46.77@11:49, time 9:12:20 HR 148 bpm
Colt 45 Trail Run, 14th overall, 2nd AG
Last year I ran the 45K version of this race. Course is a 14ish mile loop, so last year was two loops and this year was 3 loops plus a 3 mile starter loop. Great opportunity to get some longer miles in with a goal of trying to stay steady and come in under 9 hours. Last year, my watch came in just over 28 miles, seemed like the same course but by the time I finished the starter loop and the first 14 mile loop was already over 18 miles, then got a little more off each loop. So, the good thing is that early on I knew it was going to be over 45 miles (compared to a single loop or point to point that goes long but you're not sure until the end how long it will be).
Weather was good, felt a little humid at the start but temperature never really warmed up too much except when in the full sun, then quickly got cooler back in the shade (and it was probably a good 70 percent shaded). The trails are very runnable with just a few small sections of big gravel pieces, some rooty stretches and a few partially flooded sections that you could mostly dance around the edges without a complete soaking.
Trying to stay relaxed and steady, first 13 miles had heart rate under 140 , then was right at 140 for mile 14. Gradually ignored heart rate and concentrated on feel and maintaing a decent pace.
Instead of the Ultraspire belt I usually wear (with 550 ml bottle in back) I wore the Naked Band and used a collapsible bottle. Bottle is a little harder to stash back inside but not too bad when running a slower paced race, big plus side is absolutely no bounce and no re-tightening a slipping belt. It's got little bungees to hold the race bib which worked great until the race bib ripped on one side, fortunately I brought pins with me from the race check in.
The trail miles were great at disengaging from any outside issues of things going on in life, it was just enjoy the woods, watch your footing so you don't trip, keep moving, thank the volunteers at the aid station.
One issue this year with the aid stations, there were a lot of bees. There were quite a few, they liked the soda and fruit. I didn't get stung and I didn't hear anyone complain about getting stung and the volunteers did a great job ignoring and working around them.
Heading out on my third loop I forgot to shove more gels in my pocket so ended up using the ones they had at the aid stations - SIS (Science in Sport) - they were pretty good, I'll probably order some.
The Long Haul 100 mile race will be here in January instead of Cypress Creek, this place is probably nicer, it will use 16 point something mile loops, so 6 loops instead of 10 that they've been doing at Long Haul except for the first year. This year will be my 5th Long Haul race and they have a 500 mile belt buckle. So, I will have run 500 miles, not sure if I'll do 500 more.