sure what’s going on with the hamstring, but been having a little tenderness and slight pain since running my 203 miles across Colorado in 5 days unsupported, the hamstring hasn’t been it’s strongest.   In any case, I kept doing laps, trying to keep going and get the miles in.  I did stop about 5am because the pain was a bit too much and felt the legs needed more rest.  Think I may have slept 30-40 minutes in a chair, and eventually got up for more.  The legs still hurt, not more, not less, so just just kept going. I still never had any mileage goals, but of course we all want the magic 100 miles in 24 hours, though I was just going to accept whatever my body allowed on the day, with all the stress and distractions going on with life.  I savored the last couple hours and miles seeing the top people keep on running fast.  I was able to tack on quite a few more miles still, and ran a quick last 2 laps.  I don’t know, somehow everything goes numb and I’m always able to sprint at the end, including a 7 minute mile for my 86th mile!   

IMG_2649The food and award ceremony at the end was so priceless just getting to interact and mingle with everyone and seeing what extraordinary accomplishments they achieved.  Photos, food, handshakes, more photos and congratulatory messages to so many friend and everyone was off!  I slept later that afternoon a few hours, and then a full night before flying back to Denver Monday morning.  Now to put running on a back burner while finding a house or place to stay and store everything.  86 miles was just a brief pause in a day of normal life I guess. Onwards. Forward we go.



Permanent link to this article: http://www.israeltherunner.com/northcoast-24-hour-usatf-national-championship-race-2015/