Road to 100 miler or not? – Part 1

Sun Mountain 5o mile (80km) race – May 18th, 2014

Sun Mountain has always been a place we wanted to explore for many years and now was a great opportunity to go for a long run…… Training for this run was tough with nagging injures for January and February and then it seemed like the snow would never melt finally in March we were able to nail down a training program. It was not as long as recommended

but Grace says “I’d rather go into a race undertrained than injured the mental game will have to do the rest” The orignal training program was 18 weeks long that was supposed to start Jan 13th, well March 10th the training started to come together and went strong for about 8 weeks. The longest run completed was 34km which didn’t really seem long enough to finish a 80km race but it’s what we had time for without ramping up our milege to quickly and seeing more injuries. It would have been great to get 40-45km completed before the race.

This was our first 50 mile race although we did complete the Canadian Death Race last year at 125km it seemed like that was a long time ago. These are all stepping stones to see what’s next. A 100 mile race was something on the agenda for 2014 but we will see what happens.

The Sun Mountain race was great although a hot day which was unexpected and not really planned for… Phil and Grace made the same hydration mistake  – at the 3rd aid station where our crew was waiting for us neither of us took 2 handhelds not realizing until we ran out of water at 37km and the next aid station was at 42km. That 5km was tough on a hot day with an empty bottle. Reaching the aid station and drinking as much as possible it was a good choice this time to take 2 handhelds and add some more salt pills to the elood we were taking in. Grace was suffering with shin pain and quads cramping and Phil was feeling the dehydration. The next part of the run offered a little more shade and some downhill running which was super appreciated! Phil was about 25 minutes ahead of Grace. Along the course Grace was thinking why can’t we just run shorter distances and not take on these crazy painful races?

Reaching Homesteader aid station at about 52km into the race hydration was key and getting some food of any form into us was super important. It was about 6.5hrs into the run and it was still a bright shiny day. The watches we used only have about 8 hours of life it was time to switch out the watch and start all over again. After climbing up to the top of Sun Mountain sickness set it nausea for Phil and cramping for Grace but we knew we just had to make ourselves run because if you run then you get to the finish that much sooner 🙂

Coming upon the last aid station it wasn’t where we had expected it but it was still a blessing that it was a few kilometres closer. It was great to hydrate and overcome the nausea and get going to the finish. Our crew hiked in all of our stuff a ways to make sure had everything we might need. The last stretch to the finish – UGG! one more climb to go!! The Patterson

Climb which is an out and back where Phil and Grace finally met up on the trail Phil was headed down and Grace still climbing. It was pure beauty on top of the mountain overlooking Patterson Lake. Coming down off the mountain running along the road it was great as people were leaving the race they all cheered and waved as they past. Hearing the finish line nearby was so exciting we just had to push it to the end. Phil finished at 10:25:20 and Grace close behind at 10:34:13. Phil’s goal is to not let Grace catch him and Grace’s goal is to catch Phil not sure what will happen if Grace ever catches???

“50 miler done! 100 miler is off the table” – Grace says to Gary Robbins as he mentions the next training plan.

Our crew of Deanna Stout, Lindsey Austin and Jesse Winkiewicz really saved the day for us seeing them at all the aid stations helped us out HUGE!!

The day before on the Saturday May 17th Deanna Stout took on the 25km and she crushed it! We had the opportunity to crew for her on her first 25km trail run. She was cruising pretty good when we saw her at 8km and then at the aid station at 14km and again at 21km. She was always smiling and having fun even when she crossed the finish line. Deanna stuck to her training plan and finished strong at 2:36:58!

A solid performance by everyone and we hope to be back to Sun Mountain Soon!! Is the 100 miler going to happen if it does it will be in Nov or Dec of 2014 – Our goals for this summer is the run the High Rim Trail – Vernon to Kelowna 50km and to run the West Coast Trail – 80km in 1 Day!

Phil and Grace Hiom from Dirty Feet Trail Run Series in BC, Canada. Racers designing trail races!

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