Day377 scribbles

Nothing got to do with most of you unless you will be running the seneca run with me next weekend and at my starting wave. There are 20 people in my wave, so it is possible you are one of them. Sad that I am seeded to start at the last three waves. I spoke with a lady who will be starting at the the top three (each wave is 5 mins apart). She commented that I start at the traditional time whereas she will be start at an hour early. She meant I could sleep in. I said I rather have that extra hour because I think I will need all 14 hours assuming the course closes at 7 pm. I looked at last year finishes and there were a bunch finishing over 13 hours. This year we are only given 13 hours due to permit requirements. I am afraid that I will be part of the Did-not-finish group.

Any way, I have looked at the cutoffs at various Aid stations over the week and kind of stumped by the time because the math seems too hard. I used to be good with numbers but now I just don’t want to think about them.

I waited to this morning and sat down with a pen and paper and calculated various paces required to reach each station. Now I can say I got it. At least the calculation part.

Here goes:

The race is about 50 miles. 50.6 I found somewhere posted it as. Usually a race is longer than the posted miles especially with trail racing/running. You go up and down and gps tracker is not good as tracking the vertical miles. Think of a triangle and you are running up the slope, the gps watch track only the base (straight line) instead the slope. The slope (hypotenuse in trig) is slightly longer. I think most of our climbs is 1% grade so won’t be much different, still it is a bit longer. Plus trail meander left and right and you gain extra miles that often time the course only is measured as a straight line and not the zig-zags. I expect maybe the race might end up being 52-53 miles. I won’t know until I run it. Luckily none of previous reports said anything about the course being long. So that is good. Sometimes trail runners don’t complained about long course as marathon runners often do. So I read them with a grain of salt. However, I think because the course is in urban area and the race director likely measured the course like a road marathon, I think we get very close to 50 miles. I kind of see that with all the .1 mile to such and such aid station.

It’s 50 miles and we have 13 hours. The math to make things easier are calculated by mins. It means I have 780 mins. My start time is 5:50. I have until 6:50 pm to finish. My required pace is 15:25 mm:ss. This depends if the course is measured exactly. If the course is 52 miles, then my required pace is exactly 15 mins mile. I will try to run at that pace. I kind know most long dist races have 4 mi and hour pace.

1. The first aid station cutoff at Pennyfield is 12:30, which is at mile 24. This time is very liberal. However, if I run at the course minimun pace, I need to reach and be out of there by 12:00 noon to be safe. Of course the earlier the better.

2. The next cutoff is at Stone Mill at 1:25 pm, which is at mile 27. I calculate I need to reach this and be out of it by 12:45 pm.

3. The third cutoff is at Route 28 by 3:10 pm, which is at mile 33.6. I will need to be out of there by 2:25 pm.

4. The fourth cutoff is at Riffleford Rd by 5:10, which is at mile 41.6. I will need to be out of that aid station by 4:30 pm.

Sun now sets at 5 pm so it is good any way to reach the last cut off before sunset. Scary to have sweepers right behind you. ( I volunteered at one of their previous races, man, couple runners did not respect the cut off time! I was part of the sweeper team. A runner came into the station 45-50 mins late. RD didn’t DQ him. Of course the runner wanted to continue. My head sweeper did not want to pull the last guy off the course. I was both motivated by runner not willing to give up yet frustrated at the same time. The guy was holding all voluneers hostage to keep the course open for him)

As you may have noticed, the Aid Station cutoff times are far too generous. It is about 30-40 mins later than the required pace to reach them. Unless the runner has a final burst in the end (some do – negative split pacing), it is deceptive to use the Aid Station cut off as my minimal pace. However, for those who can’t keep the minimal pace, it is good that they will stay open 30-40 late to scoop up the late runners!

I use to be able to calculate this stuff in my head while in the middle of the run. But for longer runs, it gets too hard to keep all the numbers in my head and so I have write them down now.

…I need now to create a pace band to wear on my wrist on race day.

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