What is a Backyard Ultra?
If you haven’t read my previous post about the race, check it out here
What an experience! What a race! What a time!
Last Saturday I went out for a run and really for the first time, I didn’t know when it would end. All I knew was I was going to run 4.167 miles every hour until I couldn’t anymore. Here is a recap of my experience.
May 21st Race Day
With 84 runners lined up and ready to start the cow bell set us off on our first yard (4.167 miles). People start running, walking, jogging and even skipping. We all have an hour to get back. Each one of us a different goal. Many folks were well ahead of me and long behind me. Some strategies were to get back as fast as possible, and some were taking their time. My goal to start was to meet folks and get to know everyone better. for the first 7 or 8 yards I wasn’t concerned as much on keeping my pace but just enjoying the race and the people there with me.
Some people had goals of going as far as they could. Some folks only wanted to hit their own milestones; half marathon, marathon, 50k, 50 miles, 100k, and even 100 miles. It was great to see runners go out and reach for such a goal for themselves and achieving it!
During yard 11 a massive storm moved in, and the lighting really started to blow up all around us. It was raining so hard the trail had gotten completely flooded and it was a monsoon. Then about 1 mile out or so, I could hear the sound of a tornado siren! Runners were sprinting needless to say! When we got back, they checked us all in and made sure we were safe. With every runner safe and back to the start/finish line, they decided to delay the race for 10 minutes to let the storm pass. The 10 minutes turned into 30. After 30 the storm had moved on and we got the “all clear” to start the next yard. The next 6 hours were nice and cool.
My game plan was to stay relaxed and have fun. Nutrional, I wanted to eat and consume a few new items, because if something didn’t go right, I can fix or adjust in an hour. A standard was to carry 500ML with me at all times. Outside of that, I tried a slew of different calories. Tailwind, spring energy, pizza, and candy, just to name a few. I ran in Hoka Rincons for the 1st 50 miles. After the rain I changed my entire wardrobe other than my shorts.
Sounding the GONG
I made it 18 Yards – 75 miles – 6am to 12:30am the next day
My IT Band and my feet (top and bottom) were the parts of me that gave out. I could run or walk but transitions from one to the other was absolutely painful in my right IT Band. This pain came about around yard 13. My feet didn’t start to hurt until Y15 or so. The tops hurt earlier in the race (because of walking I believe). I was surprised to see my stomach hold up the whole race. I never got behind on water or electrolytes either. No cramping, none of the same issues I’ve had in any other races before. I am excited to know that about my body! I’m learning more and more about my body and limits.
Here’s a video of me banging the gong after 18 hours. I don’t remember feeling as tired as I look in this video!
What I brought
Clothing: Top to bottom
2 hats, 2 beanies, 2 rain jackets, 6 shirts, 2 pairs of gloves, 2 sets of hot hands, 3 pairs of shorts, a pair of tights, 4 pairs of socks, and 5 pairs of shoes.
Sour gummy worms, stinger waffles, spring energy gels, whey protein, tailwind, trail butter, ramen noodles, pizza, m&ms, classic lays, and some cheesy burritos with bacon!
Headphones, GoPro, Nutt Butter, GLOW STICKS (for nighttime festivities), medicine, waterproof bags, gauze, KT Tape, 2 headlamps, a waist lamp, Nip ease, 2 towels, and sponges.
I packed for the unknown, not truly knowing how long I would be out there. I will say after 18 hours I only used a handful of the items. Maybe 30-40% of everything I brought. Would I dial it back and not take as much next time? Probably not, I want to prepare for everything and always plan for the unexpected.
All My Yards
Here is all my yards with AVG pace, HR, and total time. I’ve highlighted my major HR spikes. Yards 12 and 13 my IT band was starting to hurt. My max HR was 198 for both yards ( a wrist HR monitor). I also hadn’t had any caffeine in 13 hours or so and I believe my body needed caffeine and a pain blocker. After Y13 I consumed roughly 120mg of caffeine and really started to feel a lot better.
Thank you to all the volunteers, and RDs that made this experience possible!
What’s next for you? Comment below!
Here is the link to the race results here
Checkout my Strava