Monday, April 7, 2014

2014 American River 50 Mile Race Report

"You are not qualified to quit."

I met some wonderful new people at this year's running of the American River 50 Mile. Michaela ran Western States in 2012 as her first 100 miler. She shared this piece of advice with me. Unless you're injured, you do not have the qualifications to decide to quit. Leave those decisions to the doctors and the running experts. It was simple, yet very profound.

Throughout the day, I ran into friends, both old and new everywhere I turned. The volunteers and crowd support were amazing! The weather was perfect. The course could have used a little less pavement and poison oak, but we can't have everything we want, can we?

For 36 miles, I ran really well. I executed my fueling plan flawlessly. Unfortunately, I neglected my hydration, and that eventually affected my fueling. By mile 40, I had slowed down to a crawl. I felt nauseous and did not feel like eating anything. I was tired - really tired. Jim Magill offered some friendly encouragement as he passed me here. This guy is 67 years young and still running strong! After a few miles of "crawling", I was eventually able to run better. The last 3 miles are all uphill, but I was able to run in most of the last 1.5 miles, which made me happy. I finished in 10:25:33 (340/826), which was a respectable finishing time. It wasn't finishing time I wanted, but I wasn't supposed to be racing anyway. Let's just call it a good training run for Western States!

Other notes:
I decided not to run with Vespa, again. I have not decided whether or not to use Vespa at Western States yet. Instead, I chose to consume as many calories as I could (along with my Pediasure). I should have also planned to drink more water - that would have helped! I was originally planning on running with a new pair of La Sportiva Crosslites, until I talked to Ann Trason about it! I ended up using an older pair that has less tread, but felt much more comfortable.

I took more pictures this time!

There were some fabulous views along the course!

 The pavement sucks, but at least its surrounded by beauty!

Wildflowers were everywhere on the course!

 Watching the sun rise during a long race is a special treat! I just had to stop and snap a picture of it!

We start in the dark, but it gets brighter pretty quickly! Especially if you're running in the second wave at 6:15!

Folsom Lake is really dry! But still really pretty.

 More pavement. But at least I met a new friend along this pavement! Blakely was his name, and he is a philosophy professor! Since I got my bachelor's degree in Philosophy, we had to chat about it!

A friend took this picture of me crossing the finish line!

Watching the sun set after getting a shuttle ride back to the start in Folsom, California


  1. The pavement is the big thing that keeps me on the fence about this race. Had you run this before? I'm curious if the new course was better. Congrats on getting through it and getting a really good time, all things considered!

  2. Another finish in the bank. Don't worry about the time, you faced adversity and toughed it out! Keep it up man, eye on the prize...

  3. Boy, that's a long way to run on pavement! I am glad to see you had some dirt track. I wonder how many miles of each there were...
    The advice about letting the doctors decide if you should stop or not is really sound. I imagine if they are on the course, they understand the "runner's brain" :)
    I sure am impressed with how you are running these days! Hopefully this will be an ultra year for me too. As always, great photos!

  4. I love that quote!
    Your running always amazes me, and it's a pleasure to read about. I love all your pictures too. I sooo miss running long distances and it's a joy to see you're doing so well; I run vicariously through you. =)