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Dec 07 2013

The North Face 50 mile Endurance Challenge Championships – San Francisco 2013

One of the first things I did while still working in England and thought I might be moving to the USA, was sign up for The North Face 50 mile Championship race in San Francisco, because it always sells out early and features of of the most stacked field in ultramarathon running. 

6 months later, I made it to the startline at 5 am December 7, 2013. 

The North Face Endurance Challenge Championship 50 Mile race runs through San Francisco's Marin Headlands, features over 10,000 feet of climbing, and can be one of the most spectacular races in California.

In 2013, over 100 male and female elite athletes and 300+ultramarathon runners converged for a shot at the 10,000 dollar winning prize.   This year, the scenery was spectacular and the race organization phenomenal. 

I ran the race without much expectation as my training had not been going well after my move from England to the USA.  But I looked forward to running, having fun, and enjoying the trails north of San Francisco.  
My cousin Jonathan how lives nearby the race helped crew for me and pace me from mile 27 to the end.  

Coming from normally running at 7,200ft altitude to running at sea level was a big adjustment, and I felt like I had so much energy, especially at the beginning.  But as is usual during ultramarathons, I suffered from about mile 15 through 25 while my body switched from carb/glycogen burning to fat burning. After my cousin started pacing me at mile 27, we picked things up a little, and between 30 and 35 I felt like I flew so fast up to a 7:30 pace.  Slowed down a little to mile 42, after that I tried very hard to finish the race under 12 hours.  We did about 6 miles in the last hour, and absolutely pushed to the limits and crossed the finishline a few minutes before the 12 hour mark.  What an awesome and amazing experience.  And I owe so much thanks to my cousin Jonathan!  Was also great hanging out with Jackie Palmer  an elite athlete who finished 19th in the women's race in one of the most stacked 50 mile race fields ever assembled. 

I finished 269 out of 394, which I was ok with under the circumstances and I negative split the race! First half was about 6:30 or 6:40, 2nd half 5:30.  A 1 hour differential! 
11:57:22 was my final time with this 50 miler and about 10,000ft of elevation gain, 10,000ft of elevation descent. 

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The North Face 50 Mile 2013 The North Face 50 Mile 2013 The North Face 50 Mile 2013 The North Face 50 Mile 2013 The North Face 50 Mile 2013 The North Face 50 Mile 2013 The North Face 50 Mile 2013 The North Face 50 Mile 2013

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