We did this race last year. You run around a little lake on a paved 2.2K loop. Over and over again, until you have lost track of have many loops you have done or what place you are in. I had a miserable race last year, and along with Voyageur 50 miles, it was one of the two big races that I was disappointed with.
This year, my preparation has been different. Not better, neccesarily, but very different. Last year, I had done the Transalpine with the Girl and then run a low-16s 5K (which was probably a little short) and won a somewhat competitive cross country race. This year, I ran one of the best races of my life three weeks ago at the Brocken marathon. And last month, I set PBs on all my principal training routes.
The one thing I am worried about is whether I have bounced back completely from the marathon.
A 6-hour run is hard to plan out. Last year, I started slowly with the Girl the first hour and then sped up. I probably went from 25th to 2nd place over the next two hours and came through the marathon in 3:11. I was in second place for maybe five minutes, after which came 3 hours of being passed by seemingly hundreds of runners (some individual runners passed me several times). I think I got to 65K and took 6th, although at the finish I would have guessed I took 20th. Interesting how that works.
The lesson to me was that walking/jogging isn't as slow as it seems when you are doing it. I think this year, I will start out faster. Yes, faster. I don't think starting out slower than my usual cruising pace postpones my inevitable collapse. So if I use the first few laps as a warm-up and then start cruising, I imagine that will put me near the front of the race. Now, I know that this year, the field is much stronger than last year, but my optimistic cruising pace is still pretty fast in a 6-hour race.
A big part of starting out fast is I get to see the top runners. Last year, it sucked now knowing who was where in the race.
Then comes the master-stroke of my plan: I slow down. After maybe two hours, I will start to feel fatigued and sore, and that's when I start taking frequent, long walking breaks. I plan on the middle two hours being very slow, while I sink down through the field.
But. And here's the but. Then the last two hours, hopefully, I shall walk less and run more. Or run more talk less, as the hipsters say. I plan on eating a ton at four hours, which will propel me into a tearful runner's high the last two hours. Last year, everyone was suffering at the end. If I can be that guy with lots of energy, that wouldn't be half-bad.
Or I may ust keep jogging and walking, while enjoying a tearful painfest. We shall see.
I hope to get to high 60s, low 70s, in terms of distance.
A little something for the ladies...
As I recall, as this point, I had started out in these clothes, then stripped down after one hour, but after three hours I meekly re-robed and wore this dour facial expression.