I went into this race wanting at least 60 miles, and preferably 100K. I had a modified 1 week taper and wasn't sure how I'd feel. Plus, the route is mainly on a rooty (although flat) trail, and forecast called for at least some rain off and on. But I ended up with 72.93 miles, an overall win, and the new course record!
I started out a bit too fast (8:00 pace) but figured I'd soon settle into whatever pace felt moderately fast that day. That turned out to be about 8:45 overall for the first 4 hours, and then I slowed down a bit over time. At the beginning I ran a few laps with Tom, the eventual male 12 hour winner. He's a really nice guy, and I definitely enjoyed running and chatting with him. After we stopped running together I didn't see him again until the finish, but we were on the same lap all day- I was just consistently a half lap ahead!
Then my friend Elizabeth came out in the morning and ran 9 miles with me at about a 9:00-9:15 pace, which was faster than her normal pace. I was worried I was going too fast for her but she did great! I hit marathon at about 3:53 and 50K at 4:41. At the 6 hour point I was actually a full lap (1.87 miles) ahead of my winning 6 hour race mileage from last year.
I took a short break at that point, since it seemed like a nice stopping point- also I realized all I'd eaten the first 6 hours was 3 gels and 2 half cups of coke, and I was feeling a bit dizzy. I drank some more soda and ate some bacon, which helped a lot. After that i still kept a sub-10:00 pace to reach 50 miles at 7:41 (a new PR). I realized by about 4 hours in that I could probably get close to 70 miles, and once I reached 50 miles and still felt good I knew I could do even more, so I went for it!
At 8 hours I took another little break, as I was starting to feel light headed again. I had a Hammer bar and some more coke, and started carrying Tailwind for the rest of the race to make sure I kept taking in calories. My friend Tina came out to do her long run with me, and we ran just under 3 hours together, which was really fun. My GPS had died around 8 hours, but I was doing around 3 laps/hour at this point, around a 10:45 pace. It was nice to have someone to whine to towards the end, when I was hitting that "I'm just sick of this" point :)
I actually slowed down a bit intentionally in the last hour, because I knew I wanted to stop at 39 laps and I didn't want to be in a position to have the time to do more! As it was, I finished with 7 minutes to spare and was told I had time to start another lap...my response was not language used in polite company! I was very happy to stop when I did.
I am very happy with this race...I would like to break 75 miles in the first half of Icarus 24 Hour in November, and if I can do 73 on a trail I should be able to do close to 80 on pavement. I still have about 4 weeks of hard training, and then a 3-week taper to make sure I go in to that race fresh. I know from experience that long tapers make me miserable, but they do work well for 24 hour races!