Going Long

Sulphur Springs 50 Mile Trail Ultra

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Location:

Garson - Sudbury,ON,Canada

Member Since:

Apr 20, 2013

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Other

Running Accomplishments:

I ran my first marathon in 1998: "The Friendly Marathon" in Massey, Ontario.  I was 32. I had never raced in a shorter event, and I trained really poorly - ended up running it in 4:00:30.  After that, I gave up running for the most part for 6 years.  I got into karate a bit more seriously, until I got my knee kicked out and had ACL surgery.  Then I became a 'fair weather runner' and started to run half marathons every so often.  As a priest, entering weekend races always meant having to book a holiday, so it just didn't happen much.  My holidays were primarily focussed on various canoe and kayak trips.

At some point, I started training more consistently, and started to think of myself as a runner.  I guess doing that in your 40's is better than never doing it at all.  I even started to wonder if I had it in me to qualify for Boston.  Well, I did - twice.  First time didn't count, I suppose, since I didn't make the "cut".  But the second time was a charm, and on my sixth Marathon, run in Chicago in 2015, I beat my BQ by almost 6 minutes.

Through it all, I've made tons of mistakes - and have had lots of injuries to show for it.  Hopefully, now that I'm in my 50's, I'm a bit wiser and can use that to my advantage to continue running for a very long time.

My PRs:

5k (11 run):      Guelph, ON.     October 10, 2016   (50 yrs.)   20:10

10k (9 run):    Collingwood      October 5, 2013  (47 yrs.)  43:37

Half Marathon  (22 run): Cleveland   May 18, 2014  (48 yrs)  1:33:08

Marathon (8 run):  Chicago       October 11, 2015   (49 yrs.)  3:24:07

Ultras (4 run):   

Run for the Toad 50k Trail   September 30, 2017 (51 yrs.)  5:31:23

Niagara Falls 100k   June 17, 2018 (52 yrs.)  12:26:30

That Dam Hill 24 hours   September 15-16, 2018  Completed 100 Miles in 23:20:44

Sulphur Springs 50 mile Trail   May 25, 2019  10:37:27

Click for Options

Pacing my sister in her 1st Half Marathon.

Short-Term Running Goals:

The Disney Dopey Challenge in January, 2019.   That was fun

Sulphur Springs Trail Ultra (50 miles) in May, 2019.   That was muddy

The Haliburton Trail (100 Miles) in September 2019.

A1A Fort Lauderdale Marathon in January 2020 (qualify for Boston)

The Toronto Marathon in May 2020 (qualify for Boston).  A maybe.

The Sinister 7 Trail (100 Miles) in July 2020 (big maybe).

125th Boston Marathon on April 19, 2021.

Long-Term Running Goals:

Run until this old body of mine won't let me run any more.  I was inspired in the Spring of 2016, watching the start of the Ottawa Marathon.  Near the back of the pack was an 'old man', running with his walker.  I loved it!  I thought ... there's me in 20 years.  Maybe.  

Personal:

I am a Roman Catholic priest of 25 years, ministering in the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie.  I spent 8 years ministering in the small town of Wawa (where I helped establish the annual Blackfly Run) and 9 years in Sault Ste. Marie.  I have been in the Sudbury region now for 8 years.  Currently I Pastor 2 small Parishes:  St. John the Evangelist in Garson, and St. Bernardine of Siena in Skead, covering the area just Northeast of the city, surrounding the Sudbury Airport.

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 20.00 Month: 101.00 Year: 1247.92
Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2 Lifetime Miles: 270.00
Brooks Cascadia 11 Lifetime Miles: 167.50
Triumph ISO 3 Treadmill Lifetime Miles: 377.00
Saucony ISO Triumph 4 Lifetime Miles: 140.00
Total Distance
201.00
Brooks Glycerin 13 Miles: 52.00Saucony ISO Triumph 4 Miles: 92.00Saucony ISO Triumph 3 Miles: 35.00Triumph ISO 3 Treadmill Miles: 10.00Brooks Glycerin 13 Treadmill Miles: 12.00
Weight: 156.72
Total Distance
10.00

Same basic workout as last Wednesday:

Miles 3, 5 and 8 at a faster clip ... 6:56   6:34   and   6:31.

Overall pace averaged out to 8:06.

Radar Road, with some wind and still hovering around the freezing mark.  And not going to warm up today - a significant freezing rain/ice pellet storm is due to hit this afternoon.

Yesterday, however, was awesome!  In the afternoon, I swept sand off the Church parking lot for a couple of hours, just to be out in the sun.  I'm sure I'll pay for that by tomorrow, given my lack of upper body anything.  My hands are already screaming at me.  But I loved it.

Brooks Glycerin 13 Miles: 10.00
Weight: 155.50
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Total Distance
12.00

Radar Road; 8:54 pace.  

After my last run on Wednesday, it started to snow.  10 cm (4 inches) of the stuff on May 1st.  Yuck.

Most of it melted yesterday, and today it's already at 2C/36F, so that should take care of the final bit of nastiness still on the ground.

Saucony ISO Triumph 4 Miles: 12.00
Weight: 156.00
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Total Distance
25.00

Radar Road to Notre Dame/Bodson and back; 9:14 pace.  Second half was a bit stronger than the first.  

First run wearing shorts, no jacket or gloves or touque.  At start was 3C/37F and at finish 4 hours later was 11C/53F.  Just a slight wind.

Trail race is 3 weeks from today.  My only concern is I haven't been able to train at all on trails.  Maybe my 20 miler a week from today I'll see if I can get on them.

Saucony ISO Triumph 3 Miles: 25.00
Weight: 156.00
Comments(1)
Total Distance
10.00

Radar Road; 9:00/mile pace.  A very light rain and 6C/43F.  Still wearing shorts.

Triumph ISO 3 Treadmill Miles: 10.00
Weight: 157.50
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Total Distance
6.00

Goodwill Drive; 8:53 pace.

Brooks Glycerin 13 Treadmill Miles: 6.00
Weight: 156.00
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Total Distance
10.00

Radar Road; 8:16 pace.  That included 5 x 800 speed sections.  I didn't track my pace for those - I just ran fast.

Driving to Ottawa today for the National March for Life which takes place there tomorrow afternoon.

Brooks Glycerin 13 Miles: 10.00
Weight: 156.50
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Total Distance
6.00

Along the Ottawa River (in Ottawa, of course); 9:07 pace.  Tried to do a loop route, but had to double back, as the trail along the river is underwater in sections.  

Brooks Glycerin 13 Treadmill Miles: 6.00
Weight: 157.00
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Total Distance
20.00

I made the 17 mile drive to Capreol to run on the ski trails this morning.  I haven't done ANY trail running, so I figured I should get at least one long run done on trails before my race in 2 weeks.

There was still snow in some places, but it wasn't bad.  Still no leaves on the trees, but also no biting insects yet either.  A clear day and mild.  At my 8am start it was 4C/38F, and at my 11:30 finish, it was 10C/50F.

So, I ran 4 laps on the 5 mile trail.  As it warmed up, the ground started to get a bit soft, but it was manageable.  

Average pace (inclusive of my 4 stops) was 10:56.  Running time was 3:38:40.  Total elevation gain was 1,219 feet.

Saucony ISO Triumph 4 Miles: 20.00
Weight: 157.50
Comments(3)
Total Distance
8.00

Skead Road; 9:00/mile pace.  My legs still feel a little heavy from Saturday's trail run.  But it's all tapering from here on in.

Brooks Glycerin 13 Miles: 8.00
Weight: 156.50
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Total Distance
5.00

Goodwill Road; 8:54 pace.

Saucony ISO Triumph 3 Miles: 5.00
Weight: 156.00
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Total Distance
8.00

Skead Road; 8:23 pace.  Threw in 4 x 800 speed sections, just because.

Brooks Glycerin 13 Miles: 8.00
Weight: 156.50
Comments(1)
Total Distance
5.00

Goodwill Road; 8:42 pace.

Brooks Glycerin 13 Miles: 5.00
Weight: 156.00
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Total Distance
10.00

I decided to hit the Capreol Ski Trails again.  2 laps of 5 miles each.  First at 10:20 pace, and second at 9:40 pace, so averaged out at 10:00 pace.  No stops.  I didn't speed up intentionally.  I think I just got more confident.

Most of the snow patches are gone.  The leaves are just ready to burst out.  No biting insects - yet.  And the trail was 99% dry.  So, ideal running.  I loved it.

The 50 mile trail race is at 6am, one week from today.

And last weekend, my nephew ran his first Half in a pretty decent time of 2:03:22.  He's 16, and did it with absolutely no training.  At Easter, I told him to run it with his mother (my sister) just for fun, and so he did.  If he decides to keep it up, he'll be a good runner.  I was about his age when I ran my first Half.  By accident (thought it was the 10k).  With no training.  In a race I was a bandit.  But I didn't keep it up.  Ah well.  Better late than never!

Saucony ISO Triumph 4 Miles: 10.00
Weight: 155.50
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Total Distance
5.00

Goodwill Road; 8:40 pace.

Miserable day:  steady rain, strong north wind and cold.  4C/39F.  Nice to get into a hot shower after.

Saucony ISO Triumph 3 Miles: 5.00
Weight: 157.50
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Total Distance
4.00

Goodwill Road; 8:42 pace.

Brooks Glycerin 13 Miles: 4.00
Weight: 158.50
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Total Distance
2.00

Shakeout Run on Goodwill Road; 9:00/mile pace.

I'm leaving for Ancaster (Hamilton) in a little bit.  It's 460km (290 miles) due south of here.  Two nights there, and then 2 more in Toronto to give myself a little holiday.

Tomorrow's weather prediction is for rain.  Calling for 12C/53F at the start, with a high of 22C/72F on the day.  A warm rain, with a humidex prediction of 28C/82F, and a chance of a thunderstorm.  Fun.  Windy too, with 25-37 mph predicted.

On the plus side, the wind shouldn't be a huge factor on the trails.  And it won't be nearly as hot as it was for my 2 Ultras last year.  And it looks like the rain might be more of a hit and miss thing, rather than an all day soaker.  I'll just have to be a bit more careful if the trail turns slick.

So, home on Tuesday and I'll report the results then.

Brooks Glycerin 13 Miles: 2.00
Weight: 157.50
Comments(1)
Race: Sulphur Springs 50 Mile Trail Ultra (50 Miles) 10:37:27, Place overall: 44, Place in age division: 35
Total Distance
50.00

It wasn't pretty, but I finished.  And I'm happy with my performance, especially given the conditions.  I went in thinking a 10 hour finish was unlikely, but possible, and that coming in less than 12 hours would make me happy.  So, I'm happy.

44th out of 142 (99 of whom finished), and 35th out of 99 men.  Those finishing numbers might change, as I'll explain below.  EDIT:  Changes made, now that the timing issue has been resolved.

The course is a somewhat challenging 20 km loop.  From what I can tell, that would work out to 12.43 miles, but they are calling 4 loops 50 miles, so I won't argue the point.  Still, my Garmin tells me I ran 48.65 miles, so I don't think it's quite as long as they say.  But again, I'm not complaining.

So, 4 loops.  That worked out to an elevation gain of 5,558 feet.  As I didn't do enough of my training on the trails (due to snow), my legs took a real pounding.

As predicted, the temperatures were a reasonable 12C/53F at the 6am start and got up to about 22C/72F, with significant humidity.  And 2 thunderstorms.  And LOTS of rain.  And mud.  I'll return to the mud (reluctantly) in a bit.

First loop:  Just going with the crowd.  Steady pace.  Walking up all the hills.  30 minutes in, the rain starts.  30 minutes more, and the rolling thunder makes itself heard.  It just got louder and louder, and the rain fell harder and harder.

Second loop:  Starting to feel tightness/pain in the groin.  I think it's from the slipping of the feet to the side.  The trail is a river of mud now.  No avoiding it.  The focus is on keeping the mud below the knees.  I failed about halfway in when I fall the first time.  Not hard, but what a mess!  Now the water is just gushing down the hills, so it's tricky with the footing on both the uphills and downhills.  Most of the flats too, actually.  Towards the end, my quads are screaming.  I'll have to remember to take some ibuprofin at my drop.

Third loop:  The rain stopped towards the end of the second loop.  The sun came out.  It's really humid now.  I changed shirts at the drop.  But I forgot to take the ibuprofin.  It's too late now ... I'll have to suck it up this lap.  What a mess out here!  In many places, the mud is past ankle deep.  I fall again!  Goof.  Harder this time, but I don't think I hurt anything.  Of course, I hurt pretty much everywhere now:  both hips, groin, left knee, hamstrings.  All of them are screaming at me.  Walking up the hills is not too bad, but running is agonizing.  Towards the end, I can no longer run downhill, and end up walking down a 3/4 mile slope where you usually make up a lot of time.  I don't know if I want to finish.  Just kidding - I do!

Fourth loop:  Remembered the ibuprofin!  Changed shirts again.  No sense changing shoes or socks.  The pills help - at least they take the edge off.  I don't recall ever taking those in a race before.  But now I can run the downhills again.  Not too many people left on the course.  The shorter distances are mostly finished.  Just us 50 milers and the 100 milers still out here.  Amazingly, only 15 of 51 will finish the 100 miles.  Well, maybe not so amazingly on a day like this.  So I'm mostly alone this lap.  But I'm confident in my finish, and quite emotional when I do.  It was a tough race, but I did it!

So, I just got home a little while ago - took a couple of days in Toronto after the race.  And, to my dismay, I noticed my results showed a completion of just 3 laps.  The time was correct, but 3 laps?!?  Thinking I messed up somehow, I downloaded my Garmin data ... nope - I DID FOUR LAPS!!!

So, I e-mailed the timing company and got an almost instant response from the owner.  Due to the extreme weather, a few timing chips malfunctioned and did not record a lap.  They promised to update the results later today (they haven't yet - I'll report here when they do).  EDIT:  It has all been resolved; my results are official and correct.  It's not that it matters to anything - I know what I did - but it still bugs me.  What's funny too, is the day before the race, we all got an e-mail from the organizers telling us we would have to wear ankle bracelets in addition to the bib timers because of the extreme weather predicted.  Go figure - even with the 2 chips, I had a malfunction.

Officially, I ran a pace of 12:44.  According to my Garmin, I ran a slower 13:06.  I'm guessing my Garmin is more accurate, due to the slightly shortened course.  But I'm SO happy they didn't have a surprise mile tacked on at the end!

Saucony ISO Triumph 4 Miles: 50.00
Weight: 157.50
Comments(3)
Total Distance
5.00

Recovery run on Goodwill Road; 9:05 pace.

It's funny how, during the race, I felt the pain in the following order:  first the right groin and then the left, then the quads, then the left knee, then the hammies. then just everywhere.

In the week that followed, the pain dissipated in the exact reverse order.  Today, all that hurt during the run was the right groin.  I pulled something there in the race, and so will have to moniter it as I ramp my mileage back up.

My race results were updated correctly, and I've made the corrections in my race report.

Brooks Glycerin 13 Miles: 5.00
Weight: 157.50
Add Comment
Total Distance
201.00
Brooks Glycerin 13 Miles: 52.00Saucony ISO Triumph 4 Miles: 92.00Saucony ISO Triumph 3 Miles: 35.00Triumph ISO 3 Treadmill Miles: 10.00Brooks Glycerin 13 Treadmill Miles: 12.00
Weight: 156.72
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