Sat., 5:45am start in Brown Co. State Park - DWD 50M - AKA The MudSkating 51.8M (w/ off course add on). Raining and super muddy most of the day. About 45 degrees at the start n the dark (and stayed cool all day) Really got lucky on the temperature. Weather is notoriously warm and humid.
From the start line throughout most of the beg. stages of the race, there are 4 guys that start out in the lead pack. I quickly realize that one of the guys won't be there long and there are 3 other guys that can beat me. We drop the one guy after 7 miles, and start trading back and forth amongst the 4 of us. I begin to narrow my ranking assessment down further - there is "one" guy that should win, and two other guys I feel like I can beat. The first 20M or so progresses similarly in the mud. The rain has stopped early in the morning, but, the damage to trails is done. The "one" guys and I run together for while and both somehow miss a turn.
Around 19-20 miles, me and the "one" guy have seperated from rest, but, horribly miss a clearly marked turn off. We add about 1.5 miles (out and back) with this mistake. 2 guys have cuaght us and passed by. We find them pretty quickly at the 30k aid station. At that point, I feel like me and "one" are clearly 1,2.
I run in to some trouble at 50k. I bonk hard, and only partially come back to running form with a gel and some serious water chugging out of handheld and an aid station at a fortunate spot. At the aid station, at this point, I discover a wonderful "crack to nutrition code" that works for me (ultra dist. nutrition, only?) - I can, and should eat real food. By this point I am getting sick on the gels, and grabbed PB&J's and potatoes at this aid station and crush it. Wonderful! The "real food" doesn't sit in the stomach and I actually don't have gut cramp/stitch issues. Now, I discover, I can also get gels in the stomach in between aid stations wih greater success. I bounce back from the bonk in a bout 1 mile and stick the plan the rest of the way (to great success!)
At this point, the one guy and another guy have pulled ahead and out of sight. I am slowly coming back from bonk and happy with continuing for a 3rd place finish. I roll in to mile 40 aid station and discover the one guy has smashed in to a tree and needs stitches and has to DNF. That sucks - he's a good guy, and the best runner out there on this day. Other guy still also nowhere in sight. Strangely, I am starting to feel stronger at this point (42-45M) !
Huge confidence boost as I start seeing mile splits comparable to start of race splits around 42 miles - first time occurence. 45miles in, and I am pushing through one small gut cramp (pinching it and breathing heavy, with some water chugging), and then continuing on with it gone fairly quickly. I feel like I may see the leader at some point ? Nothing. Get one more gel down succesfully and chug water with light gatorade mix (light gatorade mix seems to be best).
Nw, the last 3 miles is a mud fest. This race has 10k, half, full, 50k, 50M, and a relay - all using this last stretch of the course. Everybody has destroyed this part of the course, leaving us 50M's with ankle deep mud to contend with after 47 miles.
Still feeling strong and positive, but, a little frustrated with this. I also realize I have gone about 1.8 extra than the 50M with the offcourse detour, and another smaller misque of the same fashion. I am overjoyed to make the (3) creek crossings and hop up creek bank in to a field and see the finish line. I cross with a big smile on my face, but, don't realize I have won until they announce and (immediately) hand me the trophy and swag. Literally didn't get through the finish line corral before being bombarded! :) I was surprised to find out that the other guy had cut course in last 5-7 miles somewhere (unintentionally) and was DQed.
Pretty stupid way to win (the DQed guy had 50M GPS, but, did not show up at one of aid check ins)
51.84 miles total - 9:22:41. 7394 feet of elevation gain recorded by Garmin, but, 6551 feet recorded by Strava... CR (Pers.) for DWD and 50 mile PR - 9:03:24 (I have only run 2x50M - this race twice)