Having run a few marathons this spring, I thought I was in good enough shape to tackle a 24-hour track race scheduled for the end of May outside of Philadelphia, in Sharon Hill. That reasoning proved to not be exactly accurate but I digress.
The Dawn to Dusk to Dawn 50K, 12 hour and 24 hour track race was resurrected this year after a several year hiatus. Previously, the race was run on the Academy Park High School cinder track…. Fast forward and the track has been replaced with a rubberized track and that is what we ran on.
Co-race directors Bill Schultz and Josh Irvan did a super job of organizing the event. Due to three events going on simultaneously, we started the races with over 30 people on the track. I was wondering how congested the track would become but there wasn’t ever an issue and things ran smoothly.
I started out the day with high ambitions. Looking at the 55-59 American age group records, I though a number of them were within reach if I had a decent race. When the race began, I ran a little faster than I wanted – about 9:15 minute miles -- since it was cooler and the temperatures were predicted to get warm. After an hour, I settled into a 9:30 minute mile pace for the next couple hours before dropping down to 9:45s, etc. Well, not having run in any warm weather for about six months, I soon started melting under the sunny skies, no shade and temps in the high 70s. I had a bandanna with a pouch for ice that went around on my neck and tried to cram ice under my hat. I pressed on but I was not loving it!
|Yes, it's still WARM!|
Early in the race I knew this was not going to be my goal race. By the 6-hour mark, I was already behind the mile schedule I was aiming for. It is always tough when you realize you’re not going to have a great day to keep going. At the 12-hour mark I contemplated quitting. Since I’ve quit the last few ultras I’ve run, I willed myself to keep going, even though I was barely running at that point. Through the night, I mostly shuffled and walked. The heat of the day quickly turned to downright cold. Of course, if I’d been running, it was probably perfect weather! Once I hit the 100 mile mark, with about 1 ½ hours to go, I called it a day. The race had a concession hut where I went to warm up and wait for the end of the race.
Congrats to John Cash, overall winner, and Keith Straw, 2nd place. And thanks to Bill and Josh for a fantastic event. This is definitely a race to add to your calendar for 2015. I will be back but promise to be better trained!!