Centurion USA 2005: colossal flop!
My goal race of the year was the Centurion race which was part of the Ultracentric 24 hour event in Addison, Texas. We followed all the race rules, except the walkers had to use lane 5.
The official report follows:
The winner of the Centurion Walk division of the Ultracentric Runs which finished Sunday morning was Marshall King, 36, of Dallas. King covered 100 miles in 23:42:15 on the Greenhill Academy 400-meter track in Addison, Texas to become U. S. Centurion #61. As with the 2004 Centurion event, competition rules differed from race walking, as shown at http://www.geocities.com/bambiruns/centurionusa2005.htm .
Only two walkers toed the starting line alongside the participants in the 24-hour run. Using lane 5, Ollie Nanyes of Illinois and King traded the lead repeatedly in the early miles. King took the lead for good after the first hour and walked a steady pace throughout. Digestive distress sidelined Nanyes for six hours, yet he logged a total of 113,520 meters (70.53 miles).
50km: King 6:56:36, Nanyes 7:14:02. 50 mile: King 11:21:02, Nanyes 12:27:29. 100km, King 14:22:30, Nanyes 21:56:11. 150km, King 21:57:59. Judges: Scott Demaree, Dave Gwyn.
A complete list of U. S. Centurions is available at http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/ultrawalking/files/ and http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/racewalking/files/ for members of the respective groups.
Dave Gwyn, Treasurer
So, I'd like to congratulate Marshall; he has a nice ultrawalking blog at: http://ultrawalker.blogspot.com where he is sure to post a race report.
I'd also like to thank Scott Eppelman for organizing an excellent event (he is the organizer of the Ultracentric as well as a national class ultrarunner), Dave Gwyn who drove in from Houston to judge, and Scott Demaree, who is U. S. Centurion no. 60, and organized this year's walking event. Also, to all Ultracentric volunteers: a heartfelt Thank You!
Now, to my performance. My past performances:
- Cornbelt 24 hour, May, 2004: 101 miles (100% walking, but no judges)
- Wandleweekend 24 hours, May 2004 (Netherlands): 88 miles (141 km)(excuse: 4 weeks after Cornbelt)
- Ultracentric (Centurion USA) November 2004: 81 miles
- McNaughton Trail 100 (technical trail, 36 hour cut-off) April 2005: 34:16 (75 miles at 24 hours)
- Leanhorse 100 (groomed trail, 30 hour cut-off, 4300 to 5700 feet; Black Hills) August 2005: 29:34 (excuses: huge blisters and impacted toenails due to forgetting trail gaiters and due to improperly trimmed orthotic pads) 85 miles at 24 hours.
So, as you can see, 70 miles was an all-time worst for me, even when you include the far more difficult trail 100's.
So, what happened?
The race itself started in the rain, but it was nothing serious. I went out a bit too quickly, but not excessively so. The first 10 miles (2:15'ish) were no sweat at all; it felt so easy. I took food, as usual, at around 2:30 into the race. This included some dried fruit (dried pineapple had worked at Leanhorse). The next 10 miles weren't that bad (4:30'ish at 20), but I began to feel lethargic and slightly nauseated. Something wasn't right; I was laboring more here than I was at Leanhorse where I had gone uphill for 20 miles. Marshall started to lap me here. My pace slowed to the 14 mpm range.
I got to 50K in 7:08, which was much slower than I had hoped. My 50K split at Cornbelt was 7:05, but that included a stop to put on trail gaiters and it was effortless. Here, I was already working way too hard. Even though the weather was improving, my stomach was not; I needed food but didn't want any of it.
A ham sandwich revived me a bit and I got to 35 miles in 8 hours. Ahh, I figured out that I needed the meat and mayonnaise. I was feeling better, but then went into another bad funk. I felt nauseated again. My pace slowed to 15 minutes per mile and I knew that my quest was all but over.
typical of what went on during this stretch: my feet were starting to hurt so I thought that I'd switch to my heavier, more padded shoes. But these shoes, which I wore on some long walks, hurt my feet as they squeezed my small bunions. I tried to loosen my laces to no avail. So I switched to some trail shoes, but these just killed my arches. I got violent cramps in my right arch and thought that I'd have to drop out. Instead, I took some Naproxen and then switched back to my regular shoes; by this time 30 minutes had elapsed and I had covered all of 3 laps!
But, buoyed by this rest and a temporary relief from nausea, I picked up the pace and went right back to 13 minute miles. I felt good again and when I hit 48 miles at the 12 hour point, I actually had visions of doing a "negative split" 24 hour and getting that 100. That vision proved to be an illusion.
I found myself needing food, so I ate again at 12:27 (50 mile split). I started to feel sick again; this time worse than before. It took me about 1:12 to cover the next 3 miles and I had to stop. I wobbled under the tent, got some comfort from a volunteer as well as a stomach pill, wobbled out of the track area and threw up a few times. The last time, a huge chunk of recognizable dried pear came up! It hadn't digested at all; in fact it had kept me from digesting the rest of my food. So, I told my lap counter that I had had it and went into the heated locker room to sleep. While I was out, Scott came in to check on some of us and gave me a blanket!
I eventually got up after 5-6 hours and was ready to head back to get my bag to get clothes to change in. But, while walking back to the track, I felt 100% better and I knew that Marshall was still out there slugging it out, as were some of the hardier runners. So I went out to join them.
I had something like 4:10 left in the race, so I figured I could get in 10-12 miles; perhaps make it to 62-65 miles. So I started up as Marshall came around and we did a few laps together.
Soon, I found my stride and even went from 13:30-14:30 mpm for good stretches. Eventually, I saw that 62 miles was going to come up quicker than I had anticipated (I did 9 miles in about 2 hours) and then thought that I might finish 70. So I went for it. The last 8 miles took roughly 2:04 but this was faster than I had ever finished a 24 hour or 100 mile; then again having 5-6 hours of sleep didn't hurt.
During my last 4 laps, Marshall picked up the pace and blew past me to finish his 100. I was proud of him, and a little envious. Ok, a lot envious. Sigh...but that comes with the territory. He walked an awesome race and deserved his recognition.
My performance. 70 miles is very week.
My nutritional strategy: I needed to be better organized. And I should have tried the kind of dried fruit that I did; the pineapple and banana chips (unsheathing) worked ok, but I had tried these before.
Shoes: some shoes just don't work when I have tired feet. At least I brought several pairs.
Body tiredness: too many long races in 2005, for me.
Throwing up/napping: I should have forced myself back up after 45 minutes or so; or at least tried. Maybe I could have made 90 miles.
- Good things:
I recovered quickly and finished strong.
My muscles were never taxed; it was my stomach that got me.
I really had fun during those last 4 hours; I was even smiling.
My socks (the toe socks) and tape job worked great. No lost toenails; no blisters at all. My feet felt fine afterward.
Future plans: one long race in the Spring/early summer (McNaughton in April? FANS in June?) and one in the fall (Ultracentric? Equalizer?). That is it; nothing longer than 100km or 12 hours during the other months. Possible tune-ups include: FATASS 50K in Janurary, one of the shorter ultras (12 hour-100 km) in Houston, 12 hours at FANS or 100 km in Kettle Moriane, Flatlander 12 hour or the McNaughton 50 miler instead of the 100. I'll probably also do the Chicago Ultra 50K in the fall.
Distances in miles)
Mark Henderson TX 136.29
Paul Piplani AZ 116.71
Tim O'Rouke CA 31.10
Mark Syring MN 121.01
Barbara Hitzfeld (f) TX 111.30
Fred Pollard CA 108.86
Letha Cruthirds (f) TX 101.36
Bill Rumbaugh TX 100.91
Marshall King TX 100.24 (walker)
Buddy Teaster TX 90.22
Sue Yates (f) TX 88.89
Marlin Howe MI 88.48
Shawna Brown (f) TX 80.77
Lisa Allen (f) CO 75.31
Ollie Nanyes IL 70.54 (walker)
Dave Emerson TX 69.09
Brett Mills TX 63.44
Davey Harrison TX 61.64
Tom Crull TX 57.91
Robert Jobe TX 56.42
Doug Ryan TX 50.20
Deborah Sexton (f) TX 50.20
Karen Riddle (f) TX 47.96
Michael Arredondo TX 42.50
Sam Livingston TX 40.01
Lorrie Dominguez TX 20.38