Route <—Click here for a downloadable .GPX of the race.
Another 50K in the books! This race caught my eye because it was held back in my home state of WI. I use the race as an excuse to go back home and visit some family and friends. Meredith was even introduced to a real life Wisconsin beer festival. You can’t get much more WI than that.
Training philosophy – I went into the Chippewa 50K with the goal of a 50K PR and a solid Dirty 30 training run. I stuck with the same training plan I used for the Tarawera 100K, yoga + climbing a couple times a week and longish runs on the weekends. None of my runs felt forced, and they were all fun and rewarding.
The Course – The course was a lot of fun and consisted of a 16 mile out and back with never ending rolling hills, which kicked my ass. Race day took place on a section of the Ice Age Trail. The race was made up of almost 100% leaf covered single track, with about a .25 mile section of dirt road. The only word I can think of to describe the trail is Wisconsin-esq. I spend my child hood in the forests of Wisconsin and this race was a perfect reflection of what the Wisconsin outdoors is like.
The course went through woodlands, over beaver dams, past endless beautiful lakes, and through some marshland. By Wisconsin standards this is a hilly course with about 4,100 FT of gain. Take these hills seriously on the way out or they will kick your ass on the way back, I learned that the hard way! My favorite part of the race was the sketchy bridges over the beaver damns, because I forgot my arm floaties.
Race Day – I went in way too confident and did not take the climbs seriously. The course is an out and back, and I ran every damn hill on the out and made it to the half way point in 2:38:46. I thought for sure I could pull off a sub 6 hour finish. But it just wasn’t in the books, around mile 25 I gave into “The Blerch” and started walking. At that point I feel like I nailed the nutrition side of the game, but my mental game was off. Honestly it was a classic case of pushing way too hard in the first half of the race.
Meredith was incredibly supportive through out the race, she drove around and met me at random aid stations and made sure I was still surviving. It was extra nice to see her at the last aid station because I was on the pain train at that point. She encouraged me to push on the last 3 miles and finish the race, by that point my hopes for a sub 6 hour finish were gone, but the sub 6:20:00 PR was still very attainable. I just shut my brain off and ignored the pain for the last 3 miles and managed to grind out a 6:09:00 finish which I am very pleased about.
I am also incredibly proud of Meredith for running her first race ever, which was a brutal trail 10k. She has so much heart and is a complete badass! I will let her tell that story.