I had a great run at the HURL 50 mile race. The event was well organized and refreshingly low-key, and the courses are notable for their wild character and almost complete lack of road running. The camping at the start line is also nice and relaxed. It is a great event - go check it out next year. The racing aspect of the run was derailed for me when I veered off course around mile 40 and and lost about 15 minutes. I finished in 10.41 and 4th place over about 54 miles and 13,500 vertical feet, including the detour.
I adopted a start slow strategy, and while I may have pushed the aerobic threshold, I stuck with my plan, even as runners faded off ahead on the first two climbs. The slower start payed off over the last 15 miles. I moved up from 6th to 4th place over the last half of the course, even with the detour, and it was gratifying to have adequate energy for the big climb out of Elkhorn town at mile 28. Having never run beyond about 38 miles, I was elated to feel the legs turning over easily all the way to the finish, which I attribute to having a good race, starting slowish, ongoing gains from strength training, and a lack of leg trashing flat roads. My time was a bit slow, even without the detour, but that is OK. A week later, I am about 90% recovered, and am excited for a few weeks of mountain adventures before lining up at the back of the pack at what looks to be a much harder/improved Rut 50K in September.
Leah had a strong run, finishing the 50K course in under 7 hours, which is closer to her (unrealized) full running potential, and helps validate the strengthening trend in her running this summer.