Saturday I ran the Prairie Spirit 50 mile race in Ottawa, Kansas. The course is a rails to trails and super flat. I won 1st female out of 27 female finishers and 6th overall out of 74 finishers. It was my 1st 50 mile race. 1st new years goal checked off the list.
6 254 KRISTEN WEIGAND 34 F INDEPENDENCE MO 08:12:28 9:51
I didn't feel particularly nervous going into the race. I figured as long as I hydrated properly and prevented any major chafing from happening I would be ok to finish. The night before I gathered up my race supplies. I ended up borrowing the water bottle belt for the race and did not try running with it before the race. Because that is what you what to do in a long race, wear gear or clothes you've yet to try out. Worked perfectly. The water belt had a small pouch so I carried two packs of honey stinger chews, a scoop of vaseline and 8 salt pills. I also went with carrying my phone and glad I did. I wore two watches a Garmin that I knew wouldn't last the whole race and just a stop watch so I could keep time after the Garmin died. I packed one drop bag with an extra bag of honey stinger chews, more salt pills, vaseline and a spare pair of socks.
The race was about an hour drive from my house and my parents were nice enough to pick Gretchen and I up at 6:00 in the morning. Gretchen and I shared 2 Honey Stinger waffles and bananas on the drive.
I had about 45 minutes once we got there before the race began. One thing I love no parking issues when there is less than a hundred people running. There was also a 100 mile race going on but they had started 2 hours earlier so never saw any of them. I had time to rub my body down with body glide, use the bathroom twice, change into my running socks (went with knee high compression socks), and pin on my number.
It was perfect running weather low 30's at the start and high 50's at the finish with really no wind. I did decide to start the race with an extra long sleeve shirt and stocking cap. A few minutes before the start we were told to make our way to the start area where we stood around in a loose group. No one was pushing them selfs up to the start line, I don't think there was a start line. The horn went off and everyone started with a slow shuffle.
The first 4 miles of the race were an out and back past the start/finish area before the long out and back of 46 miles. I spent this time looking at my watch and telling myself to go slow. I was close to the front of the group from the beginning which made me think I was going to fast. I was right around a 9:00 pace and with figuring in any of the aid station stops I would be making later in the race I thought it was only a little fast.
You get to pass everyone at the two mile turn around and see kinda what everyone is thinking their speed is going to be for the day. After seeing everyone I knew I was towards the front but 2 miles in so what. I was running by myself really the whole race which I figured would happen. The first 19ish miles seemed to fly by. Just thinking about pace and how I would feel the rest of the race. The pace felt easy and I was keeping my aid stops quick. At the mile 19ish aid station I was told that the one girl ahead of me was close and I could easily catch up to her. I figured yay right but around mile 23 I did. I started to get a little excited. It was a girl I kinda know about and she is fast and has ran many ultra's so I think it just wasn't her day. Shortly after that the winning male passed by on his way back, he finished a couple of hours before me.
After this things still seemed speedy I was getting close to the turn around and the other 5 guys who beat me passed. I spent very little time at the turn around aid station getting my water bottles refilled, eating 1/4 of a ham & cheese sandwich a few Pringles and I was out. Going back out the girl I passed was running into the aid station and I passed the girl who would end up with 2nd place about a mile out. My legs were still feeling good and I was feeling speedy knowing I was in 1st at the moment. For about 4 miles going back I was passing runners regularly. It was a good and entertaining distraction from the running.
Then around mile 31ish my Garmin died and I knew I still had several miles till the next aid station. I had my stop watch and the town water tower, that seemed farther away the closer I got, as guides. This is about the time I started really feeling like I needed to entertain myself to distract from the running and that my legs were in pain. I just keep telling myself all I had to do was make it to the next aid station and not worry about after that.
I went though the mile 36.8 mile rest stop super quick with a bathroom stop. They filled my water bottles and I grabbed my extra chews and salt pills and was off. The guy there was pushing me to get out which I totally appreciate. Natural instinct says stay and snack.
Less than 6 miles to the last aid station I don't really remember. I just pushed through, talked out loud a little, no one was around. My legs were hurting so I was just trying to distract myself. The last aid station I pushed myself though after having my bottles filled. Just a little over 7 miles to the finish, what's 7 miles after running 43. No big deal. My legs were really hurting so I let myself walk for 2 minutes each time I hit a trail mile marker then run to the next marker. Then I realized I had my phone on me. I usually never listen to music in races but I figured this was a good exception. I just played the current playlist. It really helped power me through those last few miles.
I really didn't realize I was about to the finish till I saw the people on the side of the trail up ahead. I new I had made it back to Ottawa but I was just surprised when I realized I was about to be finished.
It may not look it in these pictures but I'm super excited to be crossing the finish line and winning.
My belt buckle and 50M sticker(already on car bumper). I also get a plaque for winning 1st female, they are mailing it to me.
Race day food:
Before: 1 cup coffee, 1 banana, 1 honey stinger waffle
During: 3 packages honey stinger chews, 12 salt pills, about 1/4 container of Pringles, 1/4 ham & cheese sandwich, 1/2 can ginger ale, approximately 90 oz of water & 90 oz of hammer brand sports drink.
After: hamburger, 1/3 cup potato salad, chimichanga, rice, beans, chips & salsa
I originally picked this race because it was flat and close to home. I knew my training would have to include a lot of treadmill runs and not a lot of hilly trails. I like to figure my race cost in price per mile. This one cost me $2.30 a mile. Makes 5ks look expensive. The race had great aid stations with super helpful volunteers filling my water bottles for me. I know some people hate an out and back but I really liked it and seeing all the other racers along the way was fun. I really loved the whole thing, winning didn't hurt. I know if I can just get some added miles in my training my legs would't tire out in the end. It's been 3 days since the race now and my legs are feeling pretty good. Sunday I was super stiff and getting up and down was a chore. Today I ran an easy mile and a half.
Thanks to my parents who drove me to the race and back watching Gretchen all day while I ran.