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(Marathon or Ultra) + Half
Marathon + Ultra
Personal Bests (3)
|Gunstock TrailFest||50K||Gilford, NH||May 25, 2019||8:08:22|
|Schneider Electric Paris Marathon||Marathon||Paris, France||Apr 14, 2019||4:18:57|
|Boston Prep 16 Miler & 5 Miler||16 Miler||Derry, NH||Jan 27, 2019||2:27:16|
Future Races (0)
Past Races (4)
|Race||Distance||Location||Date||Result||My Raves||My Performance|
|Gunstock TrailFest||50K||Gilford, NH||May 25, 2019||8:08:22||
|Gunstock TrailFest||50K||New Gloucester, ME||May 25, 2019||8:08:22||
|Schneider Electric Paris Marathon||Marathon||Paris, France||Apr 14, 2019||4:18:57||
|Boston Prep 16 Miler & 5 Miler||16 Miler||Derry, NH||Jan 27, 2019||2:27:16||
Bigger Cowbell, a little bit of chaos
I returned to the Pineland Farms Running Festival this year after running the 1k with my daughter the 5k with my wife and the 25k last year. You get a … MORE
I returned to the Pineland Farms Running Festival this year after running the 1k with my daughter the 5k with my wife and the 25k last year. You get a really small cowbell for the 25k, so I had to come back for the bigger 50k cowbell.
I really enjoyed the race and the atmosphere last year. Although I did not participate in the Saturday events this year, it is probably the best day to come out. I heard it was great this year as well. On Saturday they run a 1k fun run for the kids and you can run with them, a 5k, a 5k with small dogs, a 5k with big dogs and a 10k. The atmosphere is great with lots of kids and dogs. The BBQ area is lively as no one is really on the course all that long. If you are only running one of the longer Sunday races, come pick your bib up on Saturday to soak up some of the atmosphere.
The course – The 50k course is a 5k mini loop and then two laps of what I would call a figure 8 consisting of two loops – a field loop and a trail loop
(my names, not theirs). After finishing your 5k which is run on the trail side you head out to the fields. This year there was a lot of rain beforehand, so there was some decent shoe sucking off mud in the fields. My feet definitely got soaked and I ended up changing socks twice. Great picture of muddy legs at the end. Although it is the “field” side of the course, about 50% is run on regular trails. The fields are fully exposed so when the sun is out, you feel it and the ground tends to be sloped, making for some interesting footing. The second loop of the figure eight, is 90% on trails. Except for one small half mile stretch that has some roots and small wooden bridges, the trails are extremely smooth and not technical at all. They are at least 6 feet wide in most places, so really easy to run. You finish up the figure 8 and then do it all over again back to the fields and then the trails again (50 milers do it a third time).
Hills – If you are a road runner that mostly runs on flat courses this will be hilly for you. While there are no long ascents, you are either going up or down for most of the course. If you are an experienced trail runner used to the AT or frequent Mt Washington, this will be a relatively easy course for you. There are a few short steep ascents, but most of the uphill is gradual and very runnable.
Aid Stations – They do a really good job at the aid stations. The course comes back on itself so you tend to hit the same aid stations multiple times. The longest distance you have to run between aid is 2.5 miles. I carried a water bottle, but you could probably do this race without one. Nice mixture of sweet (cookies, m&ms, bananas, watermelon) and savory (PB&J, potatoes with salt, pickles, pickle juice..). Water Gatorade, coke and mountain dew. Great attitude at the aid stations, really pleased with the support.
50K SNAFU – This year they changed the start line for all the races, which required a 5k loop for the 50k and a 10k loop for the 50 miler. When we ran the 5k loop we came across a sign with the words first loop on the top and then 50 milers with an arrow to the left and 50k with an arrow to the right. After you finish the 5k you come to this sign again. There was nothing on it about lap 2, so most of the field saw 50k and an arrow and went to the right. I initially did this too. About a quarter mile in we were at an aid station with the bag drop. I knew I was not supposed to be there until mile 10 and we were only at mile 3.5. I looked at the map and realized we should have made the left at the sign. Unfortunately there was no one from the race to confirm this. I ran back to the turn and ended up running the course as designed. Unfortunately about 80% of the field did not. This caused logistical chaos for the race crew and some very upset runners. I’m not 100% sure what they ended up doing but I did here people were running 1k loops to correct the mileage. I had studied the course, so I knew where to go and ran my race. The drawback was there was almost no one running the course correctly so it was very lonely. They did warn us beforehand, but with the 5k loop this is longer than a 50k, it was billed as 52k, but my watch had me at 55k. A half mile of that was my course correction, but speaking to someone else who ran the course correctly, they also had 55k (34 miles)
Overall this is a really fun event, especially Day 1. If you are relatively new to trail ultras, this is a great race to start. The trails are wide and well maintained, no major climbs and lots of great aid stations. I preferred the old start location in the grove, but if it remains where it was this year I am sure they will work the kinks out and fix the problems. It is amazing how one poorly worded sign could create so much chaos.
Schneider Electric Paris Marathon
Great City, decent race
Schneider Electric Paris Marathon
As a destination race, the location is magnificent and I would rate the trip as a five star experience. I traveled with my family (two children and wife). The scores … MORE
As a destination race, the location is magnificent and I would rate the trip as a five star experience. I traveled with my family (two children and wife). The scores are specific to the actual race production, which could be improved.
Location = The scenery is amazing, how often can you go for a run and see the Louvre, Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. Some great views along the course, with many more landmarks en route.
Course – The course is very flat, definitely a race to get a PR. There is some cobblestone, but I wear Hoka’s so didn’t notice it much. If you wear more of a racing flat, you’ll feel them. The last 4 miles have some slight inclines. Nothing that will knock you out, but something that might slow your pace, so keep that in mind if you are going for a particular time.
Things to be aware of:
No power drinks or synthetic carbs – This is billed as a very green race, so everything at the aid stations are natural. They hand out small water bottles that you then throw into recycle bins. I found this to be better than cups as you can easily run with the bottle without spilling and get more liquid. There are no sports drinks like Gatorade, so if you are use to that you will need to bring or you could carry tablets to drop in the bottle. You won’t see Gu either, the food was natural – bananas, pretzels, oranges, sugar cubes. Do not take food or drink from spectators especially near the end. Apparently it is funny to try to get a marathoner to grab a “sports drink” which is really wine or fruit that is really cheese.
Pre race info – The amount of information in the runners guide was essentially a 12 page PowerPoint presentation. Very lite on details. The map is hard to zoom in on to get details. You run through a tunnel, which you would never know looking at the map. Very little information on bag drop. I only figured out that you needed to go to the finish line to drop your bags through help from someone on Facebook. The start and finish are relatively close, but with the crowds and security it’s a good 30 minute round trip from start to finish. Other races of this size go to excruciating detail about every aspect, which I find helps calm my nerves.
Aid stations = While well staffed and supplied, they are rather few. It’s advertised as every 5k, but that’s an aproximation. For example the first one is at 7k. You should take note of the actual locations. We had perfect weather at 40s F. So this spacing was ok. However, if there had been any sort of heat, I think a lot of people would be hurting.
Medal – I don’t know what happened this year and I am not usually a medal snob, but this was a joke. It’s a gold medal the word Paris, the distance and the year in blue white and red. That’s it, no Eiffel Tower, no design, nothing. Maybe it’s some minimalist design I don’t get, but doesn’t feel like a lot of effort was put into this one.
Overall I had a great time. I’m slow so was happy with my PR. If Paris is on your list of destinations, this is a fun race. It’s not up to the production values of the similarly sized world majors like NY, Tokyo, London,..but if you go in knowing to expect you’ll be fine. In addition it’s much much cheaper than any of the world marathons especially if you sign up early and you don’t have to go into a lottery to get in.
Boston Prep 16 Miler & 5 Miler
Up and Down we go
Boston Prep 16 Miler & 5 Miler
This was my third year running, and by far the nicest weather. It can be cold some years (-9 wind chill when I ran a few years ago). The GDTC … MORE
This was my third year running, and by far the nicest weather. It can be cold some years (-9 wind chill when I ran a few years ago).
The GDTC puts on a great race. Lots of information beforehand. The course is well marked and well staffed. The first 12 miles are pretty hard, you are either going up or going down, there’s nothing flat about the first 2/3rds. The first 10 miles are rolling hills, with nothing too long of a climb, it’s just relentless. Around mile 10 you start a 2 mile incline which gets pretty steep for a little more than a quarter mile at the end. If you can make it through that, the last 3 to 4 miles are a breeze after the hills. As long as you have some juice left in your legs, these should be your fastest.
This race is definitely a significant effort and you should approach it like a marathon especially if you don’t do a lot of hills normally. Don’t go out too fast, train on hills and be prepared for some cold weather!
I am just as proud of my shirts from this race as any of my marathon medals.